Education News

Florida Teacher’s Essay Becomes Rallying Cry for Educators Seeking Respect

By Cynthia McCabe

When people were attacking her and her fellow dedicated public school teachers, Florida fourth-grade teacher Jamee Miller got mad. And then she got to typing.

The result? An essay called ‘I Am a Teacher’ which caught fire in recent weeks on Facebook and blogs as supporters of teachers attacked by budget-slashing lawmakers and critics trying to score political points took it to heart and then took it online. (Full essay text appears at bottom.)

Shawna Christenson, a teacher in West Palm Beach, Fla., wrote on Facebook after posting it to her own profile last week: ‘Some folks need to be reminded that we do so much more than leave and enter when the bell rings when they think achievement is the only way to measure us.’

Miller, a National Education Association and Florida Education Association member who has been teaching for seven years, wrote the essay a year ago largely for herself and then put it away. But when the controversial Senate Bill 6 was recently careening through the GOP-controlled legislature, she dusted it off and posted it on Facebook. Education experts said SB6, which Gov. Charlie Crist ultimately vetoed last week to support teachers, would have made Florida one of the most teacher-hostile states in the country. Even though it was vetoed, similar anti-teacher efforts are cropping up in other states from like-minded opponents.

‘I was just getting so enraged because there was such ignorance from the people attacking teachers,’ says Miller. ‘Especially these misconceptions about what it is we can actually control as educators.’

Her essay, which in recent weeks was referenced on the Florida House floor, reprinted by several Florida newspapers and went viral online, has taken on a life of its own, Miller says. ‘What I’m saying isn’t unique. It’s just that the heart of that message resonates with everyone in our world.’

That’s because in the past year they’ve been slammed by a troubling development: political opportunists attacking public education professionals.

‘I feel more than ever I have to be on the defensive to prove I’m not a bad teacher,’ she says. ‘It’s really unfortunate. Even five years ago it was assumed a teacher was great until a teacher wasn’t doing their job.’

And when critics broadly paint today’s teachers as ineffective, there’s no better way to show how wrong they are than pointing to Miller’s own resume. She was Seminole County Teacher of the Year in 2008. Each year she spends $1,000 of her own money on classroom supplies and her students. Last year, she and her husband donated $30,000 to create a fellowship at the University of Florida that helps elementary education majors working toward a master’s degree in education technology.

One of the more noxious provisions of SB6 that upset Miller and her colleagues was a mandate that standardized testing be the primary basis for teachers’ employment, certification and salary. In Florida, students are subjected to a high-stakes test called the FCAT. The law would have further reduced children to a test score and ignored that their lives and their achievements are more complex and nuanced than that.

‘To have all that I pour into my students every year come down to just one test is so frustrating,’ Miller says. ‘I have zero problems with accountability. But come into my classroom. I’m eager to show you the realities.’

For instance, this past year, Miller’s realities included having a student who missed 30 days of school, a student whose parents were arrested right before the standardized test day, and a third student who vomitted on her test booklet and was unable to retake it.

What teachers who contact her with their heartfelt thanks want to convey is that they’re just as concerned about the state of public education as anyone else.

‘We all want education to be fixed, we just want to be in on that problem solving,’ Miller says.

Full text of Jamee Miller’s ‘I Am a Teacher’ essay:

I am a teacher in Florida.

I rise before dawn each day and find myself nestled in my classroom hours before the morning commute is in full swing in downtown Orlando. I scour the web along with countless other resources to create meaningful learning experiences for my 24 students each day. I reflect on the successes of lessons taught and re-work ideas until I feel confident that they will meet the needs of my diverse learners. I have finished my third cup of coffee in my classroom before the business world has stirred. My contracted hours begin at 7:30 and end at 3:00. As the sun sets around me and people are beginning to enjoy their dinner, I lock my classroom door, having worked 4 hours unpaid.

I am a teacher in Florida.

I greet the smiling faces of my students and am reminded anew of their challenges, struggles, successes, failures, quirks, and needs. I review their 504s, their IEPs, their PMPs, their histories trying to reach them from every angle possible. They come in hungry I feed them. They come in angry I counsel them. They come in defeated I encourage them. And this is all before the bell rings.

I am a teacher in Florida.

I am told that every student in my realm must score on or above grade level on the FCAT each year. Never mind their learning discrepancies, their unstable home lives, their prior learning experiences. In the spring, they are all assessed with one measure and if they don’t fit, I have failed. Students walk through my doors reading at a second grade level and by year’s end can independently read and comprehend early 4th grade texts, but this is no matter. One of my students has already missed 30 school days this year, but that is overlooked. If they don’t perform well on this ONE test in early March, their learning gains are irrelevant. They didn’t learn enough. They didn’t grow enough. I failed them. In the three months that remain in the school year after this test, I am expected to begin teaching 5th grade curriculum to my 4th grade students so that they are prepared for next year’s test.

I am a teacher in Florida.

I am expected to create a culture of students who will go on to become the leaders of our world. When they exit my classroom, they should be fully equipped to compete academically on a global scale. They must be exposed to different worldviews and diverse perspectives, and yet, most of my students have never left Sanford, Florida. Field trips are now frivolous. I must provide new learning opportunities for them without leaving the four walls of our classroom. So I plan. I generate new ways to expose them to life beyond their neighborhoods through online exploration and digital field trips. I stay up past The Tonight Show to put together a unit that will allow them to experience St. Augustine without getting on a bus. I spend weekends taking pictures and creating a virtual world for them to experience, since the State has determined it is no longer worthwhile for them to explore reality. Yes. My students must be prepared to work within diverse communities, and yet they are not afforded the right to ever experience life beyond their own town.

I am a teacher in Florida.

I accepted a lower salary with the promise of a small increase for every year taught. I watched my friends with less education than me sign on for six figure jobs while I embraced my $28k starting salary. I was assured as I signed my contract that although it was meager to start, my salary would consistently grow each year. That promise has been broken. I’m still working with a meager salary, and the steps that were contracted to me when I accepted a lower salary are now deemed ‘unnecessary.’

I am a teacher in Florida.

I spent $2500 in my first year alone to outfit an empty room so that it would promote creative thinking and a desire to learn and explore. I now average between $1000-2000 that I pay personally to supplement the learning experiences that take place in my classroom. I print at home on my personal printer and have burned through 12 ink cartridges this school year alone. I purchase the school supplies my students do not have. I buy authentic literature so my students can be exposed to authors and worlds beyond their textbooks. I am required to teach Social Studies and Writing without any curriculum/materials provided, so I purchase them myself. I am required to conduct Science lab without Science materials, so I buy those, too. The budgeting process has determined that copies of classroom materials are too costly, so I resort to paying for my copies at Staples, refusing to compromise my students’ education because high-ranking officials are making inappropriate cuts. It is February, and my entire class is out of glue sticks. Since I have already spent the $74 allotted to me for warehouse supplies, if I don’t buy more, we will not have glue for the remainder of the year. The projects I dream up are limited by the incomprehensible lack of financial support. I am expected to inspire my students to become lifelong learners, and yet we don’t have the resources needed to nurture their natural sense of wonder if I don’t purchase them myself. My meager earning is now pathetic after the expenses that come with teaching effectively.

I am a teacher in Florida.

The government has scolded me for failing to prepare my students to compete in this
technologically driven world. Students in Japan are much more equipped to think progressively with regards to technology. Each day, I turn on the two computers afforded me and pray for a miracle. I apply for grants to gain new access to technology and compete with thousands of other teachers who are hoping for the same opportunity. I battle for the right to use the computer lab and feel fortunate if my students get to see it once a week. Why don’t they know how to use technology? The system’s budget refuses to include adequate technology in classrooms; instead, we are continually told that dry erase boards and overhead projectors are more than enough.

I am a teacher in Florida.

I am expected to differentiate my instruction to meet the needs of my 24 learners. Their IQs span 65 points, and I must account for every shade of gray. I must challenge those above grade level, and I must remediate those below. I am but one person within the classroom, but I must meet the needs of every learner. I generate alternate assessments to accommodate for these differences. My higher math students receive challenge work, and my lower math students receive one-on-one instruction. I create most of these resources myself, after-hours and on weekends. I print these resources so that every child in my room has access to the same knowledge, delivered at their specific level. Yesterday, the school printer that I share with another teacher ran out of ink. Now I must either purchase a new ink cartridge for $120, or I cannot print anything from my computer for the remainder of the year. What choice am I left with?

I am a teacher in Florida.

I went to school at one of the best universities in the country and completed undergraduate and graduate programs in Education. I am a master of my craft. I know what effective teaching entails, and I know how to manage the curriculum and needs of the diverse learners in my full inclusion classroom. I graduated at the top of my class and entered my first year of teaching confident and equipped to teach effectively. Sadly, I am now being micro-managed, with my instruction dictated to me. I am expected to mold ‘out-of-the-box’ thinkers while I am forced to stay within the lines of the instructional plans mandated by policy-makers. I am told what I am to teach and when, regardless of the makeup of my students, by decision-makers far away from my classroom or even my school. The message comes in loud and clear that a group of people in business suits can more effectively determine how to provide exemplary instruction than I can. My expertise is waved away, disregarded, and overlooked. I am treated like a day-laborer, required to follow the steps mapped out for me, rather than blaze a trail that I deem more appropriate and effective for my students students these decision-makers have never met.

I am a teacher in Florida.

I am overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated by most. I spend my weekends, my vacations, and my summers preparing for school, and I constantly work to improve my teaching to meet the needs of my students. I am being required to do more and more, and I’m being compensated less and less.

I am a teacher in Florida, not for the pay or the hardships, the disregard or the disrespect; I am a teacher in Florida because I am given the chance to change lives for the good, to educate and elevate the minds and hearts of my students, and to show them that success comes in all shapes and sizes, both in the classroom and in the community.

I am a teacher in Florida today, but as I watch many of my incredible, devoted coworkers being forced out of the profession as a matter of survival, I wonder: How long will I be able to remain a teacher in Florida?

27 responses to “Florida Teacher’s Essay Becomes Rallying Cry for Educators Seeking Respect

  1. To “Dave”- I find your comment “What a pity party” to be ignorant, and frankly, disgusting. Although I’m not a teacher, I have worked in a public school for the last 10 years and I have seen the governor of the state scapegoat teachers for multiple problems not of their creating. Dave, I wonder whether you’ve ever been a teacher, or even worked in a school. In fact, I wonder whether you’re one of those right wing goons who spends his time surfing sites you don’t like merely to post comments seeking to undermine others. So, “Dave”, if you are a real person with real beliefs, how about offering us something other than just ignorance and bias. Why not present a cogent argument addressing the problems you see in education, so we can have intelligent discussion? How about showing some courage and sharing your ideas for improving education, something more than just unfounded standard right-wing attacks like “over paid teachers” and “unions ruining America”. That is, if you have the intelligence and written expression skills to do so. Otherwise, maybe you should keep your opinions silent, instead of throwing an “arrogance party”.

    1. Dave,

      Please continue to enjoy the comforts of your unemployment/government check while we teachers have our “pity party”. Sit back and have a good chuckle as our pay is docked so your children can enjoy the for the comforts “our” checks provide for you and your children. People such as yourself are part of the reason this country’s educational system is in the shape it is in. You are probably one of the pain in the butt parents WE have to deal with on a daily basis. Get a life!

  2. I have been teaching for over 40 years. Elementary, middle, high school and now university. Thank you for stating the case so eloquently. Now the governor is pushing charter schools where no one has to be accredited.

  3. I’m sad to say I no longer am a teacher- I taught in MD for three years and when I stood up for myself and said no I will not teach remedial reading to students who have failed tests a second year they closed my agriculture program. I was in no way (short of having a BS degree) qualified to teach remedial reading. The year I did I paced the students as told and then when we finished book 1 of a two book series I was told they weren’t being ordered. Wow.

    I taught for two years after that NC- and left simply because I wasn’t doing well with the admin. I was being told how to teach a CTE/Agriculture class by people whom I doubt even understand it. I hold a Masters in Education in it and have a passion. Life experiences apparently aren’t needed for students that have never touched a farm animal! But they better know how to raise it, feed it and treat it.

    I love my former students and I still talk to many of them. I get the phone calls and/or texts that say I need help, or guess what happened? They share their ups and downs and that is why I started teaching. I always got along with the ‘rough’ students as well as the others- it is my dream to figure out a way to start a charter school for students that encompasses both technical education and college prep. I was told not long ago from a former student that I was telling this too that he made “$1,000 last month and we could run the school”. THAT is why teaching is still the best career out there. When your students know you love them and do it for love…progress is made and minds are open.

    I do hope one day to get back into traditional education- right now I work in a form of extension education. I plan to shake up some people in suits while I do it…first however one must play the ‘game’ that gets you to a position to make a difference. Sad.

  4. Until we take the time to walk in someone else’s shoes, no one should have an opinion on what another professional does in their job. I am a teacher. I find it extremely important that we speak out as a nation against these policies and policy makers. However, until they step into our shoes, they will never truly know what we do. Keep fighting and keep sharing as a nation of teachers and one day we will get what we need in order to properly educate our students. Involve parents in your classroom every chance you get. You say they want to see what their child’s grades are, show them. Invite them to see what their child is learning in your classroom. Ask for their help, make them accountable too. If you don’t ask for help, it won’t be given.

  5. This is powerful. It is poignant and heart breaking, more so because it is true. I am a teacher, and also not sure how long I can survive being micro-managed, unfairly judged, bullied, isolated and disrespected. But I will forever be an educator in my heart.

  6. As a teacher myself, I’ve always thought — “Would it be interesting if parents were held as accountable as teachers?”

    1. I agree with all of you….Why is it always the teacher’s fault for low scores and students that come from home not knowing how to clean their noses and dont even khow what a pencil is or how to hold it!….Yet, parents want to have access to our grades..and if they dont agree, we have to change it to thier liking. We are threatened to be exposed if we are Not Doing our jobs!…please give us a break after all we do for these kids.

  7. Ms. McCabe, I really appreciate this article. I had not seen this essay until now, but I cried as I read through it. This is my professional life to the letter, and I just can’t take it anymore. I went to the best school in Texas for teacher education, and yet I’m treated like a peon. Personally, my students do very well on the state test, but fail to meet expectations and requirements in every other aspect, and I’m being treated unfairly for grading them truthfully. It’s not exactly what Mrs. Miller is saying, but it’s similar in the reverse, I suppose. We are gearing up to return to our classrooms and all I can think about is how I would rather do ANYTHING other than this. I’ve even considered selling my house and moving into an apartment just so I wouldn’t have to worry about making a mortgage payment and I could quit the job I spent years training and learning to do effectively. All of the problems Mrs. Miller outlined are problems in our district as well and it’s frustrating. Holding a teacher accountable for student achievement – when we’re faced with so many roadblocks – is like blaming the salesmen for General Motors’ failure. If my evaluations show I’m a competent teacher, then why should I suffer just because my students genuinely see no point in doing well on a test when only certain grade levels require passing for grade promotion? Make the test relevant to what they really need to know, and leave it up to me to show them the relevance. Only then you can pay me accordingly.

  8. You are telling my story with very few differences. I taught special education and my room was treated like a third world country. I,too, spent thousands of dollars and dedicated every waking hour to the betterment of my students. Advocating for my students brought harsh punishment. After being beaten down for 15 years, I finally walked away – crushed and defeated. I fear for my students’ futures. I pray for dedicated teachers that they may find the strength to continue where I could not. I wonder and worry who will be attracted to a profession which holds so few rewards and is given such little respect.

  9. Congratulations to you for laying it out succinctly so others can see!! There is much more depth involved. However,it would take pages to go through it all. I teach in another state, but feel as though I’m right there next to you in every detail. Kudos to you for taking even more of that precious time to write a piece even those not in our profession can understand!

  10. I am a teacher in TX and we are under the same rules. We, however, do not have a strong teachers union. We are being attacked by everybody to help every kid and do it for less money. Do I meet every kid where they are? Yes I do…. do I research and find materials that I dont have access to and provide student materials that they cannot afford? Yes on all accounts. I have been treated unfairly by a building principal and followed the grievance process for being attacked personally by her and I was the problem, yet after I left their accountability rating dropped. I worked till 6 nightly and brought work home and worked weekends.
    I feel your pain. It is time we are recognized for work we do and come to my class and see what I do and what we deal with.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  11. Dear Ms. Miller,
    I just read your wonderful essay “I am a teacher”. I personally am I substitute teacher in a high school not too far from where you are in fact. I am also attending Kaplan University on line for my MA in Education because I’m changing careers from law enforcement to education.
    I would say that you hit the nail on the head with your essay. Many parents, let alone our infamous legislature in Tallahassee, do not realize that teachers, including subs, start our day way before the average citizen does. You may or may not realize that some substitute teachers actually do go to become full time teachers. So we also joined in the fight last week to save our jobs. Teachers do provide more than just grades. Education does come in many ways and being a “educator” is just part of the job requirements. How our infamous legislative people expect us to base our lives on one test is incomprehensible. I cried when I called Governor Christ’s office begging him to veto SB6. I cried because here I am a fledgling student teacher being threatened before I even get started. I cried in joy along with other teachers in the state when the phone calls came into our school about the veto.
    I say, let the people in Tallahassee step into our shoes for 1 month, let them learn what is like to be a teacher, be a substitute/student teacher. Let them get heckled and even attacked by students before they chop our heads off. They wouldn’t last 1 week but they might have a bit of a better understanding.
    Unfortunately though, I’m also a native Floridian who received her BS in 1978. I’ve seen the changes in teaching. Some good, some not so good. But I’ve seen teachers work together for the most part for the betterment of our children. The children are our future. But firing a teacher who has tried everything in this world to get a child to understand what is being taught to them is not good. On the other hand, and I think that this may be what Tallahassee is actually after, keeping a teacher who is tenured but who 1) allows students to skip into their classes, 2) tells the class read the material and everything that you need to know is in the book, 3) not answer questions that students have in the class is NOT teaching, NOT educating. I’ve seen it as a sub, and I’ve fought it as a parent. Luckily, I know the subject my son was taking, it’s my field and my passion. My question is how do we weed out those types of teachers? FCAT is not the way and even as a parent I think that it is a disgrace to our state. But oh those federal funds look really good. Leave No Child Behind policy is also good, but it has its disaster affects too. There is a way to correct what is wrong, but killing the horse before its broken its leg is not good.
    What do you think?

    1. After reading the article “I am a teacher,” I read your response and appreciated your comments. The question you posed at the end, “… how do we weed out those types of teachers?” can be answered simply’¦ administrators need to follow through and do their job.

      There seems to be a misconception that tenured teachers cannot be fired. This is far from the truth. If a teacher is not doing their job, there are measures and steps in place that must be taken. If improvement is not seen, then a teacher can be removed. Yes, it may take more than one year for this to be accomplished. But, documentation and follow through needs to occur. The unions exist to ensure that a teacher’s rights have not been violated in the process.

      I personally know of teachers who were doing their jobs admirably, but due to personality conflicts, the building administrator went after them like no other. At the same time, I know of teachers who instruct just as you mentioned in your response. Yet, there have never been any write-ups regarding their teaching practices. Additionally, their evaluations do not reflect that there is, or has been, a problem in the classroom. I’ve also observed teachers who are part of “The Good Ol’ Boys Club” who are untouchable due to their connections. This goes along with having the wife of an administrator as a teacher. While others might see it differently, these are my observations from the past 20 years.

      1. DReed wrote: “There seems to be a misconception that tenured teachers cannot be fired.” I couldn’™t agree more. The uninformed thinking behind this quick fix is an insult to the overwhelming majority of public school teachers, who care, who know their subject matter and how to teach, and who are enthusiastic about teaching.
        To argue that ineffective teachers with tenure are untouchable comes across as especially disrespectful on the eve of National Teacher Day (May 4). The crowd that promotes this ‘œblame the teacher first’ mentality ignores two facts: (1) All tenure laws provide for the dismissal of incompetent or ineffective teachers; (2) Teacher tenure is not a job guarantee, but rather a protection against dismissal in cases where there are not grounds for termination or where the teacher has no fair opportunity to present her defense.
        What can we do to stop teachers from being scapegoated and to recognize and truly value the work of all education professionals? We can speak out NOW for a bold new initiative to raise the profile and status of the teaching profession. Learn more and act. Go to the ‘œContact Your Legislators Today!’™ box at the top right of this page and click on ‘˜Tell the House and Senate: Craft an ESEA reauthorization bill that will help all students succeed.’™

      2. DReed: I have seen the “Good Ol’ Boys Club” first hand myself… in two completely different schools! It just doesn’t make sense. Personal vendettas have no place in education. And there isn’t an effective way to report these things because it comes down to “he said/she said”.

      3. Your unions will protect the tenured teacher to the end of their days. Firing them is next to impossible. You are part of the system, thus part of the problem. You simply cannot have it both ways!

      4. It takes more than a year to be fired for doing a poor job? It’s no wonder private industry is so much more efficient than the public sector. If there is a problem, it is removed quickly.

        I love this notion that every friend of a teacher who has a private sector job is making a six figure salary. This essay makes another reference to that. I have a master’s degree in architecture and my friends who have no education and became police in small towns make nearly twice as much as I do, and friends who became public school teachers all make more than me, and that gap continues to grow because they get automatic raises every year, and I haven’t seen a raise in 3 years. I’d love to know where this misconception is coming from.

        After reading this essay, the comments here, and listening to teachers comments from my own state that teachers want the following:

        1. Automatic raises every year (regardless if the tax payers who are funding them have gotten raises or are even employed)

        2. Early retirement (in my state teachers retire nearly 10 years before private industry workers)

        3. No accountability.

        I’d also love to know where all these teachers that claim to work till 6 or 7 are. My architecture firm does a lot of work at K-12 schools and I routinely have to survey these schools (in many districts across the state) after classes are let out. I can assure you that with the exception of 2 or 3 cars the lots are empty 30 minutes after classes are let out.

        1. I can assure you, even if you don’t see my car in the school parking lot, I am at home working – preparing lessons, grading papers, rereading text for the next day. While I do stay at school one night a week until 7 or 8 o’clock, I have my own child who I need to be home with.

          I am a teacher from Ohio, but I am positive that this experience is the same for teachers around the country.

          Yes, there are teachers who end their day when the final bell rings. After 13 years of teaching, I am beginning to feel burned out, too. I can understand the allure of just not caring anymore, in a profession that is constantly unappreciated and attacked from those outside of it.

          But the majority of us do care. The majority of us go home and work on ways to reach the child who just doesn’t seem to care if they learn or not. The majority of us go home and worry about the child who doesn’t have a coat in the dead of winter. The majority of us go home and figure out how to feed the hungry kids, without hurting their pride or having their parents come yell at us.

          So don’t assume because you don’t see my car in the parking lot that I’m not still working. Be assured that I am. Because I’m a teacher, and that responsibility doesn’t end when the bell rings.

        2. I agree with the “I am a Teacher”. No, all teachers are not necessarily in the same boat, but most of us have similar stories.

          I have been teacher for almost two decades. Sadly, I think that private industry wants public education to fail. They want the money. I think that lobbyists for charter schools are winning.

          We plug away in public schools, like Salmon swimming upstream. The constant battle to be seen as a good teacher is exhausting.

          I am tired. I work really hard and I am tired of the negativity towards teachers.

        3. I will start with the last comment about the cars in the parking lot. Why is a car in the parking lot a determination of whether a teacher is working or not?
          1. We have to take classes and graduate classes to get and keep certification. Right when school is over, people are driving to class.
          2. People have families of their own, so they are picking up their children. They are doing the work at home.
          3. People like me are there an hour and a half before work. At the end of the day, I just want to go home where I am doing additional work.
          4. Other than lunch and prep, we are “on” the entire day while we are working. Our prep is used to make parent phone calls, copies, IEP meetings and many other purposes. Our lunch is scheduled to be twenty-five minutes long, although after moving the students where they need to go it is usually only fifteen or twenty minutes. This doesn’t include any duties that we also need to complete.
          5. Look around at soccer practices, baseball practices, football practices and other activities: these are teachers that are looking after your children after hours.
          6. Look again, you might see teachers correcting papers. I see this all of the time at my daughter’s dance class and my son’s gymnastics class.

          No accountability? When is the last time you went into a school or a classroom? Accountability comes from state tests, parents, teachers, students, community members, the press and the government.

          Early retirement? Yes, some teachers could retire early. But, most teachers can’t afford to retire early.

          Automatic raises? Yes, there are some “automatic raises”, but it is usually 1% to 3% at the most. Most people in private industry would balk at a 3% raise. Yes, it is automatic but after the health care expenses which usually go up 16 -30% a year, is it really a raise?

          For people in business, think of it like getting ISO certification with living, breathing products that show up differently on an given day: Your product might have been beaten that morning. Your product might have had a fight with their friends. Your product may or may not have both parents. Plus, the consumer (the parents and the community) are judging you for the product when they are the ones that created the product and you are just trying to modify it and make it better.

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