Her goal had been to teach her students to love the act of learning; to think for themselves and to use critical thinking skills to solve problems, rather than becoming victims of a substandard educational system. Yet, like so many other teachers who desired to implement standards of their own, she found that the government got in the way. State and federal "boards" just didn't care about the individual student --- it was all about test scores, which translates into federal money.
In a concise and emotional video, titled I Quit, You Can't Fire Me, Rubenstein enumerates the reasons she can no longer allow her voice to be stifled. Because she is no longer allowed to impact the learning and the lives of her students, then it is time to pack it in.
I will admit that I am no fan of teacher's unions and feel that far too many poor teachers are protected; teachers who are only too willing to carry out the marching orders of a Progressive educational agenda in our schools. However, I come from a long line of impassioned teachers such as Ms. Rubenstein, and it is quite evident in her video that she took her profession and her students quite seriously. She makes it very clear that she cares more about the people her students will become than the test scores they generate.
The emphasis in education has shifted from fostering academic and personal growth in both students and teachers, to demanding uniformity and conformity.
Real teachers, the ones who care about their students, the ones who teach kids to think critically and not just recite things by rote, are being targeted. Why? Because our public indoctrination centers, also known as schools, don’t want children to think.
They want children to learn specified “facts” in order to pass standardized tests, thus creating perfect little worker bees. They want to produce adults who will not question authority or the status quo, but merely assimilate what they are told as truth, and act accordingly.
Because of this, the school system is losing those teachers who could make a real difference in the future of our country.
She has hit the nail on the head! Whether it is Tea Party groups and the IRS; the freedom of the press to report accurately; or the ability of teachers to influence and shape their students' lives through creative and dynamic teaching --- all of our belief systems and opinions are being targeted to subdue individual and independent thought. It's "shut up and sit down" or you are singled out for retaliation.
When I think about the spirited and inventive teachers that guided my learning, I am sad for this generation of students. School boards across the land are eliminating field trips, guest speakers, and innovative projects because they don't improve test scores.
I had an eighth-grade English teacher that made diagramming sentences fun, if you can imagine that! There was always laughter in her classroom. And a high school English teacher didn't just have us read Alfred, Lord Tennyson and the legends of King Arthur and Camelot. He took us to see Camelot on stage. A history teacher taught us about the Holocaust and took us to see Billy Graham's movie on Corrie Ten Boom and the sacrifice her family made to try and save Jews. All of this would be unthinkable in today's classrooms .... especially any promotion of anything by Billy Graham!
But those episodes affected me profoundly! They gave me a love for poetry and history, and I was able to hear Corrie Ten Boom, herself, speak in a monologue after her movie, and I learned how faith can move mountains.
Our test scores were a matter of pride for ourselves, not a source of revenue for the school district. All opinions and ideas were encouraged, and creativity and originality were championed. Our teachers were allowed to nurture our individual talents and proclivities, and we were inspired to push ourselves to new heights.
Unfortunately, Ellie Rubenstein has not enjoyed the same experiences. So I fear that more teachers will be forced to make the painful decision she made, and leave a profession they loved. But it is not only Ellie's heart that has been broken, it is the spirit of learning and enlightenment within the halls of our public school system. And she's right .... the reality of that is going to be detrimental to the future of our country.
Deuteronomy 32:2 "May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb."