My name is Niki Mitchell. I teach full day kindergarten at Saddle Ranch Elementary. I began teaching in Douglas County in 1991 as a student teacher at Eagle Ridge Elementary. I then taught kindergarten at Mountain View, I opened Coyote Creek, taught full day kindergarten and 1st grade at Redstone and now I am proud to be a Mustang. I also served as the kindergarten specialist for several years for our district, as well as serving on the team that opened eDCSD Cyber School. As you can see, I have history in this great district. This district has molded me into the teacher I am today.
For the majority of my years in Douglas County, there has always been a partnership between the Board, the admin, the teachers, and the parents. And our number one priority was ALWAYS about what was best for KIDS.
I am here tonight because I want, more than anything, for our focus to be about KIDS and to regain that partnership once again. I am here tonight to speak on behalf of our teachers and our kids.
We, teachers, know that you must first educate the hearts of our students before we can educate their minds. We must have a nurturing, loving environment for our kids so that they can take risks and love learning. We work extremely hard to build a community of learners that will embrace being the creative, collaborative, communicators, and critical thinkers that they can be!
My question is, WHY do you not do the same for your community? We, the TEACHERS, long to work in an environment where we feel valued and respected.
I am asking you to STOP being so cold and insensitive. For starters, Marc Prensky was cold and insensitive. I question why you spent so much money for a keynote speaker that insulted us. The most disturbing slide I saw was of a precious infant laying on her tummy staring into an iPad. That sweet baby needs to be in the arms of her parents and staring into their eyes. Our kids need to INTERACT with other human beings!!!!!!
Too much money was spent on a keynote speaker who has no idea what it’s like to TEACH children how to read and write. Siri and Kindle will NEVER do my job. Ever. No matter what century you are from.
Let’s be realistic! Teachers KNOW what we are doing. Please trust us. Trust that we can educate the hearts and minds of our children with or without a Backward Plan. We know what it takes to mold World Class individuals. Ask the hundreds of kids I have taught and educated. Nothing is finer than having a 5 year old in your class and 15 years later having them seek you out and thank you for touching their life.
Can I be evaluated on that? Of course not. But isn’t that what we TRULY mean by World Class Outcomes? My former students are amazing citizens who make a difference in our world.
I am NOT a “generalist”…..as we need to deem ourselves according to InspirED Innovation. Which, by-the-way, is taking countless hours to upload evidence to prove my effectiveness; time and energy that should be focused on my kids.
I am a TEACHER. I have made a difference in lives. And I continue to do so.
This district has the most amazing teachers AND administrators. PLEASE do not drive us out. You do not want to lose us. PLEASE fight for us. Respect us. Let’s come back together and make a difference. Let’s do this for our KIDS!