Day 2 of my walk to DC is dedicated to a young teacher from Texas. Jenn sent me a "Dear Walking Man" letter last night. She shared how she had always wanted to be a teacher, and chased her dream down. We are losing young teachers at an incredible rate. More than half leave before five years. In high stressed testing districts trust me that number is much higher. Jenna's letter, which I will share on YouTube tonight, starts off chasing her teaching dream. Then shares the pain of a young teacher feeling oppressed by endless testing. She has all the right tools to be a great teacher, but these Education Deformers have turned our public schools into testing factories. In her letter she starts doubting her teaching dream.
Readers make predictions as they read. Reading her letter my gut told me it would end with another teaching dream crushed. At one point I just stopped reading, and bowed my head and folded my hands in prayer. Dear Lord please Lord, don't let teaching lose this one. I started to read young Jenn's letter again still thinking I knew where this was going.
Then I read the last paragraph it came " All across the nation, teachers are quitting in droves. I must admit, I thought about it this year. However, at the end of the day I realized I am right where I am supposed to be and there is nothing I would rather be doing. And so I stand up and fight for my students and I fight for my school. I will not let someone who has never entered my classroom take my career that I have worked so hard for and destroy it. I will be the teacher I want to be despite standardized testing."
Today I am walking for a young Texas teacher who decided to stay. Today I am walking for every young teacher's dream of becoming a great teacher. A dream that is being crushed a little more each day with the insanity of high-stakes testing that crushes the desire to learn in our children, and demoralizes our teachers.
This 10 miles is for our young resilient teacher Jenn from Texas,
You inspire me to walk,
PS if you want to know what I listened to on Day 2 of my walk it's Jackson Brown's "Stay"
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aljOzYLG57A <