The Civil Rights of the Whole Child for a Whole Education

“My purpose as an educator is to open a student’s mind to its infinite possibilities.”

Lily was invited to speak at the Clinton School of Public Service where she shared a vision for great public schools for all students and criticized the excessive testing which is strangling so many students, teachers and school communities.

Her full remarks: (Yes, there was a standing ovation)

4 Responses to “The Civil Rights of the Whole Child for a Whole Education”

  1. Andy Goldstein

    “This is our purpose. Someone is going to come and they’re going to ask you to help. We need you to raise your hand. We need you to say, “Count on me. I’ll call my congressman. I’ll call my School board member. I’ll write a letter to the editor for my newspaper. I’ll talk to my circle of influence.” Our purpose is to come together and save the world by saving that whole blessed child. Our purpose is to dream a dream so powerful that it moves us to act. Our purpose is to put the whole child together first. And if we do that, then the world will thank us….”

    Thank you, Lily, for this beautiful talk. The time is now for all of us to act in our own circles of influence–to stand up for our children, to stand up for our teachers, and to stand up for public education. The current toxic testing regime is nothing but a money making racket for rich corporations to make more and more money off of our kids. It’s harmful to our children. It has to end, and it has to end right now.

  2. Andy Goldstein

    Reflections of an Annual Contract Teacher from Palm Beach County (published with permission):

    Are you there District? It’s me, just a teacher…

    This year more than ever there seems to be little time to do the many things that need to be done to support students. In order to be an effective teacher, a HIGHLY effective teacher you must be able to share between 40% of yourself toward students’ emotions and social needs and 60% toward finding new and creative ways of getting old standards to present as new benchmarks and still keep students engaged enough to surpass all goals. This year for me at least, there seems to be several changes or additions to my equation of teaching and learning. I am attempting to infuse a new curriculum, toward a new state test, with
    new-aged social media students that are the product of entitlement.

    While the equation presented seems challenging to some and maybe not be worthwhile on a teacher’s salary, truth is I live for this job! I live to come to wok daily and see my students. I live to hear the words they have to say and the words that show me who they are in the moment – giving me a glimpse into who they will be in the future right before my very eyes.

    I would not trade the call to teach for another career in the world BUT, I do have to work two or three extra jobs just to support my desire to keep teaching. Sounds crazy? I said I have to work 2-3 more jobs aside from my full time teaching position just to have the opportunity to work with my students each day, hear their words and watch them grow into self-sufficient human beings. Now, let’s add on the job of parenting and taking care of a home to the equation and that is 3-4 jobs on top of my full time teaching position. Is this a complaint? Not in the least! This is just a ventation (not a word) but the best way for me to make light of my frustration.

    Each day I discuss with colleagues whom are in the same boat of LOVING teaching but confused and tired from having to supplement a salary by taking on the other jobs in order to keep teaching. What a world!?
    Instead of just working one job as a full time teacher and getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night, I can only get 3 hours of sleep after taking care of a family and then having to go to my next jobs. Truthfully, I am happy to find supplementary jobs so I can make extra money. Again, this is far from a complaint. Just truth and reality of the average teacher today.

    Truth to the fact that if I and many thousands of other teachers were given the opportunity to just work one job teaching full time without taking on any extra side jobs, our students could get a whole teacher that was not too tired during the day. Our students could get a whole human being who might be able to be more than highly effective as a teacher. Without having to work 3-4 jobs, many teachers could reach a new standard of teaching. A whole teacher could EXCEED highly effective status because sleep could then be a part of the crazy equation we know as the career of teaching. Just think! Whole teachers teaching whole students.

    Are you there District, it’s me, just a teacher….

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  4. Karin Engstrom

    Please invite Catherine (Cathy) O’Neil, a mathematician, who speaks about the algorhythms of the testing and teacher evaluation process. ( I heard her speak on the radio this morning. The title of her speech was: The Weapons of Math Destruction. Please invite her to speak at the NEA-RA this summer. She has insights that would help everyone at the NEA to organize against testing and the current teacher evaluation processes.


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