All, I hope that I am not bringing unnecessary negativity to this forum, as our jobs are stressful enough. However, I'd like to get other teachers' thoughts on the current state of education in America. I know--a big task. I'm just finishing my first year in my own high school science classroom. I came into teaching through an alternative route and I had plenty of preparation compared to the usual "first year". I can also say that my evaluations this year were excellent. Looking back, however, I can't help but feel like American education has a one-way ticket to doom. First, I'd like to get comments on the quality of your district's professional developments. My experience has been almost insulting -- entire days spent on meaningless talk and having to share some idealistic quote from a contemporary education article that simply does not translate into something useful for either my students or my classroom. I find it insulting because as a professional I don't need to hear the same material presented time, and time, and time again. I am perfectly capable of reading contemporary research, making a plan, and implementing it. Many of the talks that we attend each year are painfully simple, repetitive, and meaningless in the real world. Period. Secondly, I have found it amazing that the world of education continually puts a plethora of blame on the teacher. Honestly, I have left so many trainings feeling like what I do day-to-day in the classroom simply isn't good enough...I haven't been revitalized; I have been discouraged. There's always a push to do more and to "rethink" what I'm doing. It seems to me that we should be able to find what works, perfect it, and stick to it! How many other professionals do we frequently require to second-guess themselves? I don't know, but hopefully my doctor has some confidence... Lastly, I feel that education is suffering greatly from buzz-word mania. America doesn't need jargon. We need a complete and total societal shift that gives students the intrinsic motivation to value and love education...and it starts at home. Until then, we aren't focusing on what really needs our attention. That, frankly, is terrifying. Thoughts?