During one of my recent workshops, a group of teachers said, "We can't meet our students' needs. They've cut our budget, increased our class sizes, and shut down our tutoring programs. There's nothing I can do." That's a common refrain today, and I'm not minimizing it. Teaching is more and more challenging, especially in today's educational climate. However, I'm a big believer in control what you can control, and stop focusing on all the problems (please note I'm still in a remedial class learning that lesson myself!). So I was heartened by a note left for me after last week's session on high expectations in Hillsborough County, Florida. Here's what Darren Aguero wrote:
The most important thing I can give a student is free, readily available, and never affected by budget cuts....ENCOURAGEMENT!
Wow--what a perspective in the midst of the challenges.