Fun and creativity wrung from teaching

Risk-taking and creativity are being lost in the new wave of over-evaluating every moment of a teacher's day. Just ask teachers to list effective lessons and projects they no longer have time or energy to do.

In recent years, intergenerational programs were dropped in at least three local communities. Many excuses will be given. Students and seniors benefit tremendously from this enrichment model. Passionate teachers - willing to work many extra hours to make this happen - were forced to abandon it.

In another highly successful model, students choose a topic of interest and are guided in research, then demonstrate their learning to classmates. Many students earning awards at high school graduations were involved in project-based learning since kindergarten.

Why are teachers dropping successful, enriching programs? They must prepare children to take tests of highly questionable value.

Dr. Ellen Langer, professor of Psychology at Harvard University, stated: "…when you have people going to work feeling good about themselves and the work life is exciting for them, fun for them, nurturing for them ... and once we all start feeling less evaluated, that allows us to become more creative, mindful, take more risks."

Over evaluation is one reason passionate teachers are leaving the profession in droves.

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