Governor should see what’s going on at Mohonasen
I am writing this letter to The Daily Gazette because I’m not sure if Gov. Cuomo reads letters sent to his office. As our governor, I hope he reads the opinion column and understands my thoughts. I mean no disrespect because I have a high regard for anyone who runs for office in our country. I feel Gov. Cuomo is being unfair to teachers as most are dedicated.
I would like him to visit the Mohonasen School District where I have worked as a teacher aide and now a teacher assistant for over 20 years. I’m proud of our district as we have grown every year and have never been stagnant. At this time, I am a teacher assistant at H.L. Bradt Elementary School. I’ve been here over 12 years, and our school goes from kindergarten to second grade. This is where the foundation of education starts.
Bradt is a school with a creative and inspiring faculty. Their goal is to try to motivate every student, no matter where they are academically. The purpose is to change the world for the better by educating students to the best of their ability. Their hope is this will have a part in aiding them to a better life after they graduate, as education empowers them. I don’t want to forget the teacher aides and assistants who are also very dedicated to our students.
At Bradt, we have a computer lab for each child to do research, language arts, math, reading and a host of other things. Computer classes motivate every child and do not discriminate. I invite our governor to come and see the other tools we have like the interactive boards that classrooms have, and in the computer lab as well.
Our science lab for grades 1 and 2 is outstanding as students learn about habitats, our solar system, rock formations, volcanoes, and butterflies. The second grade class receives a kit in which each student will have its own butterfly to release into the outdoor environment when their butterfly emerges from its chrysalis. These are only a few of the many things happening in the science department at our school.
Bradt has a super guidance counselor who goes to the classes and talks about bullying, respect, kindness, giving, thankfulness, and the list goes on. She also sees students in small groups who have specials needs. Mohonasen parents can be proud their children are in a school system that is progressive and nurturing.
Again, Gov. Cuomo, please visit and you will be impressed. My four grown children graduated from Mohonasen and each has a career. Today, they lead productive lives thanks to a school district and its teachers.
Governor: Know what’s really going on in schools
Dear Gov. Cuomo: I would like to comment on some of your “proposals” regarding your attempt to increase student performance in both math and ELA skills in our great state.
Like you, I am college educated, have a European immigrant family background, was an elected official for many years, and have failed a few civil service tests.
Unlike you, I have spent many hours in Pre-K to 12th grade classrooms in six upstate school districts as both a teacher’s aide and substitute. Thus, I feel qualified in forwarding you my remarks/recommendations in how to improve upon student performance, especially in “priority schools” or schools that are failing.
In my experience, I have not seen one teacher in the six school districts that I service who is not doing his/her job. What I do see is more testing than teaching. Behavioral issues not being properly being cared for due to the lack of trained staff. These behavioral issues are taking time away from the behaved and properly-parented students, thus lowering their ability to learn.
Teachers are not baby-sitters. They are not parents to their students. They are educators trying to teach their students the skills they will need to succeed in life and become productive members of our society, our communities. Listen to your mother and her mentoring committee established back in 1987 when they suggested a one-on-one mentoring program.
What many of our schools need is more one-on-one support for students who have a behavioral issues and learning disabilities, which prevent them from learning at the same pace as the other students. Don’t be afraid of taking them out of the “main stream” and giving them some additional attention so that they can learn and not hold back the others that are fortunate to be OK.
These students may be able to be brought back into the “main stream” if their progress warrants. Don’t be afraid to take the most often dreaded move of condemning those parents (electorate) who do not take an active participation in their child’s (children’s) education. Too much emphasis is being spent on making sure that the teacher is held accountable than making sure that the parents are being held accountable. I agree that ineffective teachers should be removed from the classroom. However, what is your proposal on how to deal with dead beat/ineffective parents?
You and I both know, you having raised two daughters and I three, that parent involvement is essential to the learning process of our children. When this is lacking you have chaos in the classroom because some students just don’t want to learn because at home no one cares to encourage, and if they can, teach them to learn. It is easier to blame another than one’s self.
Most, if not all, teaching colleges have an internship program (Proposal No. 36). Stop Charter Schools from taking the “cream” of the student crop (Proposal No. 48 proposed anti-creaming legislation). I support both Proposals No. 52 and No. 53, which deal with providing monies for Pre-K. Of course, I highly support your mother’s past committee’s initiative or Proposal No. 54, one-on-one mentoring program. In fact I would like to be considered for the commission.
Gov. Cuomo, please involve the teachers and the public in your decisions that affect our students. Remember all of us are taxpayers and, respectfully, your boss. If you really want to improve our educational system, I would highly recommend that you spend some quality time in schools throughout our great state and see for yourself what is or is not happening.
You will be amazed. It was some two-and-half-years ago when I decided to get involved in our educational system during my retirement years.
William D. Wills
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