Bummed About Lack of Teacher Investment

Discussion in 'General Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Nov 21, 2009

    I didn't know what else to call it-but on my campus this year it just seems like we have a lot of teachers who are just phoning it in. We had a big meeting to discuss what we could do as interventions for grade levels who have a large number of struggling students (2 of our grades last year were down a teacher for a good part of the year, they had various subs or combined with other classes). No one is willing to do anything- not tutorials, not differentiation-they were basically complaining that it's extra work they are not required to do.

    We started a Student Council at my school and asked the teachers to elect a representative from their classroom-you know only half did it? (including 1 out of 5 others on my own grade level! I would absolutely support them in a request like that). It would have taken 10 minutes and supported a school organization.

    The 1st community service we started was for the kids to make letters, cards or little crafts to donate to Meals on Wheels so they can deliver them with the food to their clients for Thanksgiving. We have over 600 students-19 cards:eek:hmy: -my class-that's it-no other class made anything. I saw 2 classes watching movies on Friday and thought, how hard would it be to take 10 minutes and ask the students to make a card? How much would it mean to those people receiving them?

    It just feels like a lot more apathy this year and we have a bunch of new teachers (some even TFA who are encouraged to volunteer for committees, etc)-usually they are go-getters, wanting to contribute. One was complaining the other day that we had so many meetings-this is the only one you have even attended this year! :rolleyes: Ugh. It just feels like pulling teeth to get anything started and it's all for the students or the community! What are we here for anyway! I know there's probably not much I can do, just sort of venting.:yawn:
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 21, 2009

    You have my sympathies. I would hate to work in an enviornment where it's all about "what I'm getting paid for."

    Scary how many people are all about "ME ME ME!!" And how frightening it is to know that they're major influences over the elementrary schoolers in their classes!!!
     
  4. Mrs N

    Mrs N Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2009

    I feel your pain! I consider myself a go-getter and have decided to take a backseat since no one seems to care!
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Nov 21, 2009

    A lot of our teachers have chosen to also take a back seat this year. I attribute it majorly to our change of administration and the horrible way the employees in our school are now treated. Children have now taken a back seat to the whims of the administration.
     
  6. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Nov 21, 2009

    For me, I'm trying to invest in some of these other activities, and while I've been a teacher for two years before this, I'm in a brand new situation with a brand new curriculum... I simply don't have the energy to do much else.
     
  7. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Nov 21, 2009

    I agree that if you have a lot of new teachers they may feel overwhelmed without adding extra events. In our district, there seems to be apathy because we know many of us will not have jobs next year due to program cuts so it is harder to care. It won't matter how hard you work - it depends on your program or seniority. I also think many people (teachers included) are having a lot of financial problems and are stressed and depressed and don't have the energy they used to have - I know it shouldn't transfer to the classroom, but it does.
     
  8. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Nov 21, 2009

    Sometimes it is okay for teachers to "take the back seat," in some ways, especially when it comes to volunteering for committees or doing a lot of extra curricular activities. For example, I am one of those people who ends up on every committee known to man. The past couple of years, I have said, "No, thank you" unless it is something I believe strongly in. I have young children, and feel that my time away from school belongs to them.
    Now... from 7:15-4:00 while I am at school (a whole hour earlier than I have to be so I can get work done), I am there 100%.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 21, 2009

    I'm currently in "back seat" mode as well. Between my young kids and my medical issues, the principal has been wonderful about not asking me to do much after school. I have a Sodlaity that meets once a week for half an hour, and I'm on a big test-creating committee, and that's it.

    BUT... I DID spend 18 years coaching Speech & Debate every Saturday from September until March. I DID work our Parish Religious Ed program for 2 years. I DID act as Department Chair for 6 or 7 years.

    So I'm OK with some down time.

    But other teachers are having their turn at going above and beyond, so everything is getting done. The examples in the Original Post weren't incredibly time consuming. They would have required minimal effort, and made a difference.

    This should NOT be an issue with professional educators!
     
  10. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    I agree, Alice. It seems that the teachers the OP talked about could easily have made cards or pictures for the meals on wheels delivery.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Nov 21, 2009

    I agree that the new teachers might feel overwhelmed with the committees; however, it wouldn't take too much time to make cards.
     
  12. cityfrog6

    cityfrog6 Comrade

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    Nov 21, 2009

    We have some teachers on our staff that are oblivious to stuff even though they sit through the same meetings the rest of the staff does. You have to tell them like 10 times (or more). It's no like we're asking for complicated rocket science formulas, it's just turn this in by then. It's so frustrating. :rolleyes:
     
  13. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I will admit... when an e-mail goes out asking for teachers to get involved in something... I just ignore it (largely because I'm leaving the school at the end of December anyway, so I really don't see much point in getting TOO involved)... the second or third time, I see that they are getting desperate, and then I'll send an e-mail asking if they would like my help until December... so generally, it takes two or three times to guilt me into doing something :lol:

    Now, if I get the job that I'm anticipating getting in January, I will be a little more willing to help out with things, as I've been working at that school for two years previously... I know how things go, and I have a good enough relationship with the staff, that I know I could work fairly easily with them, without worrying about being in the way or doing it wrong. (That, plus the fact that school gets out at 1:45 as opposed to 3:15... which is a huge difference... by 3:15, I'm done!)
     
  14. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Nov 22, 2009

    I think there are two kinds of people, one-doers and two-watchers. They've always been around too.

    Do as much as you can and close the door on those who don't.

    People can't fool kids they know who really care about them.
     
  15. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Nov 22, 2009

    Thanks for your responses! I guess I'm glad it isn't like this everywhere.

    I completely understand being overwhelmed first year or dealing with personal issues. But if someone asked me to do something in my classroom (especially teachers I am good friends with)-it would literally take 10 minutes of classroom time-I would do it. I was just really surprised by the lack of support and it's discouraging. It's like there's no care for our students as a whole, as a campus. Teachers just show up and go home-no investment. I'm not asking for them to sign up and stay after school for every committee, just support things the committees are doing in their classrooms.

    I sat in on some of the interviews for these new teachers and all of them talked about what they would do/start/participate in to help better the campus. They've done nothing-and only complain about the things other people are doing. It's just frustrating-I just feel badly for their students because I think it would be a great learning opportunity that they can't get from a book.
     
  16. Miss Beazly

    Miss Beazly Rookie

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    Nov 22, 2009

    I can't speak to your situation, but I can say the teachers at my school feel overwhelmed with everything we're expected to do as it is. Add to the equation a principal who constantly finds fault and plays favorites, and you have a recipe for apathy.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 22, 2009

    I don't know why some teachers just 'phone it in'...it's not always burnout as I've seen apathy from young teachers as well as 'seasoned' ones.

    I think those of us who go the extra mile, who participate in committees, work on professional development...etc..are the ones who are the true professionals...the ones who earn the respect, who are remembered by students and families as teachers who made a difference...

    I have no control over what other teachers do in their classrooms. I can share my ideas, energy and passion- colleagues can share that with me or not-

    For those who are lacking in passion and investment? They and their students are missing out.
     

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