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We Are Not Broken

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I am a teacher. For over three decades, I have taught in the public school system. Most of the teachers and administrators with whom I have worked have been focused on what is good, what is right, what is important for the students in their charge. The number one priority for all has always been the well-being – present and future – of the children who grace their classrooms.

Our system is not broken. We are not broken. Like any organization, there are areas that require attention, that demand improvement. But our system does not need to be demolished and buried. The work that we do must not be vilified.

I have two college degrees in education. I know educational theory and practice. I live it every day. I have seen programs come and go and come back again in a shinier package. I have watched as experts with little or no experience in this field craft legislation and directives that are meant to guide my instruction. I have watched as their solutions to correct the ills of this system crash and burn. Then, with my colleagues, I have endured the wrath of scorn for the failures produced.

Yet we stand strong and show up again and again, day after day to greet the children in our classrooms. We are not broken.

Public schools exemplify the core principle of our government in that they are “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We accept all students and work tirelessly to meet all of their needs. We take the financially secure and those just getting by. We welcome those with all abilities and all disabilities. We include all who behave and those who disrupt, all who are emotionally stable and those who truly need, but cannot afford, the appropriate services. We do not have the option to turn away students, nor would we ever have the heart to do so.

We arrange the seats of thirty or more children in the best possible manner to accommodate all of their personalities, behaviors, and a myriad of social, emotional, physical, and medical needs. We adjust daily to their moods, their worries, their fears, and the daily experiences from the outside world that they carry on their backs and in their hearts as they join us in the classroom.

Still we are not broken.

There is no other profession that I would ever want to call my own. I know I have made a difference in the lives of so many students. I’ve had a part in creating doctors and nurses and accountants and clerks and engineers… They’ve all grown up. They’ve all found success in their lives. They’ve all made me proud.

Some have even become teachers themselves. I pray they will experience the same joy I have been rewarded in my career. I pray they will stand strong – unbroken.

Teachers within the public school must be afforded the respect they are due. They are intelligent, compassionate, creative individuals who are developing the heroes of the future. Allow them to take flight and to use their talents to make the changes that so desperately need to be made…

Unbroken.

Copyright, Tim Ramsey, 2017.

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Tim Ramsey has been an educator since 1983.  He taught middle school and high school for 15 years and served as a school administrator for 15 years before retiring in 2013.  He returned to the classroom where he now teaches writing to seventh graders by day and reading to college freshmen by night.  Tim is an avid writer and has been featured in five Chicken Soup for the Soul compilations.  In addition he has received first place honors from the Arizona English Teachers Association for its annual “Teachers as Writers Contest.”

  • Guest
    Dawn, Western Savings and Loan Friend Saturday, 04 February 2017

    Tim, I knew you way but when you were just in college, I knew then what a amazing person you were and would be. Thank you for always being there for the children and putting them first. I'm proud of the teacher you have become but all the great children you have influenced .

  • Guest
    Tim Ramsey Saturday, 04 February 2017

    Thank you, Dawn. I appreciate you kind words. I love my job and am proud of all the children who have blessed my life.

  • Guest
    Guest Sunday, 05 February 2017

    Thank you for saying this: " I have watched as experts with little or no experience in this field craft legislation and directives that are meant to guide my instruction. I have watched as their solutions to correct the ills of this system crash and burn. Then, with my colleagues, I have endured the wrath of scorn for the failures produced."

    We have been too trusting and too patient with these pseudo-experts. The real experts are teachers.

  • Guest
    Tim Ramsey Sunday, 05 February 2017

    Thank you!!

  • Guest
    Ali Shuaibu Maianguwa Sunday, 05 February 2017

    Thanks. It's quite inspiring!

  • Guest
    Tim Ramsey Sunday, 05 February 2017

    Thank you!

  • Guest
    Ali Shuaibu Maianguwa Sunday, 05 February 2017

    Thanks. It's quite inspiring!

  • Guest
    Kristin Hahn Monday, 06 February 2017

    Thank you, thank you, thank you...at times the stress and strain of the enormous responsibility and demands we shoulder as public educators seems so overwhelming. Yet we are not broken! We dare not give in...loving our students too much to let them down.

  • Tim Ramsey | @PlutoTim
    Tim Ramsey | @PlutoTim Monday, 06 February 2017

    Thank YOU! Indeed, We Are NOT Broken!

  • Guest
    Marsha Nelson Tuesday, 07 February 2017

    I am one of the lucky ones that have been able to teach with Tim and see him work his magic every day. This needs to become our nationwide mantra in the fight to keep public education. We Are Not Broken. Thanks, Tim.

  • Guest
    Tim Ramsey Tuesday, 07 February 2017

    Thank you, Marsha. I was fortunate to have worked with you! Thank you for all of the support through the years. We Are Not Broken!

  • Guest
    Delphi Sunday, 26 February 2017

    Powerful but words so true. Especially having gone through the System of education in India, I absolutely agree with you. The American system needs improvement and modification, BUT it's Absolutely NOT broken!

  • Tim Ramsey | @PlutoTim
    Tim Ramsey | @PlutoTim Sunday, 26 February 2017

    Thank you Delphina! And thank you for your work with our special needs children!

  • Guest
    Melissa McCusker Sunday, 26 February 2017

    Hi Tim. Thanks for sharing this inspirational story! I believe, live and see what you have written every day. I am happy to say that I, too, know pubic education in NOT BROKEN. Thanks again for your words!

  • Tim Ramsey | @PlutoTim
    Tim Ramsey | @PlutoTim Sunday, 26 February 2017

    Thank you, Melissa! Your work with children is appreciated!!

  • Guest
    Cindy Wiste Sunday, 26 February 2017

    Absolutely brilliant.Cheered every word. Thank you♡

  • Tim Ramsey | @PlutoTim
    Tim Ramsey | @PlutoTim Sunday, 26 February 2017

    Thank you, Cindy! Thank you for all you do for children!

  • Guest
    Larry Billar Sunday, 19 March 2017

    Spot-on, Sir! Thank you for describing experiences we apparently share. It is interesting, that in spite of not having all the latest in "best practices," our students still turn out pretty good. Preach it, Brother Tim!

    Take care!

  • Tim Ramsey | @PlutoTim
    Tim Ramsey | @PlutoTim Sunday, 19 March 2017

    Thank you, Larry for your positive feedback! I agree, our kids do great things despite the lack of supplies and up-to-date technology, etc. Their teachers do a pretty good job as well! Thank you for reading my words!

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Guest Saturday, 19 August 2017