Sometimes it feels as if public education is under siege. Lately the education news has been mostly about reductions in school funding and the Education Commissioner’s latest privatization effort, Learn Everywhere. But it’s important to stop now and then and celebrate all the good things happening in our public schools. A recent column in the Concord Monitor, by former teacher-of-the-year Heidi Crumrine, did just that.
Ms Crumrine began with a description of kindergarten, which her own child attended this year.
“They dug in the dirt, they went to Beech Hill Farm for ice cream, they built towers with blocks, and they played with dolls in doll houses. They learned to count by exploring outside and gathering sticks and leaves, they learned to read by playing with letters (sometimes with green peppers, apparently), and they learned to be kind friends through listening to stories.”
Then she continued with many examples of creative, enriching, and supportive activities and programs experienced by students in her district, including (and this is just a sample):
- elementary school students attending a week-long multi-disciplinary STEM exploration of Mars held at the high school
- a Destination Imagination team going to the Global Finals in Kansas City, Mo.
- four sold-out performances of The Addams Family, by the high school performing arts dept.
- 16 students accepted to participate in the All-State Musical Festival
- the Care Closet at the middle school, providing food and supplies to needy students and families, operated with the help of student volunteers
- unified sports teams pairing special ed students with non-special ed students to compete in events with other schools
- English Language Learners passing their English proficiency tests
- A student crediting a teacher who stuck by her side throughout her struggle with attendance issues, helping her to finally graduate from the Adult Education program
As Ms. Crumrine said, “There is so much good.” Multiply her examples by 167 (the number of districts in NH) and that’s a huge amount of good!