Screw the Data

A teacher came to pick her kids up from my class today.  She was frustrated about some new grid they are making everyone fill out with some sort of data.   Hours and hours this will take.  Great.  Because classroom teachers don’t have enough stuff to do.  I empathized with her as I remembered the data that I too am required to take and enter on a grid at some point this year.  “When do we TEACH?!” she asked me with sad, hopeless eyes.  She is a veteran teacher.  I said I was sorry.

Flash back to this morning when I was driving in to school.  As I sat at a stoplight waiting for the light, I tried to pinpoint exactly what kind of mood I was in and what kind of music would match it.  I turned on Pandora Radio and found a 1990’s pop station (because it is the soundtrack to my adolescent/teenage/young adult LIFE) and this song came on.  And I sat up in my seat and my heart began to race and I cranked that mother freaking stereo UP and I ROCKED OUT.

Flash forward to my house this evening, where three out of the four of us (whoever is not on dishwashing duty) congregate after dinner.  No T.V. – just the radio and a wide open dance space.  And I turn Pandora on again.  And this song comes on.  And Amelia and I are yelling and jumping and wailing and spinning.  And sweating.  And she is doing her best to sing along even though she has no idea what we are listening to.  And for me it’s 1995 again and I am lost in the past and a sea of happiness.

Not once – NOT EVEN ONCE EVER IN MY SOUL – have I thought back on my life as a lover and a teacher and a conduit of music, and remembered how a test measured me up.  Screw the data.  If that makes me a crappy teacher, then so be it.  These kids growing up?  They have a soul too.  And it is dying a slow, pitiful death with every filled-in bubble and click of a mouse.

Long live the music!  Set the children free!  Give them an extra long recess and shove them down in the dirt and they will THANK US for it!

I dare you.  Go ahead now.


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