My Marching Friends

I am proud of my marching friends.

Wearing red in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The people taking the message to their government.

The education of our children is OUR future.

We need to invest more. Respect more. Test less.

I started teaching high school biology in 1984.

It was the best department ever. My peers are still my friends.

My next position was in a community college. I was the night shift.

It was lonely, but wonderful.

Then there was middle school. The hardest job ever.

When I finish the book I am writing, I may write Seven Years in Eighth Grade.

My personality in combination with that job ruined my health.

I had my doctor’s cell number.

I have realized that I am a shepherd, not just a teacher.

I know my sheep and they know me.

It started out great. Teams and teamwork. Science budget. Supplies.

TASC training thanks to Duke University and Glaxo-Smith-Cline.

Then came the testing, and charting , and graphing scores.

The money and science disappeared. In its place was testing and testing and testing.

I went back to teaching college again. It was great, but I was tired and damaged.

I cannot go back. This I know.

But my heart is still in the learning, the caring, the science.

I had to leave my sheep to save myself.

So I watch the marchers with hope and guilt.

Hope for better pay, more money for supplies, more respect for all, getting back to the subjects instead of the scores.

These shepherds need help with all those little sheep of OURS.

Our flock is OUR future.