Too many words

sols_6I was all set with my topic for this slice of life. I would come home, have dinner and write but …

Life does not always lay out that neatly. I did come home and have dinner but then the phone rang. There was my daughter-year two teacher, working in high poverty and the pressure is one, the tests are coming (yes it is only January).  The melt down was near as she recounted her day.

She could see

  • where her students had made progress in their test scores
  • where they had made progress in their behavior
  • what is best teaching to reach all kids

But when the staff reflected on the test scores it is never enough progress, never enough behavior change. Her words – I can never do enough!

Why do we do this to new (or any teacher)? Why do we do this to students?


Sorry there are too many words, too much frustration and I can’t express it all tonight clearly.

My energies went to helping her see what she is doing well, that she is doing enough, she is doing what she can and that as teachers we are always learning.  It is the nature of the beast!

We know as teachers we need to support our students with positive feedback if we want them to learn.  We also need to do that for ourselves and fellow teachers so we can learn and continue to do the hard work.

Teachers – please let yourself and your teammates know it is ok, your are doing great work. You are working hard and learning takes time.  Trust and believe in your work.

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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3 Responses to Too many words

  1. Linda Baie says:

    I’m sorry that your daughter feels so defeated in her work. I agree that knocking each other down is not the way to motivate! I hope she gets some support and relief!

  2. Just have to comment on my own post – I have now made corrections but I used the wrong too/to in my title and post last night. I guess it shows how my mind was upset and worried. I had just spent last week teaching 3rd and 4th graders the difference between to, too and two and then I used the wrong spelling.
    Great! I guess this is why we are always learners, why we need editors and why I should not write when I am upset!

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