My blog posts generate a number of emails from readers, some I’ve never met, some I’ve known for years.  Many of them are from classroom teachers and principals.  The ones in the trenches who are constantly bombarded by more paperwork, more rules and regulations and more legislation that makes little sense.

Someone once said that the “farther from a classroom a decision is made, the poorer the decision.”  I believe that with all my heart.

Most of the time I respond to a comment and go my way.  But today I share one from a principal in rural Alabama I’ve known a long time.  Have been to her school a number of times.  I never thought I was in a leafy suburb of some large city.

Just a few weeks ago, a teacher gives a student a binder (several previously–the ones that zip up cost over $10) and whispers to me.  “I know he probably won’t have it next week.”  But the smile on his face was as broad as a yard stick while she spent 10 minutes in the office helping him pick up his scattered/ unorganized papers.  He was waiting on his dad to pick him up.  This particular student has so many knocks in his life, but has done so much better this year. 

This same teacher walked into my office the day before ACT Aspire started, looks at me and said, ” I’m sorry my scores will more than likely not be good this year.”

Teachers are successful in so many ways.  But today test scores define us.

And we wonder why young people are shying away from becoming educators.