Wednesday, March 14, 2007

From the inbox

Two wonderful things to find in the inbox: a book recommendation and sympathy.

Noticing that Plato's Republic was on my list for the spring challenge, this was recommended by the blogger at Under the Gables:

From Amazon:
"It is a wonder and a delight to be led by Eva Brann through the Socratic conversations. She begins from first impressions and moves through perplexity to clarity, without losing the thread. Those who do not know the Republic will be initiated into its treasures. Those who believe that it is a great book will understand better what they already know."-Ann Hartle, Emory University

In the sympathy category was a response to this post:
Today I saw your brief post on how adhering to state standards if leaching the joy from teaching for your husband. I'm a middle school teacher (21 years and counting) and I'd like to say bless you for acknowledging the frustration so many of us teachers feel these days. I just crossed off another fun and creative activity from my lesson plans because it will take time away from test prep. . .what a shame. Before I came home yesterday, I had to cover up any bulletin boards or classroom displays that might "help" the kids with the upcoming standardized tests--SIX days starting Monday. . . one test per day. Please tell your husband I'm sharing his pain.

Twenty one years and counting for my husband's teaching career as well, and a lot of philosophies have come and gone in those two decades. One can only hope that the focus on test scores will either a) truly improve the education of our children or b) get dumped in the ditch with "new math" and "whole language." Until then, may hard working teachers, who love their subjects and enjoy their students, have the courage and the tenacity to keep doing what they know is best.

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