WOW! I was looking for this article to print out and put in my portfolio and I saw the comments below it. Thank you all, I'm honored. LakewoodParent, I'm so sorry I had to leave before your son could be in my class, but Perplexed, no there was no way to file a lawsuit. A teacher is eligible for tenure after 3 years of teaching, and when my 3 years were up, they chose not to renew my contract. They don't even have to list a reason. I actually had very strong representation in Jade Moore from the teacher's union, but he suddenly passed away mid school year the year I was not renewed. However, knowing that I wasn't staying at Lakewood, I went into scientific research involving schools and children. I finished my Master's Degree at USF right down the street from Lakewood, and I have been awarded a full scholarship to do a Ph.D. continuing my Master's research. I will do the research to support that children learn better when a teacher has the freedom to design her own learning experiences, and children have the freedom to engage in hands-on learning. My students are worth the hard work I'm still doing on their behalf. I dedicated my Master's thesis to them on the very first page of the text (which you can go read in printed version at the USF library). For all the parents and students who might read this, please know that Miss Bates believes in your ability to learn science and anything else you're excited about. I know I'm right about you and I won't stop until I prove it in published research. I'm sorry that we weren't allowed to go outside, that they made me cover our windows with educational posters, and that my requests for permission to go on scientific field trips were denied. I miss you terribly but I am still working for you. Please continue to make me proud.