When I was a new teacher in the 1970s, each new school year came with the excitement and anticipation of new beginnings. I would go to school a couple of weeks before the official start date to check my new student lists, begin classroom preparation, look over any new texts or equipment, and chat with staff and office personnel who might also be in early. I also tried to discover that year’s “fix-all.” There was always a new panacea to “ensure” successful teaching/learning, better readers, increased graduation rate, improved standard test scores or whatever issue was the current media and public concern. After my first year, I learned to steel myself for the opening meetings, so I could hold on to the joy I felt about getting back to what I loved best—teaching.
A day or two before the start of classes, we were subjected to workshops, guest speakers, hand-outs or films and presentations. Each one of which was to solve a problem or make education successful. During a K-12 career that spanned nearly thirty years, the program rarely changed.*