The United States has nearly 100,000 public schools, 55 million elementary and secondary students and 2.5 million public school teachers in large, small, urban, suburban and rural districts. Those statistics don't include the 84,000 students in the 94 DODDS schools on American military bases in 14 districts located in 12 foreign countries, seven states, Guam, and Puerto Rico, with about 8,700 teachers who teach a highly mobile student population.
The last few years, politicians and the media have targeted America's teachers and laid at their feet the blame of the nation for its failed domestic policies, for the poor test scores of a student population where 22% of America's children live in poverty. And it breaks my heart to see these professionals treated this way.
I have to admit some bias here as I am a former teacher. I have dealt with America's education system since 1991, when my son entered kindergarten at a DODDs school in Wiesbaden, Germany. After my son graduated from high school, my job took my daughter and I up and down the Eastern seaboard as I searched for employment during the recession. She has transferred schools every year of her educational career. She is entering the 9th grade, with records from 10 different schools in 5 different states. We, my children and I, experienced private and public education, wealthy school districts as well as schools where 86% of the student population fell below the poverty line. While we did come across a dud once in a while, for the most part, our teachers were well educated, dedicated, sacrificial and did amazing things with next to nothing. When I sat down and counted the number of teachers that participated in my children's lives, I realized that I had along the way 84 dedicated partners with me to aid me in my efforts to raise responsible, reliable and intelligent citizens.
If you read this far, thank you for staying with me because I'm going somewhere with all of that introduction.
There are a lot of Bloggers out there who do some really great stuff. And their work or their words make you glad you found their sites. I have been following Michele's blog, Quilts From My Crayon Box because she leads a crazy busy life, makes beautiful quilts and keeps things real.
She's been writing from time to time about some quilts she was making for her children's teachers, the details, the struggles, the amount of work, etc. etc. And I thought, oh, that's nice. She's making some wall hangings. Well last night, she posted her reveal photos after she gave the quilts to the teachers yesterday on the last day of school. Amazing! Michele made full size quilts for these teachers and each of them are works of art. My eyes welled with tears when I saw how much work and care she put into these quilts and the depth of gratitude she demonstrated to these educators.
Please visit Michele's blog and let her know you also appreciate her work.