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Letter: Teachers’ great work is applauded, appreciated

Teachers’ great work is applauded, appreciated

The first full week in May is designated as National Teacher Appreciation Week. Tuesday is Teacher Appreciation Day. It must be stated that retired teachers fervently and openly declare their appreciation for our active educational colleagues.

So much is in the media about the current status and trends in public education. Everything seems to be bad. And the simplistic cause of all of these ills is placed clearly and firmly upon the “failure” of the teachers. Retired educators know that this is far from the truth.

Active educators are faced with undue pressure on their performance reviews tied to standardized tests, replacement of “teachable moments” by scripted texts, inadequate training in the implementation of Common Core and dealing with flawed and misleading test questions that are neither prepared nor field-tested by educators. Retired teachers empathize with these conditions and extend their sincerest support to all teachers who continue to do their jobs in spite of the negative atmosphere in which they work.

As retired teachers, we look back at careers in which high standards were expected of ourselves and our students, student progress was routinely measured by a multitude of mechanisms, teacher accountability was based on an ongoing evaluation of performance and outcomes, and academic freedom and creative techniques were prevalent in the classroom in an atmosphere where the education of the “whole” child reigned supreme. It would be wonderful, for all involved, if today’s teachers were permitted to function in that same environment.

Teachers’ efforts are appreciated and applauded every day, not just on Teacher Appreciation Day. We appreciate you. We applaud you.

Doris R. Kirsch

President, Western Zone

NYS Retired Teachers’ Association

Strykersville