It's teacher hunting season!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Teachers Vicki Soto, Kaitlin Roig, Both Real Heros, One a Martyr in Newtown, Connecticut

In this era of shaming of teachers, people should extend their greatest appreciation to public school teachers and other school personnel who zealously shielded or guarded students from the gunman in yesterday's shooting at the Sandy Hook elementary school, in suburban Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut. The heroism of these teachers should give pause to those making a career of attacking teachers.
Teacher Victoria Soto made the ultimate sacrifice for her students. The New York Daily News reported that the first-grade teacher put herself between her students and the shooter, shielding them from his bullets. She hid her students in closets. In the end, she was a victim to the killer's bullets. She told the shooter that her students were in the gym. He shot her and moved on. As the children were hiding in the closet, they survived.
She had been a dedicated teacher. Her only complaint, a neighbor said, was her long commute from her Stratford home. Just earlier that day, she had visited the school librarian, looking for a book for her class, on the things that animals can do.

* * *

ABC News broadcast lengthy excerpts of an interview with first-grade teacher Kaitlin Roig. She saved her students by locking them with her in the classroom's bathroom, pulling a file cabinet to additionally block the door.

Roig and her colleagues are union members and career teachers. Let this not be forgotten, along with their valiant courage and heroism in selflessly protecting the children.

UPDATE:
MICHELLE RHEE EXPLOITS THE TRAGEDY OF THE SCHOOL SHOOTING:
South Bronx School blogger writes on the need to put the valiance of these teachers in the perspective of how they are evaluated, as well as Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst's exploiting the tragedy to say that the attack strengthened the group's resolve to reform Connecticut schools:
Our children are our most valuable assets, and we lost too many of them today. . . .
But events like these also strengthen our resolve to do exactly that -- improve schools for children and thereby improve entire communities. The entire StudentsFirst organization -- including the members of our team in Connecticut -- recommit ourselves to that mission today . . . .
[--Rhee's StudentsFirst Facebook site]
[Perhaps Rhee's vulgar Freudian slip of seeing children as assets for corporate schemes will be her McCarthy v. Army that will prompt people to ask, Have you no shame?]
Both these teachers are heroes in their own way. Both these teachers did something extraordinary that cannot be measured with a test, with a piece of paper, with an observation. They did something that none of us put in their situation have no idea what we would do.

If their acts (and I am not omitting any other acts of bravery yesterday, just only know of these two thus far), are the ultimate acts, the very definition of effective teachers, what then would have become of them if they were subject to VAM as whether or not they are effective.

Now, I do not know what the new evaluation system in Connecticut consists of. I can only speak for what is coming or might come in NYC. [Ed.: read this post at NYCDOENUTS.] But what these teachers showed is what happens in schools all over the country in one way or another every day. Intangibles that are so subjective there is no way to measure.
Recounting these teachers' heroism, the Perdido Street School blog similarly put the valiance of teachers against the larger backdrop of the societal attack on teachers.
Reading these details, I couldn't help but wonder, will these acts of heroism be taken into account by Governor Malloy and his education reformers when they calculate the value-added measurements for these teachers?

I also couldn't help but ask myself, how many hedge fund managers/education reformers would selflessly sacrifice themselves to try and save children the way these educators did?

Most days, the media and the politicians are busy trashing teachers as lazy, greedy incompetents in need of a little "fire" to their feet to motivate them

But yesterday you saw the dedication and sacrifice and love that teachers in this country have for their students.

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