Submitted by Lonni Gill, Ph. D for March 1st Day of Action for Education
I occupy education every time I walk into a classroom full of interns who can not wait to get into their own classrooms and teach.
I occupy education every time I converse, discuss, and have discourse with my interns about how they can make their prospective classroom a place of wonder and joyful learning for ALL children.
I occupy education every time I share with my interns what I did in my elementary classroom to respect children and their learning while teaching ALL children.
I occupy education every time my interns ask, “Why is education like it is today with all of the restrictions including pacing guides?”
I occupy education by telling these interns that some people do not believe that teachers can make their own decisions about how to pace curriculum.
I occupy education every time interns ask, “Why do teachers go on when they know children can not learn fractions in 2 days or one week?”
I occupy education when I tell my interns to always do what is best for the children and that includes learning well, not fast.
I occupy education every time an intern asks me why children can not talk at lunch or have to walk down the hall with military precision.
I occupy education when I tell my interns that I can not excuse a teacher who warns a child once about talking at lunch and then the second time that child talks, his or her lunch is thrown out and their nose is pressed against the wall for the rest of lunch.
I occupy education when I tell my interns that I do not understand why children have to walk down the halls with their cheeks popped out so they can not talk and their hands are rigidly by their sides like soldiers when they are 5 or 10 years old.
I occupy education when I teach my interns how to teach for deep conceptual development with backward design, problem based learning, inquiry and a kindness and respect for ALL children.
I occupy education when I share and believe with all of my heart that MY interns will be change agents because they listen to children, respect their human rights and believe that ALL children CAN and WANT to LEARN.
Lonni Gill, Ph.D.