The Coffee Dilemma

Coffee – I love it and many of my friends, colleagues and family members do too. In fact, it seems like we may be addicted. And yet, I, even though I drink so much of it, seem to never have enough energy to get done what I would like to get done.

The Coffee Dilemma!

As I go through my day, tired and in need of a boost, I don’t give my body what it really needs – a quick power nap, a small rest, water… Instead, I head for another cup of coffee.

Do I really think the more I drink the more awake and productive I become?

It seems as though education over the past years has also become a victim to the Coffee Dilemma! The only difference is that they are not feeding our schools more coffee. They keep feeding our kids more and more of the material that is being tested (specifically math and reading) at the expense of other core subjects… Why? Because that is what is tested!

Are math and reading important? Of course! I am a firm believer in the traditional 3 Rs. Students need balance, though. That’s for another blog.

So, if feeding our kids more and more and more of the tested material is the “Coffee”, then what is the “Water”? You guessed it…the ARTS!

Who is going to do it? Who is going to be the first one to step in, take that jump and say let’s try less of this and more of this? Who’s going to have the guts to see it through long enough to see results?

The studies have been done, the results say it loud and clear: the arts help students achieve! And yes, that also includes achieving higher test scores. For more info on studies, visit

It could start with us…we are here right now – interested teachers and parents, caring for the education of our children to become better people, more intelligent people, more well-rounded people.

Coffee? I may start my increased water intake tomorrow and see what happens…

(For now, I’ll stop this rant. Blogging is still new to me. I guess I’m testing the waters…)o

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Article by Elizabeth Peterson

Elizabeth Peterson has devoted her life to education and to reaching out to other teachers who want to remain inspired. Mrs. Peterson teaches fourth grade in Amesbury, Massachusetts and is the host of She holds an M.Ed. in Education, “Arts and Learning” and a C.A.G.S. degree with a focus in “Arts Leadership and Learning.” Elizabeth is author of Inspired by Listening, a teacher resource book that includes a method of music integration she has developed and implemented into her own teaching. She teaches workshops and courses on the integration of the arts into the curriculum and organizes the annual summer Teacher Art Retreat. Mrs. Peterson believes there is a love of active, integrated learning in all children and from their enthusiasm, teachers can shape great opportunities to learn.
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  1. Jen says:

    I love the coffee and water analogy! And, it still comes back to BALANCE! And…common sense. We should not be afraid to teach and assess in multiple ways, even if those methods are atypical in a conservative building. Helping students to learn is the goal; we cannot lose sight of that.

    • Marcia says:

      Jen, I agree with you about finding balance. I have seen this struggle in so many areas throughout my entire career and have often felt that instead of the constant swinging back and forth on that pendulum that we should be finding a way to meet in the middle and become more balanced in our approach.

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