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[Susan notes: The letter author signs herself A parent and teacher ready for a positive change!! Her idea is terrific and should become a national campaign: Ban the Bubble Week.]

Published in Ross Valley Reporter

To the editor

I have a bold proposition for our community. What if our schools , public and private, agreed to assign no homework and "ban the bubble" for one week? When I say "ban the bubble" I mean not assign any fill in the bubble worksheets or tests in class or at home. What would happen? Would learning stop? During and after the week, teachers, parents and students would honestly reflect on how it felt and what happened. Would Ross Valley do it? Could Ross Valley do it? One week. 5 days. That's all.

How would it change our home life? Instead of asking our kids at night, "Do you have any homework? or Did you finish your homework?" we could have real conversations with them. We could ask them if anything made them laugh or cry. We could ask them about the book they are reading. We might even have time to eat dinner together, read a good book together, go for a walk together, listen to music together or play a game together.

How would it change the classroom? Teachers would have a chance to find out what their students are actually thinking, read aloud and TALK about what they read instead of filling in a bubble about it or examine HOW their students solved a problem instead of just seeing if they got the right answer. At night, teachers could have quality time with their famiies, read a good book, listen to music or go for a walk instead of correcting worksheets.

This could be a way to "walk the talk" and really show that we are a caring community. We could start a trend across the county, the state, the country. The headlines would read, Caring Community Bans the Bubble. Then maybe one week could turn into one week per month or more. The possibilites are endless. We need to send a message to politicians and publishers that our childrens' learning is more than what fits into a bubble, that our teachers' talents exceed that of paper pushers and that our family time is better spent than by helping our children spend hours on worksheets every night.

We could be a catalyst for caring, for change, for connecting communities back to what really matters.

Let's do it.

Tori Chappell

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