MS. WILSON WAS UP AT 4 A.M. THIS MORNING, preparing to meet other kindergarten teachers from the Eau Claire School system for a trip down to Madison to testify on Bill 119. I shrugged off sleep and fetched the camera to get a picture of what she chose to wear today.
Yesterday, activity between Madsion and Kim was fast and furious as she typed out her testimony, sent it to the Wisconsin State Department of Education, and then received it back with minor changes. I think what she wrote is great and I want to include it today for luck while Kim is down there:
Testimony of Kim Wilson, Retired Teacher
Eau Claire School District
Manz Elementary - First Grade
Arlington Heights Elementary - Kindergarten
Little Red Elementary - Kindergarten
Roosevelt Elementary - Kindrgarten
Before the Assembly Education Committee
Assembly Bill 119
March 17, 2009
I am Kim Wilson, a newly retired teacher who taught one year in first grade and 31 years in kindergarten.
I must confess that I taught many years before I found out that kindergarten was not mandated in Wisconsin! I truly believe that it is time for the State of Wisconsin to require regular attendance of children enrolled in kindergarten. A requirement such as this would benefit the kindergarten program and be of great benefit to children throughout their school career.
Kindergarten is an integral component of the entire school system. Reading, writing, music, math, physical education, art, social studies, and science are required subjects in kindergarten just as they are in grades 1 through 5 in elementary school. Kindergarten is the foundation of a child’s educational career. Perhaps if ”kindergarten” was named “first grade” it would be perceived as more important and regarded as the true beginning of the elementary educatioin program.
Children who do not attend kindergarten on a regular basis not only lack achievement in academic growth but also lose out in feeling a part of the kindergarten family. The child loses out on the emotional, social, and academic pieces of a successful kindergarten experience. A child with poor attendance can be “haunted” by these effects during kindergarten as well as first grade when they find themselves out of step with their classmates. This has an effect on the other children as valuable education time and resources must be directed toward assisting this child in catching up (and how does this effect the child’s attitude toward school?).
I believe I have struggled with truancy situations every year. Last year, my last year of teaching, I had a very difficult situation with a child’s habitual tardiness and absence. This little girl missed over 36 days of school. Each time she returned she required extra coaching, assistance, and direction from me as well as the other children in order to join us academically and to feel a part of our kindergarten community. I had numerous conferences with her parents including at different times, the counselor, the Title One teacher, and the principal. We developed behavior modifications for the child as well as for the parents by their request. These attempts did not help the child’s attendance record. The principal sent several letters to the parents but because Wisconsin does not mandate attendance for kindergartners, there was no recourse for our truant little girl.
I am sure that the State of Wisconsin wants to give children like this the kind of education they need and deserve. We are not asking parents to give up any rights concerning their children. A waiver process could be put in place for those families not wanting their child to attend kindergarten . Personally, I can’t imagine a child skipping kindergarten and being successful in 1st grade ... but parents could have their right to do so. However, once a parent enrolls a child in kindergarten, the same attendance expectations that apply to grades 1-12 would also apply to kindergarten. It is the right thing to do for our children.
I am hoping that you will join us in our endeavor to give our children the best and most appropriate educational experience possible in our great State of Wisconsin.
4896 Hobbs Road
Fall Creek, Wisconsin 54742
I am going to wait until Kim gets back to go out for my St. Patrick's Day corn beef and cabbage. Hopefully, unlike last year, when we went out too late, we couldn't find any ANYWHERE!
I have run amock with my helmet purchase for the Chicago Bear project! The first helmet I got turned out to be a child's helmet which is totally unsuitable. Then two days asgo, I received a Rawlings helmet from Dan Dunn's Collectibles which I was going to paint midnight blue, but he sent me the wrong helmet! This one is an adult helmet but way too small. So I had to run into town and ship it back to him today.
It looks like I will be receiving another helmet that I have been sort of working on. for months and months I combed eBay looking for some Detroit Lions lion decals and finally found them a couple of weeks ago. They are, however, the newly designed Lions decals, which include a heavy black outline around the blue lion - I have not been fond of the recent uniform updates the Lions have done, adding the color black as accents on the helmet and jerseys.
So I decided that my Lions helmet will be indicative of the 1960's Lions - in particular - a helmet depiction of one of their greatest corner backs, a Hall of Famer and a guy who is still coaching defensive half backs for the Pittsbugh Steelers, Dick LeBeau.
I decided that rather than go through the rigamarole of locating a helmet through eBay, I would make my first purchase of a Helmet Hut manufactured helmet.
Kim has lovingly said she will pay for it as a birthday gift and it looks like it will be here tomorrow afternoon through United Parcel Service. I am really psyched!
TURPENTINE VS HOLY WATER
A little boy was sitting on the curb with a gallon of turpentine, shaking it up and watching all the bubbles. A while later a Priest came along and asked the little boy what he had.
The little boy replied, "This is the most powerful liquid in the world, it's called turpentine."
The Priest said, "No, the most powerful liquid in the world is Holy Water. If you take some Holy Water and rub it on a pregnant woman's belly, she'll pass a healthy baby."
The little boy replied, "You take some of this turpentine and rub it on a cat's ass, he'll pass a Harley Davidson."