Having “Spirit” on Women’s Day 

In March of 2015, I aged out of the Miss America organization. It wasn’t a pageant I ever did well in, but the pageants were inexpensive enough that I could do a few, they were local, and I enjoyed doing them with all my friends. When I grew too old, I thought my main competition days were over, so I looked for something else to do.
Pageantry changed my life. Truly. Those who knew me in high school or college have seen the change. I’m not shy. I actually care about my appearance. I’m more well spoken. More outgoing. Just overall a better individual. I wanted to give back to the community that shaped me, so I decided I wanted to run a pageant. A small community pageant. I’m not sure where I came up with Miss Spirit of New York, I know I was looking for a title that didn’t exist.

I had no clue what kind of interest I would have, so I booked a small room thinking that if I didn’t have girls and couldn’t have a pageant, I would just have a party. I just wanted to hold something small, for the sake of having a pageant, that would give me experience if I wanted to run a local for another bigger pageant. I had a hard time getting contestants. I held a photo contest that no one signed up for. I made a Facebook page that didn’t have many followers. The pageant was August 1, and it was the middle of June and I only had 6 people for all three divisions (junior, teen and Miss). To my surprise, the month leading up to the pageant, everyone started signing up. Pageant day had 18 ladies.

After Miss Spirit of New York 2015 happened, I had a lot of positive feedback. People wanted more. Thus, Miss Spirit of the USA was born. This happened in February 2016 and 23 ladies came to compete for the titles.

My first 2 pageants didn’t have a lot of drama. Sure, I had some issues with sash and crown companies over little things, but I was still a small enough pageant that people didn’t see me as “threatening” and quite frankly I didn’t want people to see me as that. I just wanted to run a pageant. I just want to give girls opportunities.

My first year of directing was sunshine and rainbows. After Miss Spirit of the USA happened, I started to learn about the downsides of directing and how things can’t be perfect all the time no matter how hard you try. I learned that not everyone will support you. I learned that people that used to like you, when they see you as a threat, will not like you anymore. When I started competing, I lost a lot of friends who didn’t support me. Now that I direct and am growing, I am losing director friends. People who see me as competition. People who see me as a threat. Instead of supporting one another, it’s become a contest. Which is sad. I have lots of pageants that I think are great that I would recommend people do. And unfortunately some that I’ve had such a bad experience with, that it pains me to see people sign up for them.

One director wanted me to send my winners to their pageant and use mine as a prelim for theirs. I politely declined since Spirit of New York leads to Spirit of the USA, but I said I would happily direct a local for their system separate from mine. That wasn’t good enough. They accused me of rigging my pageant and told my winners they had “fake titles” with a “nothing pageant” and then deleted me.

Another director, whom I competed IN their pageant last year, started poaching my titleholders. And what I mean by that is that I couldn’t post anything without this person immediately friending my titleholders and telling them to do their pageant. Once again, I’m perfectly happy to support other systems. However, in this case, this director does not support me my system whatsoever, and was using me simply to boost themselves. In the last year, I invited their titleholders to my appearances numerous times.  That was never reciprocated. I offered to make jewelry for their contestant bags. They said no. When I competed in their pageant, I was told by the auditor “scores were all over the place” and she was surprised herself (the auditor) that I didn’t win. After I competed in this pageant, the director deleted me from the private pageant group almost immediately. I joked about competing again when I saw the director in person, who knew the weekend of this years pageant was my boyfriends birthday weekend, who said “no, you should probably spend it with him” aka don’t compete. For my own sanity, I finally deleted this person from my Facebook, who in return has blocked me from all forms of social media and their pageant. Some of my titleholders keep asking me if I’m going to that pageant which is just really uncomfortable. This pageant dislikes me merely for my existence.

I tend to dwell on the negatives a lot more than the positives this last year. I’ve lost 2 titleholders (crowned that gave it up), I’ve had to put on a smile on when getting yelled at by people, try to please everyone who complains I don’t travel enough to other areas. I’ve had to try to keep the system together when sometimes it feels like it’s falling. Directing is stressful. There is no two ways about it.

But it is also incredibly rewarding. I love each and every one of my titleholders so much. I’m not about business (although sometimes that bites me) but I’m about sisterhood. Every year, girls come back to compete. Two, three, four times. Because I’ve focused on building girls up, and I certainly try my hardest to do that and make everyone happy. My girls can compete anywhere (knowing if they win a binding title they have to give mine up per the other pageant rules) but my pageant is about opportunities. All I’ve ever wanted out of directing is to give young women opportunities. I am giving out the presidential service award this year at my pageant as just one other opportunity because to me, that’s what it’s about. Spirit of the USA isn’t until July but I already have 41 people signed up, and will reach my limit well before the pageant deadline. It amazes me how much I have grown. I truly just love this pageant. If you’ve been to a spirit pageant, the joke is I always cry, because I just love the system and my titleholders so much. I’ve said this many times, but a pageant doesn’t happen without people who believe in it and want to be invoved.

In the Spirit of International Women’s Day, I thought now would be a good time to remind everyone, myself included, what pageantry is really about. It’s not about prizes. It’s not about numbers. It’s not about how famous you’ll be after you win. It’s not about how big or small your system is. It’s about empowering women and young girls. It’s about building up ladies with their confidence and self esteem. It’s about growing as an individual. That is what pageantry is about, and it is my hope that starting today, all of us can remember the true “spirit” of pageantry and continue to work to build up instead of tear down. If we’re all in this for the right reason, it shouldn’t be a competition. It should be everyone working for a common goal, since sashes and crowns, regardless of system, are all made of the same thing.

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Pageant World Peace 

World peace. That’s the stereotypical pageant girl answer to a question. What all girls apparently want. But what doesn’t seem to be what everyone wants is pageant world peace.

What does that mean exactly? I mean peace among pageant girls. Peace among pageant systems.

To the general public, there’s Miss USA, or Miss America. The ones you see on tv. But the fact of the matter is that there’s literally hundreds of pageants out there. Large ones. Small ones. Scholarship based. Modeling based. Glitz. Natural. You name it, there’s a pageant for it, and probably 10 pageants with the same name.

When I first got into pageants, it seemed like everyone got along. Granted I knew nothing about the pageant scene, so maybe I was just naive, but up until 2 years ago, it seemed like everything was fine in pageant land. Girls could compete in different systems, and have friends in other systems. I’ve made some of my best friends throughout competing in a variety of systems.

But recently, it’s all changed. And I don’t like it. When I look up pageants to do myself, I read their contracts. And some of them horrify me. Some pageant systems don’t let their titleholders support other pageants, watch other pageants as visiting royalty, or even be friends with girls that have titles outside their system. It’s actually scary how many pageants have that rule. Pageantry should be a sisterhood, not a cult. I am always inviting girls and friends from other systems to my community service opportunities because I believe we all have a common goal.

On the other hand is the director side. I will be the first to admit I have not gotten along with other pageant directors. Some directors, that have been upset merely because my pageant exists, have said unkind things about me, my pageant, and my titleholders. And I will also be the first to admit that I have had negative experiences at certain pageants. But never have I said to anyone, “no, you’re not allowed to sign up for a pageant.” or “that pageant is just bad.” I have given my personal experiences with a pageant or director, both good or bad, on occasions, mostly when someone asks for it. It is definitely difficult at this time where I’m both competing and directing, and giving my honest opinion can be twisted into me bashing everyone. So I’ve laid low with that. I am sure someone has something negative to say about my system, but if that was the case, I would love constructive criticism on how to improve it for the future.

At this point, I wish for peace. Pageant world peace. I wish all pageant girls could get along. I wish there wasn’t rules that banned girls from doing appearances with other systems. I wish all directors, while we may not all get along with each other for whatever reason, could at least coexist without major issues. I want to put all differences behind me,  and I hope other directors or pageant girls could as well. Pageantry already has a bad reputation without adding negatives to the mix. I have cleared out my facebook these last few months of those that have caused me pain and issues, but I wish it didn’t even have to come to that.

Girls shouldn’t be competing with each over who does a better appearance, who does more, etc. Directors shouldn’t be competing with each to get contestants, talking bad about other directors and spreading lies. If we all have the common goal to help others, it shouldn’t be a competition among each system. It should be all of us supporting each other as best we can. I started a pageant simply because I love pageantry, I love planning events, and I love giving girls opportunities. My girls don’t have a non compete clause. As long as they complete their required appearances with me (and not win a binding title pageant) they can continue to compete to get experience and build confidence and friendships. And I wish I lived in a pageant world where I could share other pageants for them to do.

From this point forward I’m only spreading positivity, and I hope everyone else in the pageant world can as well. We don’t have to agree, we don’t have to like each other, but we should all live in peace. Life is too short to live negatively, and I encourage you, if you’re a pageant director or contestant, to reach out if you would like to help and support each other.

#PositivePageantry

**this blog is not directed towards any individual, pageant etc. while I have experienced this personally myself, I also know many girls going through this, as well as other directors.

Making a pageant director.

Throughout my pageant career, I’ve always gotten the question, “why did you start?” and it’s always been the same answer; I watched Miss Congeniality too many times, saw info on Miss Altamont Fair, wasn’t eligible, googled pageants, signed up for the first one I found (Miss NYUSA) and the rest is history. But lately, the question has been, “so why do you direct?” Here’s the rundown on how that happened…


I love event planning. It’s such a passion of mine that I’ve always considered taking wedding planning courses to be certified as a part time thing or starting a business if teaching never worked out. I truly love to plan things and events and planning the pageant is so much fun (and stressful at times, but mostly fun and very rewarding). From the little details like the door tags to bigger things like sponsor bags and trying to coordinate an opening number, planning makes me happy.

I love giving. Anyone who knows me well knows Christmas is my favorite holiday because I just love to give. Or ask my boyfriend; he will tell you that I buy him things all the time just because, because I love giving and I love to spoil. By directing a pageant, I can enjoy my love of giving, just because I enjoy making people smile.

Girl Scouts. Back in the day, I was a Girl Scout for about 10 years. Being a Girl Scout was such a positive experience for me, and in my college years, I wanted to be a Girl Scout leader. I didn’t have enough time to run meetings, but running a pageant for me is like being a Girl Scout leader without the difficulty of meetings, but still building a sisterhood and completing service. And might I add, the Spirit sisterhood is strong. (Shoutout to my old troop leaders; you’re inspirations)


I love pageants. Obviously a no brainer. I’ve learned so much in my five years of competing that I started this pageant as my way of giving back to the pageant community that has taught me so much. Some have called me a crown chaser. I do admit I have competed in probably 10 different systems, in addition to smaller pageants. But I did that to see what each system was like, how they differed, and if I could find one I would go back to. I learned a lot from jumping through various systems. And I didn’t win any of them so I didn’t think it was a problem to compete in different ones. And if I did, I would stay loyal to the title. Especially being a director, I’ve learned the value and respect of being loyal to a title after seeing what directors do for everyone. But, I just love pageants. Deciding to start competing was the best decision I could’ve made. Tied with directing, of course.

I’ve had negative experiences. I’ll be honest, I’ve done some BAD pageants. And these aren’t bad because I didn’t win. They were bad because I spent a lot of money to get a director not know my name the entire weekend (and I’m not talking USA, I’m talking a small pageant with just a few in my division). Or bad because the directors were talking horribly about their current titleholders in front of all the contestants. Bad because it was straight up rigged and every single person walked away confused. Bad because the directors didn’t care about the contestants, they only cared about putting on a show. While I have had more positives than negatives, I’ve had experiences that I regret and I wanted to be the pageant to change what I’ve seen. I want to be the pageant that makes you forget about any negative experience you’ve had.


I’ve had positive experiences. There have been a handful of amazing individuals I’ve met while being a competitor that are my inspirations. Laura, former director for Miss Hudson Valley/Westchester; Rene, long time pageant director and owner of Beauty It’s Everywhere, and Stacey, pageant coach and director of New England’s Perfect, are just a few of the many. Each of these individuals truly cares. They don’t have ulterior motives, they don’t try to scam you, and they are very pleasant and friendly people. These are individuals, among others, in the pageant community that I look up to, respect, and strive to be like. Inspirations behind starting my own. In addition to positive directors, I’ve met more ladies than I can count that have turned into sisters and friends. Pageants shouldn’t be catty, so I created a system based around friendship.

I love to do my own thing. A few people and other directors have asked why I started my own system instead of just teaming up or directing for one already well established. Few reasons for this; I enjoy working at my own pace, I don’t want to deal with franchise fees, or charge people ridiculous amounts to compete. I truly don’t see the idea behind that. I mean, I get why pageants want everyone to wear the same swimsuit or opening outfit, but in the long run, does that really matter? I would rather charge the minimal amount and let everyone who wants the chance to compete on a national stage be able to afford it and have fun in the process. I also don’t want to partner with anyone because I’ve seen way too many partnerships end badly, and honestly, I work better by myself. I play to my strengths, and working by myself helps me to focus.

I want to make a difference and inspire. At the end of the day, I just want to give girls positive experiences with pageantry. I’ve learned a lot in the last year and a half, and I’ve grown myself in the process. I know I haven’t had 100 percent success; try as I might, there will always be someone that didn’t have a good time, is upset they didn’t win, and not everything runs smoothly. I know there are people, and other pageants, that don’t support me, and that is okay. The pros always outweigh the cons. In one year, I have grown from just a small state pageant to a larger state pageant with a national pageant as well. I have over 35 active local, state and national titleholders. Every one of them is special and important.

I am a pageant director, I am proud, and I am #SpiritStrong.

What you learn directing a pageant. 

I’ve done a lot of soul searching after directing a national pageant. I’ve honestly been in a bad place because I let some negatives outweigh the positives. I’ve let my niceness become my weakness. I dwelled on a few peoples unhappiness instead of the majority’s happiness. I thought about giving up and saying no more.

I’ve been competing for five years. It’s been great. I’ve lost more than I’ve won (crowns) but I’ve gained tons of confidence, speaking skills, and a lot of friends. I wanted to pay it forward by starting my own pageant. Most people only see the positives because that’s all I ever post on social media. What most people, contestants included, don’t know, is what really happens behind the scenes. I’m sure anyone that has directed a pageant can relate. I definitely have more respect for those I competed under after directing my own and seeing what actually goes into it, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

1. You might burn bridges 

When I decided to start my own pageant a year ago, I was so excited. I had finally crossed over a threshold into something amazing and special. Directing my first pageant was a huge accomplishment, which led me to do another one on a bigger scale.

What I didn’t expect was to see the support I DIDNT receive from those that were actually the inspiration of me starting it in the first place. Directors that I looked up to stopped talking to me because I started taking contestants away from them. Is that my intention? Not at all. People (myself included) compete in all types of systems. They try one thing, then do another. I’ve been called a crown chaser before because I’ve done multiple systems. FYI, I do it because each pageant is different, and how do you know which one is right for you if you don’t try it?

Anyway, it’s really bugged me the fact that I feel like I’m competing with other directors. Aren’t we supposed to empower each other? Girls that have done mine are doing others. Should I stop talking to them now? Not a chance. Each pageant is different. Some are strictly for putting on a show. Some are for profit. Some are scholarship and charge hundreds to give hundreds out. Some are just to advance to something bigger.  Mine is to create a family and give girls a low cost but fun experience. That is my mission and what I stand by.

2. Not everyone will be happy

I’ve learned that no matter what, not everyone is going to be happy. Directing a pageant is like planning a wedding where every contestant is a separate bride. No matter how hard I try, and lord knows I try, I will never make every single person happy. But, know that I truly work day and night to make this event a success and fun experience for everyone involved. Whether someone is upset they don’t win, have transportation or hotel trouble, wardrobe trouble…I need to just remember sometimes things are out of my control and I at least did everything in my power to give everyone a positive experience. Sometimes, things just happen. My weakness is that I care too much and need to realize that in an event with 25 people coming to it, it’s impossible to have 100 percent satisfaction.

3. Businesses will let you down 

I almost didn’t have crowns or sashes for the national pageant. I had so many struggles I almost just threw in the towel. The sash company, that I’ve used for about a year now, made a few mistakes and tried to make it up by upgrading my other orders without my knowledge. I had already had a Miss national sash with a single row of rhinestones, and then they upgraded the rest I recently ordered to double. While that was nice, it wasn’t uniform. They told me to send the Miss sash back so they could add more rhinestones. Fast forward a few weeks later, I received the Miss sash back in the same condition I sent it in…

In October I ordered the last 4 crowns of the design I wanted from a crown company. They emailed me saying two that they had were cracked so they would send me the ones they had and order more for the next month. Fast forward to January when I still hadn’t heard from the company so I reached out. Turns out the company switched ownership, and my situation wasn’t communicated to anyone. I had to find my emails and paypal transfer to show proof. Obviously the crowns I needed weren’t ordered and if they didn’t I wouldn’t have them in time. So, I sadly had to change up my plans and use a smaller crown of the same design for 4/5 of my divisions.

4. Sponsors will not be happy 

I really try to keep everything positive when it comes to the businesses that donate item for my pageant. I’ve only ever had one major issue, but because I take everything personally, it really hurt. My one sponsor from out of New York was not happy with the pictures I sent her, which included; pictures of all the girls from the contestant party, the winners, the sponsor table, girls using their products, the program book that had her in it, and the gift bags in my spare room as they were being put together. Alas, the woman was not happy. She “sponsored the gift bags” so that’s all she cares about. Over a month later I’m still not sure what kind of picture she wanted, but after sending a very nasty message to me, she deleted the photos I did send her from her social media. And that’s that.

5. You learn to take baby steps 

I didn’t expect this pageant to grow overnight, but I also underestimated how some would view it. I reached out to quite a few people when I first started, because I needed to recruit and get word out. I got a lot of “no.” On the reverse side, I got an outpour of interest, but because I am not a Miss America or Miss USA local, most don’t think my pageant is worth it. Other pageants offer thousands in scholarship money or extravagant trips for the winners, but you need to pay at least $500 entry plus extras for optionals plus extra for an ad page. I try to offer the least expensive and fun experience with no drama and a fair event.

I have learned people will compete for the wrong reasons. People will sign up, then drop out. People will give a million excuses over everything. People will say they support you when they really don’t.

I am taking a step back to really think about things. I’m only 25 years old, I’m not someone with decades of experience. I am only into my fifth year of being in the pageant world. I am just someone wanting to help girls make a difference in the world. In doing so, I put my own money into the event. I don’t require mandatory ads or ticketing to the event, so in return, I’ve put a little of my own money into it. For those who think this is a money making part time job for me, you are definitely mistaken.

6. You will change lives 

Despite the setbacks along the way, I’ve learned that I do have the power to change lives. I’ve been lucky enough to have over 40 girls compete with me in my two pageants, and I’ve had more than not leave happy with a positive experience. I have met amazing ladies. I have grown closer to those I only knew a little. I’ve made dreams come true. I’ve allowed girls to shine. I’ve created a sisterhood of friends. I’ve given ladies their first pageant win. And if I know that at least one girl has the time of her life, I know I’ve succeeded.

Perseverance

One of the hardest things about directing a pageant is the results. Everyone that competes with me is part of my family, and I want everyone to win. Obviously that cannot happen. I am super excited for my winners and the year we will have, but I am also sad for everyone else. Because I don’t want anyone being mad or discouraged. It’s the same with watching a pageant, especially Miss America locals, where some girls compete in countless pageants time and time again trying to win their way to the state pageant but never capturing the crown. The thing is, I can relate.

I competed in the Miss America Org for 4 years, without winning, and without ever placing. I also competed in many other systems, mostly never placing, and even coming in dead last (announced on stage) on one occasion. Needless to say, I’ve never been the best competitor. Countless occasions leaving pageants upset and wondering what the judges didn’t see in me.

While it was slightly discouraging, I learned a lot, and it drove me to be better. I started looking back at pictures and video, practicing more, revamping my wardrobe, and asking for professional help. I thought of all the positives, such as the confidence I built, the weight I had lost, and the communication skills I had gained. Most importantly, the friendships I had gained.

It took me 13 tries to win a pageant. In my career, I’ve competed in over 20 pageants, winning only 3, and placing only 3 additional times. But I’ve also grown so much as a person. I’ve paid it forward by creating my own pageant. I’ve helped countless charities, with and without a crown.

Remember what you gain from competing, even if it’s not the ultimate prize, there are countless smaller ones.  And never, ever give up.

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Having the “Spirit” to direct 

This blog is 4 months in the making and I’m finally getting around to writing it and spitting out my months worth of thoughts. 

I had this crazy idea almost a year ago to start my own pageant. I learned so much from competing that I wanted to give back to the world and help girls gain confidence and follow their dreams. Thus, Miss Spirit of New York was born. I had no idea what to expect going in. I was freaking out I would have to cancel because after two months of recruiting, I had 3 girls signed up. But alas, as with most pageants, people sign up close to the event and in the last month and a half leading up I secured a total of 18 girls, surpassing my goal of 15. I was shocked. I’ve been in pageants where there have been almost no contestants so I’ve learned the struggle in recruiting girls. 

I learned a lot in my first pageant. I figured out what worked and what didn’t, but I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it did run. I had so much support from fellow pageant friends and my pageant family who helped it run well. I know some people left unhappy, only one girl can take the crown after all, but my hope was that every girl competing had a positive experience. Shoutout to the 20+ businesses that have donated to either the New York or USA pageant. I am blown away by the small business support I am receiving in the journey. 

  
Maybe it’s because I was proud of my state success, or maybe because I didn’t want to wait a whole year to plan another event, but I challenged myself further and created Miss Spirit of the USA. Like the New York event, I struggled with getting contestants early on. My goal was 25 contestants (5 in each category) but going into November I only had about 10, which made me nervous because I booked a very large venue. But, like New York, I’ve gained many contestants in a short time and I am beyond excited to have 25 Spirit titleholders. Really, I would hold the pageant with 2 girls, but the fact so many have chosen to compete with me and believe in my pageant is what makes me happy. 

  
Of course it hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows. Losing a New York titleholder almost immediately after the pageant, sash company sending me wrong sashes, crown company guaranteeing me crowns then not ordering them, drama with potential titleholders. Sponsor issues. Reaching out to girls to compete and being told flat out “no” because my pageant “isn’t legit.” Being a director is hard. 

  
However, the positives completely outweigh the negatives. Having so many wonderful ladies compete with me is such a great feeling. The USA Spirit Pageant is my way of giving back to the world that has changed me. It is my gift to everyone to create a positive and fun experience for all involved. I don’t operate like a business. There are no hidden fees. No required ad fee. Tickets to come and watch are free. All contestants get a regional sash and crown to promote their area and their platform. We are having a big contestant party the night before complete with cookie decorating. People may say I’m not big or as good as others, but I will say that I absolutely have the biggest heart, and do this for the girls that compete for me, and not for myself. I am trying to change the world, one rhinestone at a time, and as long as there are girls that believe in me and my system, I will continue to do this. 

  

Pro Teachers, Pro Students: Education reforms in New York State, from the viewpoint of a new teacher

In virtually every pageant interview I’ve been in, I get asked the same question; why teaching? And my answer is always the same. My mom is a teacher. Growing up, I always went to her classroom over the summer to help her set it up for the school year. I always dreamed of having a classroom of my own, to help others succeed.

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In the last few years, however, I haven’t been as enthusiastic about going up. Mostly because of how few jobs there are and how downhill education has been going. Now I just get depressed. 1. because I know I’m not getting my own classroom anytime soon and 2. I would probably be fired right away anyway.

I became certified in February 2013. I graduated undergrad in childhood education in 3 and half years, and finished my Masters in curriculum and instruction in a year and a half, giving me five total years of college. I immediately started subbing, and in November 2013, I luckily landed a short term leave that resulted in me being a permanent sub in 6th grade math at Cohoes Middle School, where I remained a whole year until I became a teaching assistant for 4th grade at Ichabod Crane Elementary School this past December.

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Education has been going downhill ever since I was in college, but not as much as it has been recently. For some reason, the current Governor hates public education, and is doing whatever he can to eliminate teachers.

I have never felt more discouraged or wanting to change my career more than I have in these last few months. I never once thought I would regret going into teaching, but our governor has changed that. The things he is proposing is a set up that will automatically fail everyone, both teachers and students. Raising the bar is one thing, but making it so high that it’s nearly impossible is downright cruel.

Students are being asked to take tests that include content way above their grade level. Reading passages for 4th graders are at a 7th grade reading level, 7th grade at an 11th grade reading level. Math questions that don’t really ask a question but rather try and trick you instead. Opting children out of tests is a growing reform given what is happening. While I will not comment one way or another, here are some reasons why a parent might;

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Teacher evaluation plans base 50 percent of a teachers score on these tests, making it nearly impossible to get into the “effective” range. I have already accepted that if I ever finally get my own classroom, I will never have tenure, because there is no way I will get “effective” four consecutive years with these standardized tests.

This isn’t about teachers wanting to “save ourselves.” The media does a really good job of making it seem one sided. Our job is only part of the issue. We want what’s best for our children. All my life all I’ve wanted to do is help, teach, and inspire children, which I cannot do if I’m 1.forced to teach to a test and 2. fired in two years when children fail these tests. Yes, if you’re deemed ineffective two years in a row, you can be fired within 30 days. Went to school for five years only to be fired in two. Funny.

There is nothing I enjoy more than working with struggling students and finally seeing the lightbulb go off when they finally understand something that once challenged them, or students getting excited about a subject. The shift I’ve seen from student teaching to the present is students that get to do fun projects and learn with various methods of instruction, to now students that hate school and cry because the material is too difficult.

This is why I advocate pro teachers, pro students. This is why we need change. Whether you are a teacher, a parent, or just a citizen of New York State. I urge you to keep yourself educated and informed about the truth of what is happening in this state.

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