|Join Saranac Lake teacher Maria DeAngelo|
April 17 18, 19, 20 as she walks to Albany through
the Adirondack Park.
How do you solve a problem, like Maria?
If you want to teach children how to solve a problem, no better example exists than my daughter's New York State (NYS) 6th grade public school teacher, Maria DeAngelo. Maria's dynamic approach to teaching is the same in and out of the classroom. She is not just talking the talk, but walking the talk.
Starting on April 17, 2015 Ms. D (Maria) is asking students, teachers, children, administrators and especially the New York State Board of Education and Governor Cuomo to look at public education from the inside out and take a "Walk in Our Shoes."
DeAngelo is hitting the road and walking from Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, through the Adirondacks, to Albany in support of public education.
Maria DeAngelo (Ms. D) is the type of teacher that my children have had the privilege to have every step along the journey of their public school education. In Saranac Lake, Maria is not the exception to great public school educators, but the rule.
Please take a moment out of your life the weekend of April 17th to support NYS children's education. Join Maria and others for a walk through the Adirondack Park from Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Warrensburg to Clifton Park and onto Albany. If you are located along the route, please go outside and cheer her along.
Let the the NYS Board of Education know that children are more than just a test grade or filled-in circle on a standardized test.
Maria is encouraging everyone to come out and walk along for as long or as little as you can to show support for education. Here is why she is taking this 150-mile journey.
* Day 1: Friday 4/17/15 10:20 am to 7 pm) : start Saranac Lake Middle School, Walking Route 86, Old Military Rd. (Lake Placid) and Route 73/Route 9
Day 2: Saturday 4/18 ( ET: 7 am to 7 pm): Walking to Warrensburg along Route 9
Day 3: Sunday 4/19: ( ET: 7 am to 7 pm) Walking toward Clifton Park along Route 9
Day 4: Monday 4/20: ( ET: 7 am to finish) The final leg from Clifton Park to the State Capital, Albany, NY
*Times when Maria will arrive at the stated locations will vary depending on weather conditions.
I am not a public school educator, but I am married to one. My husband is that teacher that has a math club instead of a lunch break. He uses his "summer break" to organize and run free Math Untangled summer workshops. He uses every opportunity to demonstrate to children, students and families that math is an essential skill that is not just learned through homework assignments and handouts.
Blaming the teacher for every child's poor performance is like blaming the dog trainer when the owner doesn't clean up their own dog's waste. Yes, I just compared children to dogs.
I come from a long line of public school teachers. My mother was a 4th grade teacher who still inspires me. Though she taught in a variety of settings thoughout her career, from military-based schools to small rural communities, her creativity and out of the box thinking still brings her past students searching for her. She has received letters from afar from students letting her know the impact she made on their lives.
Isn't that the type of educator we want our children to have? Don't we want to have someone who can gear teaching to reach our children? Standardize testing makes each of our children standard and in some children creates a sense of failure.
When the state mandates that the Common Core is the only way to measure success and ties our educators' performance to those test scores, a one-dimensional learning atmosphere is created. Education needs to be fostered through students, teachers and parental interaction. The narrow focus on standardized tests creates a ripple effect that continues a negative cycle that is stifling learning.
My family will be joining Maria at various stages along her route from Saranac Lake, Lake Placid and on to Albany. I hope you will as well.
I made a decision long ago that I didn't want to walk in the shoes of my mother. Like those of most teachers, her shoes were too difficult to fill.
graphics and artwork are © Diane Chase
© Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™guidebooks have easy Adirondack family hikes, Adirondack swimming holes, Lake Placid Olympic activities, Adirondack trivia, Adirondack horseback rides, Adirondack snowshoe family trails and more. Look for the Adirondack family guidebook online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the next Adirondack Family Activities™ guide.