I read this on Angela Powell's awesome blog, The Cornerstone Blog. I love what she writes, I love how she thinks, and I love that even though she teaches littler ones that the issues we encounter overlap as much as they do--the meta-issues of pedagogy and learning....Here she is:
It seems like teaching is getting harder because it IS: we’re attempting to reach more kids than we used to, and address a wider variety of issues and needs. It’s critical for educators to understand the magnitude of what we’re attempting without letting the results overwhelm us. Low-performing students from ‘the wrong side of the tracks’ and those with learning problems are no longer siphoned off into special education classrooms while we wait for them to drop out. As much as we bemoan the pitfalls of NCLB, in our daily practice we are in fact attempting to leave no child behind—not even the ones who WANT to be left to their own devices, or who don’t have the cognitive or emotional capabilities to try. And the 3 R’s are just the tip of the 21st century iceberg: we want our kids to graduate with technological and communication skills, well-developed creativity, interactive problem-solving abilities, financial savvy, an applied understanding of personal health and nutrition, environmental awareness…and the list is growing every year. We are trying to do it all, and we’re expected to succeed. Yet we cannot become discouraged when our students, our administrators, or we ourselves fail to achieve an increasingly impossible mission. When teachers become overwhelmed, the cycle of learning and growth is stopped cold.