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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

May 21, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Circle time at Madrona K-8 School

mrsbarber052009m.jpgMay 20, 9:58 a.m. [View larger]
It’s not even ten in the morning — I’m usually on my second coffee this early in the day — and Barbara Barber is already 100 percent focused on her students. Mrs. Barber has taught kindergarten at Madrona K-8 School in Edmonds since 1991. At today’s circle time, the kids are learning about creatures of the sea. They will be making paper octopuses later. “We also call them octopi,” she points out.
With all the news about budget cuts in most school districts, I wanted to talk to some teachers and get their perspective. As a parent, I’m obviously worried. Mrs. Barber didn’t try to make things look better than they are. “In my 35 years of being a teacher or having children at school I’ve never seen budget cuts go this deep.
“I’m very concerned for the children who don’t have a rich environment at home,” she added as she was handing out the octopi assignment. “They’re not going to get the extra help. Their learning will suffer and the long-term effects are going to be profound.”
Is there anything that can be done, I wonderered. “We are going to work harder,” she said.
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