Happy May 1st!

Första Maj Välkommen!  Welcome May 1st!  I will put on my cd and listen to this song later in honor of my stepdad and his choir in Malmö who do a fantastic job singing it every year (song:"Sköna maj").  Hope he made it to Pildam parken this year again to welcome the spring.
Why the fire you might ask?  It's a Swedish tradition to have a big bonfire the night before, called "Valborgsmässoafton" and sing.  And drink.  Natch.

So this blog could go in lots of directions - missing family, Swedish history, politics - but today I'm going personal.  The first of May is the worker's holiday in Sweden, a time for solidarity and peaceful demonstrations.  See here for live pics from Göteborg.  So today I'm taking time off for my own personal protest, giving myself  a time to reflect and walk for my rights!  I am a lowly teacher's assistant (or ESP) this year and our labor doesn't do us a lot of favors but I am still glad that we have a labor movement and people fighting for our rights and those of the kids. Mass Teachers mission

"We are privileged to have these amazing kids before us. We owe it to them to teach them, not just constantly test them."
- Amie Dossantos, kindergarten teacher in Randolph

Teaching is hard but I love it.  I love the kids, and the way they try every day.  Many teachers try too and get burnt in the process.  Why can't we help each other more?  The children are tired, the teachers are burnt out.  Right now we're fighting testing.  Testing progress is fine, don't get me wrong, but when teaching for the tests, or losing recess or creative lessons we need to rethink. Congress is talking about revising "No child left behind" so it's time to make our voices heard.  Check out this well written article:
our-children-are-being-tampered-with-a-teacher-speaks-out-on-emotional-effects-of-high-stakes-testing/

We don't celebrate May 1st in Massachusetts. but I do!  I'm standing up for my rights to be a well paid, well respected, and well rested part of the education community.  And I'm using my God-given labor paid sick day to do so!  You may think I'm a jerk to take a sick day but I am exhausted, and I feel like these little learners look to us to be in our best possible shape to teach them and guide them. If I'm a wreck I can't work.  Try being a teacher's assistant (or Special Ed Education Support Professional like me) making hardly any money and trying everyday to do her best.  Then I think you'd truly understand that fighting for our rights equals the best education for your children. And please reach out to your Congress if you want to get the revised NCLB (no child left behind) right: http://educationvotes.nea.org/eseapetition/ or call your senator. 1-866-331-7233 Thanks!


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