I've come to the frightening conclusioin that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.
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Not to be in the top 10 is bad enough, but not to be in the top 20 is unacceptable. We were told (class) size doesn't matter, it is the programs. Well, the programs we have don't work. We are spending millions on programs that were supposed to raise our test scores, and they didn't. It is time to evaluate these programs and ... if they don't measure up, get rid of them now.