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Sunday, October 31, 2021

I'm not studying insurrectionist CRT Hysterics: "For His Truth is Marching On"


America was not discovered,

There is no romantic Gone With The Wind Slavery,

The Cherokee People's Trail of Tears, was not some nature walk,

The Navajo, "Long Walk" was not America at it's best,

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1888, was not securing our borders, but Racism,
Japanese Interment Camp, were not vacation camps, 2/3 of the interned were American Citizens,

360,222 Union Soldiers died in a Civil War that ended Slavery, they were not killed by good men, 

The Holocaust was real,

Jim Crow, did more than mandate separated water fountains, it led to thousands of Lynchings of innocent Black Americans,

The Labor movement has no socialist agenda, just America's struggle for safety and living wages,

Women's Suffragette were not Hysterics, it was American Women at this best,

Selma's Bloody Assault on Black Peoples Right to vote, was not the only stop on the road to voting rights,

The 1963 White supremacist terrorist bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that took the lives of four young Black Girls happen on a Sunday,

The Assignations of President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Senator Robert Kennedy were attempts to destroy our democracy,

Finally, January 6, 2021 was an attempt to overturn the people's vote, and and assault on our Constitution, and Democracy.

The root of the word History is Greek:"Historia", meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation". It does refer to some sweet cover up of lies that might hurt. History is not some sweet honey, it is something bitter sweet, that goes down hard, and fortifies us from lies.

I refuse to bow down to Insurrectionist Racists,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
Uniting to Save Our Schools

If you like to listen to the tune that inspire my walk over the mountain this morning its 
the United States Army Field Band performing the "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." >

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Pandemic Teaching and Learning: Should I stay or Should I go?


Teaching and Learning in a Pandemic Crisis,
Teaching and Learning in a Moral Crisis,
Teaching and Learning in a world of haters,
Teaching and learning in budget cuts, upon budget cuts,
Teaching and learning in a world of science deniers,
Teaching and Learning in a world of history deniers,
Teaching and Learning in a world of declining wages, benefits, and respect for teachers.

Teaching and Learning in a time where CEOs and Policy Makers work day and night to reduce our children test scores,
Teaching and Learning in the nation that spends more money to educate our wealthy children than our poor children,
Teaching and Learning in a country refusing to ask Millionaires and Billionaires to pay their fair share.

Teaching and Learning in our nation that is perfectly fine with a School To Prison Pipeline for Black, Brown and Special Education Children,
Teaching and Learning where the once numerous future teacher pools are drying up,
Teaching and Learning during a teacher shortage problem exacerbated tenfold by a mass exodus of Fed Up Retiring Teachers.

Rome is burning, America's commitment to public education is falling far short.
Looking around, some of my best teachers, young and old, are leaving. The number of future teachers is dropping in my courses at the University.
Who Wants to be a teacher in this world?

Just about everyone who can retire at our university, like many other universities, is leaving. Lots of fear going round leave now or watch them reduce your health care benefits. I am losing some of my dearest colleagues.
Should I stay or should I go?

I pull from my well of aspirations that held me strong through decades of teaching.
I remember being young, running around those mean streets, and being fearless. I drink from my well of memories. Father Fitzgerald read a poem once. He read the Lays of Ancient Rome by Thomas Babington Macaulay. He told us to sit down on these church steps. Fellers, this one is long. There once was this Captain on a bridge facing unbeatable foes, a captain whose beloved city those foes wanted to burn.
What was his name, Father?

He was Brave Horatius, Captain of the Gate, and while the lords and nobles of his city could not decide what to do as a massive army stood across the bridge to their beloved city. Hateful vengeful foes demanding their unconditional surrender. Everyone trembled, shook, and call out to their gods to save them.
What did the Captain do, Father?

He called to his brothers of the gate.
“Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than, facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods."
He stood on that bridge, held those foes back, and when all looked like it was lost, he call out to burn the bridge behind him. 
Did he live Father?
Yes, he did, and he still lives well.
Fellers, I want you to grow strong, be our brave captains. While others tremble, I expect you all to stand strong. All I have are these poems and stories that fill this well. With them I am invincible. 

Teaching and learning are in crisis.
The Robber Barons, Public Education Haters, and their Mercenaries are standing at our schoolhouse door across the nation. They see profits not children. They demand our Greater Good Sense's unconditional surrender.

I could walk away,
I could run away,
I could sit on that rocker,
I could fish my last days,
I could walk those mountain trails,
Row those rivers I love,
I could live well,
I could leave,
Maybe I should leave?
What would Brave Horatius do?

But, a priest, read a poem once about a brave captain,
Don't you hear Brave Horatius calling?

"Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than, facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods."

Who Wants to be a teacher today?
Who wants to stay?
Who is willing to stand on this bridge?

I turn out our literacy Center lights,
Lock the door, and
Walking out,
I read those words on the arch outside our School of Education:
Start With A Dream, Leave With A Future."
I think there are dreams to come, and futures that need protecting. 
Father Fitzgerald, read a poem, etched in our souls, and I am at your gate captain.
I am staying.

Just call me one of Father Fitzgerald’s brave Captains,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
CCSU Literacy Center Director,
Uniting to Save Our Schools
Proud Badass Teacher
A Captain of the gate

If you wonder what tune did this Walking Man listen to on his walk this morning, its The Clash's "Should I stay or should I go"

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Come Spring, this old school teachers is marching

Friedrich Nietzsche said: “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

I jump on no bandwagons,
I pay no homage to Education Reformers who claim to be able to mandate, legislate, reform teaching and learning inequity without fighting to fully fund all public schools,
I refuse to dance to these School Choice without Equity Pied Pipers.

I am an Old School Teacher,
I know where I stand,
I know that the privilege of owning myself requires me to stand up for my students inside the schoolhouse and outside it.

The struggle to Save Our Public Schools begins with the understanding that a Public School System spending more money to educate wealthy children than poor children is immoral.
Immorality should not have a safe haven in our Public Schools.

If fighting inequality and injustice in our public schools is not number one?
You are dancing to that Pied Piper of immoral Education Reform smoke and mirrors.

Our Union Struggles must not only be about ourselves. Our Union Struggle must be a moral one, demanding an equal and quality education for all children.

I stand on moral ground,
I do my best in my classroom,
I fight for children in and out of my schoolhouse.

We Old School Teachers must be more significant than ourselves,
Teachers marched in Selma,
Barbara Henry Taught Ruby Bridges,
She and Ruby owned themselves in a schoolhouse surround by hate.
Like Barbara Henry, hate shall not enter my classroom, my mind, my soul or touch those I teach.

Just call me, an old-time teacher,
A teacher who follows no Pied Piper,
I am going to march this spring testing season,
March against inequality,
March against 1.7 Billion Annual dollars for high-stakes testing, and
March against school choice without equity.
I may march alone,
But, I will be marching in the shadows of greater love.

Most of all, 
I will be my own teacher self,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
Uniting to Save Our Schools
Badass Teacher  

If you like to listen to the tune that inspired my morning walk its Nahko and Medicine For the People - "Dear Brother"

Friday, October 8, 2021

Teacher Shortage, Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

"Teacher demand exceeded supply for grades K-12 in the country's public schools by more than 100,000 in 2019 for the first time ever, according to the Learning Policy Institute, a Washington-based education policy think tank that has extensively studied the causes and effects of the teacher shortage." Link to source, worth the read > <

For the first time in years, districts are asking to refer our graduates and saying we are getting no applicants. They are asking for anyone close to certification for interventionists.

Now, Mayors, Governors, Board of Education members, district-level administrators, and Policymakers, help me understand this teacher shortage? Especially district leaders in Black, Brown, and Poor School-districts, where schools are understaffed, under-resourced, and underfunded. A child's learning conditions are teacher-working conditions.

You cut retirement and health benefits,
You offer below-inflation pay increases, or in some cases no increases at all,
You disrespect the professional judgments of your teachers,
You keep increasing class sizes,
You legislate new unfunded mandates time and time again,
You cut art,
You cut music,
You cut playtime,
You fail to staff school libraries,
You buy expensive data tracking systems that dehumanize teaching and learning,
You accelerate learning,
Give Professional Developments on Social Emotional Learning and Restorative Justice without resources, 
You pile more and more demands on teachers,
You ignore that your teachers work 15-30 extra hours a week without pay,
You blame them for low test scores,
You bully your teachers,
You disrespect and bully your teachers.

Now you find yourself surprised that you can't find teachers.
Trust me, the retirements will come quicker, and young teachers are going to leave sooner.
I am not surprised by this teacher shortage.
What surprises me?
Why are districts surprised?

Not in the least bit surprised.
Disappointed yes,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
Uniting to Save Our Schools
Badass Teachers Association

If you are wondering what inspired my morning walk its Barry Lane's "if you ever had a teacher" 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

The data that really matters to teacher

In our public school system, chasing test score data, we often miss what matters. The plan is to sell parents' never-ending reforms while overlooking the vast inequalities rooted in our public schools. In this world, I find there is the data that matters and the data that really matters.

There is the data that counts and the data that really matters. Some data teachers upload to the cloud, and principals and Politicians love that data. There is, however, the data that really counts to teachers. It is uploaded into our teaching hearts. That heart data is what holds us strong, inspires us, but most of all, it reminds us why we became teachers in the first place.

The data that matters is standing right in front of me.

Myra grade 2: "Dr. Turner, you were right; there is a book for everyone."

Dr. T: "Did you find your perfect book, Myra?"

Myra: Oh, yes, "Too Loud Lily" is about a girl just like me. She is a little too loud, a little too bold, loves to dance, but her heart is golden."

Dr. T: "That does sound like you...Would you read it to the rest of the kids and me?"

Myra: "Of course, Dr. Turner, I have read it over 100,000 times; I can read it with my eyes close. I am going to use my teacher's voice. I am going to a teacher one day. Do you know what kind of teacher I am going to be?"

Myra: "I am going to be a Reading Teacher."

Dr. T: Myra, you just made my day."

See the child, not the test score,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
CCSU Literacy Center Director
Uniting to Save Our Schools

If you are wondering which song did Dr. Turner listen to on his morning walk today. Its Barry Lane's "More Than a Number" > <

Friday, October 1, 2021

Educational Delusional Reforms are Scams RISE UP!


Dr. Stephen Krashen Reaserher on Langauge Acquisition and  Education Activist said: "The No. 1 obstacle to literacy and learning in the United State, is poverty."

Education reforms come and go. The truth is everything works in Affluent Schools. Now in poor communities, just about every reform fails.  
Imagine giving sick poor patients weaker medicines? Fewer resources and higher ratios of teachers to students and specialized intervention staff, plus less access to art, music, physical education, and sports, is weaker medicine. 
Educational Delusion believes more testing and school choice helps children living in poverty achieve in our public schools.
We need a march on Washington for equity in our public schools, not more delusional education reforms.
Dr. Jesse P. Turner 
Uniting to Save Our Schools

If you like to hear the tune that I Listen to on my morning walk its "Waiting on the world to change"