Tuesday, March 31, 2009

TEACHER SPOTLIGHT

The times are uncertain. 600 plus teachers and staff throughout the Mt. Diablo Unified School District are losing their jobs. 43% of the staff at El Dorado Middle School have been given pink slips. Tension is high and morale is low. The staff at El Dorado are not the only ones feeling the effects of this budget crisis. Our students are feeling the effects as well. My students are constantly asking questions about what will happen next year and sharing their concerns with me. I think it is important that their voices be heard. These children are not only students, they are the future. Here is what they have to say.

Wendy Murphy
7th Grade Core Teacher
El Dorado Middle School


I feel that the government really doesn't care about our education ight now. Chances are that if we don’t have electives and other classes, colleges won’t accept us. Most people want the people that work for them to be educated. For example, parents want their child's teachers to know about what they are teaching. Also, they want the people who work on their cars to know what the problem is and how to fix it. If we don’t have electives, or we can't get into a good college, we wiLl not be able to learn the right things to complete our jobs.

~student~


My opinion on the crisis we have in California is that by cutting eachers, electives, libraries etc. is bad. Without some electives, your entrance into college is lower. That affects me because I want to get a good job and have a good life. Another thing is, when you cut out an elective the classes available will decrease, be more boring, and attract less interest. Sports are what helps you get into college also. Libraries are a big issue too because you need to do research. Most teachers use the library. The uses are for reading, research, projects, etc. Cutting all this stuff could cause more delinquency too. Social skills are important in life. We need stuff like this for our future.

~student~


What we face at school in these times are far worse than back in the day of our parents' education. No, I'm not talking about violence, I'm talking about budget cuts. Yeah, schools are losing money. Remember money?? You know, the coins and bills with a cash value? Comes in handy once in a while. Well, schools already won’t have a lot of it and we, the schools, are seeing more money fly out the window. Teachers are getting pink slips, which means they are losing their jobs. Not as in getting "fired", but as in getting laid off. But don’t think that it is only affecting teachers because it's not. Students, the future of America, are a big part of it.
Losing electives, teachers, and sports are some of the ways that students are suffering. Being a student myself, I know how bad this is. Yeah, really bad. Muy malo, comprende? I'm not gonna take force, but listen this once. SOS! Save Our Schools!!

~student~


Even in 7th grade, students are thinking about their future. Unfortunately, though, our future is murky. The Mt. Diablo Unified School District is making numerous cuts to schools. Electives that are available one year may not be the next. Features such as
libraries and computer labs may disappear. The California budget crisis is greatly affecting schools, teachers, and their students. Recently over 600 teachers in the district received pink slips. To compensate for the lower number of staff, class sizes may rise, greatly affecting students and teachers. Electives that teach students skills that others don’t may be cut. High School sports may not be available next year, which eliminates scholarship opportunities. Cutting electives may affect student attendance
rates. For some kids, electives are their initiative to go to school. Without elective courses, their may be an increase in drop-outs and absences which cause the district money. If class sizes increase, students may also be affected. A larger class can be more difficult to control. A teacher may not have as much time to help struggling students.
If these cuts continue, what will be left of our schools? Will students only be learning the basics (english, science, math, history)? Kids are the future. Is this how we are being prepared?

~student~


I think that schools cutting down on sports is going to effect me a lot. It will effect me because I am good at basketball and I will rely on basketball to get me a scholarship. This will help me get into college. If they cut out sports in high school, then it's
going to be a lot harder for me to get a better education. This will affect my future tremendously.

~student~


It would be very sad if the library, electives, and sports are cut next year. Everyday I come to school I may not look forward to math or science, but I to look forward to learning more spanish and writing articles. I bet a lot of kids love their electives like I do mine. If the electives are cut out then lots of students, like myself, would lose interest in coming to school and that would lead to more dropouts. If the library is cut out I don’t know how I would be able to do reports and other things like that. My mom doesn't take me to the public library and I don’t have time for that anyways. I don’t think I'm the only one who can use a library only during school. If the sports are cut out of high school then a lot of kids would be devastated. Some students don’t have that many book smarts so they depend on sports to get into a good college. Maybe if they're lucky and talented enough they would get a scholarship. We really should keep these things.

~student~


I think laying off teachers is a bad idea because we're not going to know that much and other kids are going to ditch.

~student~


Okay. You all know about the budget cuts, and you all know it is affecting our schools.
I mean, okay, maybe not ALL of you know, but for the clueless people who have been living under rocks, here's what's happening. Over 600 pink slips have been handed out to teachers. Seriously?! ya seriously, with less teachers, electives, music, sports, and libraries are getting shut down. Wow, no fun classes, no sports, no books, no research....just good old, classic math, english, social studies, and science......BORING!
I speak for only myself (no I speak for all kids in school) no one wants to sit in a classroom for seven hours a day only doing four boring subjects. I mean come on people! Think of the kids. All I am trying to say is this......This whole thing is stupid!!! Thank you fellow students having a boring day.

~student~

21 comments:

Wendy M. said...

Our students definitely ROCK!!

Pelkey said...

Wow! I am very impressed at how articulate they are! It is really hard to hear the opinions from our students, more heart wrenching, but they KNOW what is going on. That is very powerful, very very powerful. This is how change is made, but we have way more students to teachers and if an entire student body is fighting too, wow, it gives me an awesome sense of confidence thinking about it.

Roy said...

Great job Wendy! With family, friends or teachers, students should have a right to know what is going on with our ed system. They should also be able to express their concerns.

Wendy M. said...

Thanks Roy and Pelkey. My students are very passionate about thus issue. The uncertainty definitely affects them as well.

Becka said...

Wendy, I love that your students are thinking about the issues facing our schools (and their futures) in a critical way. As always, I am inspired and impressed by the voice of our school - teachers, staff, and students. Please let them know that Machado thinks they are awesome!

Katy said...

It is wonderful to see that your students are lending their voices to this outcry. I am impressed by their insight into our plight and by how articulate they are in their expressions of outrage at the tenuous future many of our district's wonderful staff and programs seem to have. I hope, for the sake of us all, that our efforts pay off and our kids get to continue to receive the education and opportunities they so rightfully deserve.

Katy Cachiotis
4th Grade Teacher
Bel Air Elementary, Bay Point

Concerned Community Member said...

Kudos to the students at edms. Driving by, the demonstrations seem to be gaining support. Keep up the good work.

Wendy M. said...

Thanks for all the comments!! Lets keep this rolling.

Anonymous said...

Your students have great comments and great thoughts. Encourage them to go to the board meeting and speak!! Please tell them Mrs. Hood is proud of them and thinks that they "ROCK" and that you do too!!

Danielle said...

Go Wendy and students! What an amazing way our students expressed their thoughts. I am proud that they, too, are taking a stand. We need everyone to realize how this directly affects every person involved in education and ultimately, the students.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mrs. Murphy!! This soo rocks! I can't believe we actually did this! BTW, this is one of your students. Mine made it on here! I'm totally syked! You have to take me & some other smart ones with u guys to Sac! CUL8R! Oh, we sould try to get some not involved in education people here. Bye!

Anonymous said...

This is from the same student as the one above this. Just one thing. You were right, Mrs. Murphy. We do rock! =)

Mrs. B involved PFC parent said...

I do hope we encourage everyone to visit this blog... our kids are OUR future and its so sad that our state government isn't willing to invest in them- whatever happen to priorities???
Teachers need to know that parents support their efforts %1000 percent!

Mrs. Murphy said...

Ok Journalism student of mine...if you're going to respond to this blog, please respond like a journalism student!!

SB: Proud Student said...

I am a proud student of the fabulous Mrs. Murphy, and was fortunate enough to have my feelings posted on the web. Thank you for all your complements. It is so sad that we have to go through all of this, and that our teachers, who work so hard, have to fear for their jobs. I love all my teachers, and it pains me to think that they may not be around next year. I hope to be able to speak at a board meeting. Mrs. Murphy and Mr. Cuizon, take me with you!!! I would looooooove to go to Sacramento and voice my feelings.
Go teachers, and in the words of my best friend, SOS! Save our Schools!!!

Mrs. Murphy said...

SB You are truly amazing. Thank you for all your support

Anonymous said...

Hey mrs. Murphy!
My mom also, and the rest of mi fam, iz sooooooo proud that i have such i strond oppion in the matter omy education, and mi aunt is showing mi blog posting to all her freinds.
this is a huge issue and i'm glad mi entry was posted cuz i want mi voice to be heard, and i want every one 2 know that i acually care about mi futur
peace people

Anonymous said...

Oh btw....i'm one of your studentsthe one who posted the comment above this one if you havnt caught on already lol.
I agree with every one.......we so totally rock!

Anonymous said...

This blog is proof that our teachers are invaluable! When our students have a better insight into the overall picture of this situation than 'our leaders' in Sacramento!
It makes me crazy that our government is so blind to exactly what is at stake here!

Anonymous said...

i think that this is a very supportive website. the governer should she this and hear us. we are i need of extra curricular activities and other educational things. to the techers that hepled with this, congrats! i'm supporting you guys.

Anonymous said...

sorry for the typo above! i meant "see".