Veteran teacher Laurie Gabriel
, who spent part of her career in Colorado Springs School District 11
, has created a documentary about why she left the profession.
Gabriel taught orchestra, choir and drama during her 27 years as an educator. She quit five years ago due to what she calls a federal and corporate takeover of public schools. Specifically, she says her students were crying and vomiting at the prospect of more standardized tests.
"You just don't hear enough about it," she says. "Teachers are afraid to say anything."
In addition to having problems with the tests themselves, Gabriel says she was told to ignore slower kids in her class and to focus her energy on high-performing kids. She says she was working until 7 p.m. doing paperwork that no one read. Because of that, she had to cancel after-school clubs and tutoring.
She now has a private orchestra and does music therapy.
Her film, Heal Our Schools
, explores ways in which schools could improve if teachers were given more freedom to tailor their lessons to their students, had smaller class sizes, and were free from standardized testing.
The movie will be showing at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 2111 Carlton Ave., at 7 p.m. on Friday, and at 2 p.m. on Saturday. A third showing will take place at Graner School of Music, 4460 Barnes Road, at 3 p.m. on June 13. The cost is $7. Seats can be reserved at 213-6850.