Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Tracie Mitchell
Staff Writer 

Martin retires to reconnect with family


June 6, 2018

Tracie Mitchell

WORLAND – Worland third-grade teacher of 12 years, Alisa Martin accepted the incentive offered by Washakie County School District No. 1 for early retirement to reconnect with family.

Martin explained Monday over the phone while traveling, "It had more to do with family things, than anything else. It feels like I don't get to spend enough time with my family, especially the ones in the Midwest and they are getting older and it just kind of fell into place," Martin said. "I am on my way back right now to see my brothers and sister in the Midwest. I don't even know how long I am going to stay, as long as I feel like," she added.

Before Martin became a teacher she worked as a bookkeeper for many years but she always knew that she wanted to go back to school and make a difference. When she learned from talking with friends and coworkers that students drop out of high school and the reasons behind their decisions she decided that she could make a difference by becoming a teacher. "I learned many people drop out of high school, which just amazed me; I had not even

realized that people did drop out of high school until I had people tell me about it. A lot of them, their reasons were because they had figured out by elementary school that they just weren't smart enough or their teachers didn't like them or reasons that I just found really bad," Martin said.

Martin enjoyed being a teacher but she wasn't thrilled with the countless meetings required. She stated that she had worked as a paraeducator for a number of years before going back to school, so while she had 12 years as a third-grade teacher she actually had been around the school system for 21 years off and on. She said that when she started there were maybe three or four meetings a month and now it was like three or four meetings a week.

While Martin is not going to miss the endless meetings she will miss her students very much. "It's the kind of job where even if you go into work tired, once the kids walk into the room there is just so much energy and joy that it invigorates you," Martin said.

Over the years Martin has seen many changers but the one change that discouraged her was when common core was introduced. "I am comfortable with the idea of standards. I think it's great that you know what your child is learning in Worland is the same as someone is learning in New York or Florida. But when they went to common core standards it's like they really just added on more and more and it sort of defeated the purpose of why I went into teaching. All of a sudden with those tests you have more kids who are starting to feel dumb if they don't get it by the timeline the test says they should. It doesn't take into account the development in children; some kids can be getting those things in third grade or fifth grade. Many kids aren't quite ready and if they had a little more time they would get it but... I felt like it made more kids feel not smart," Martin said.

When asked about the popular quote credited to Albert Einstein, "Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid," Martin said, "With a goldfish, you can teach it to swim but you might not be able to teach it to swim a maze. But does it need to swim a maze? No."

Despite her disagreement with common core Martin believes that Worland schools have a lot to offer its students. "I feel like we are lucky to have the school district we have."


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