Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mamacita, Sep 30, 2012.
Sep 30, 2012
Has anyone else seen this article? It sums up the majority of our problems' sources perfectly!
Oct 1, 2012
Don't have time to read the whole article right now, but want to come back to it later today.
I saw this one floating around Twitter.
I'm not exhausted, but I do think we may be chasing our tails.
I agree. I think exhausted is the best way to describe how I feel this year. Even though I'm at a great school with great administrators, I am overwhelmed with whatever the next new thing is.
Interesting read. I agree parents need to be more responsible and accountable, but so does everybody. The article did suggest that society as a whole is to blame, but everyone needs to be responsible for their actions, no matter what.
I am not exhausted yet, but I am looking forward to the random days off and breaks already.
I am reading it bit by bit today. Even that is exhausting.
You reap what you sow. Teachers have earned this themselves, by volunteering (sacrificing) the next generation of teachers (and those people's jobs) for their own benefit. They wanted to get rid of all those teaching jobs... so workload is naturally going to go up. So you can't very well complain about it now.
Am I getting this right? We have demanded so much (money benefits etc?)
that nothing was left for new teachers? I am lost.
And we are to blame for the generation of parents that do not parent?
I can tell you why teachers are denigrated and looked down upon. Because our country is loaded with people that are obsessed with assigning blame. They are goaded and informed by hate mongers on talk radio and they readily believe anything bad about anyone they are supposed to hate. Teachers are an easy target. I worked hard for MY job and at my job. If it is my fault that someone else has no job it is beyond me why.
Well, things may be very different in your area. (I know for example, that in many parts of the country, teachers are woefully underpaid.) In CA though, the budget was slashed. Districts had much less money to operate. To make up for it, obviously they had to cut costs. Salaries happen to make up the majority of a district's costs. So the choice is basically cut jobs or take paycuts. Teachers chose cutting jobs.
I can tell you that is far from the reality in Fla. We have no bargaining power and are divided into 67 districts ranging from
dirt poor to very wealthy. The wealthy usually have ocean front property to tax at a high rate.
I'm looking forward to reading this after class so I can comment later. Conversation is already spirited, I see!
I liked the article. I agree with most of the articles I read about teaching. What saddens me is that nothing ever changes.
I'm happy to not be working in the USA right now and things are a lot better in a lot of ways.
Wow, I definitely feel the exhaustion setting in this year, but I was about to chalk it up to being pregnant!
I do feel, however, that each year I'm being pulled in one more different direction. As if more is being put on a teacher's plate, and less on the parent's. Skills that I remember learning at home and merely reinforced at school are now being taught solely at school, with zero at-home reinforcement.
The comments after the story are pretty good, also.
I agree especially with the end of the article. The amount of anti-teacher propaganda has reached critical levels.
Thanks for posting the link. I have read it all including the comments and you can substitute UK for USA in every line. I have circulated it among my colleages.
My only concern is that it pokes at charter schools. We're dealing with the same demands and tests, but most of us are non-unionized and don't have the protection and solidarity that public schools have. As an online teacher, I'm in near-isolation at times, slumped over my desk while I hope my students will press that button that powers up their school computers instead of the one that fires up the Wii.
I have not read the article yet, but I agree with you on this. Just fighting the anti-teacher propaganda is exhausting to the point where I rarely argue with people who have never taught but think they know all there is about the profession. Teacher bashing has become a national pastime it seems.
And yes, I am exhausted and there are 154 more days to go ...
This line was my favorite: "Today, teachers across the land dutifully cast their seeds on ever-rockier ground."
From a practical POV... accepting for a second that there is the level of anti-teacher "propaganda" as you think... a thoughtful person & teacher would naturally look inward and wonder what if any of it has merit. (And when I say you, I'm talking to the collective--not specifically talking to anybody here.) From what I've seen, teachers (as a collective) accept very little responsibility for any failings in the education system--very little. What part of this environment have you created? I will say, speaking toward unionized teacher environments, the prevailing thought seems to be: If you are union, you are RIGHT. If you aren't union, you are WRONG. And that's all there is to it.
Bottom line, I wish I could agree with you. After all, I am still in this (for some unknown reason). I wish I could be there to support you, and the teaching profession, against this assault. I would LOVE to get in there and work and lighten the load, pitch in, do my part, etc. But I'm not allowed. I'm pushed away. I'm not valued. I'm not worthy (...at the risk of sounding overdramatic.)
I agree strongly with the title of the article. Yes, teachers are tired..maybe even exhausted. However, I don't think the article continued on that path. Instead, it really bashed parents, the way we as educators hate to be bashed.
Most parents I worked with as a teacher are good hard working people. I have taught in 3 schools--one very low SES, one very high SES, and my current school which is very middle class. Oh sure, there are some parents who give parents bad names, and I can't say many good things about them. I feel they are the exception though, not the rule.
I don't think anyone is shirking responsibility John. The article even states:
"Truth is, the problem with the American student is the American adult. Deadbeat dads, pushover moms, vulgar celebrities, self-interested politicians, depraved ministers, tax-sheltering CEOs, steroid-injecting athletes, benefit-collecting retirees who vote down school taxes, and yes, incompetent teachers—all take their turns conspiring to neglect the needs of the young in favor of the wants of the old."
So incompetent teachers are added to that list but there are many other factors in play here as I am sure you would agree.
I won't get into the whole union issue with you, but what I've seen from our unions is that they exist to protect the already diminishing rights of teachers. I don't think anyone thinks that they are a panacea for all of our woes and there are problems inherent in the union system, but I think we can argue that their existence has done a great deal toward improving the lives of teachers and thus improving the education their students receive. Poorly prepared, poorly paid, and poorly taken care of teachers simply cause students to suffer.
It's unclear to me from your post, but are you a teacher?
Really you don't think so? Here in CA, budgets have been slashed. The teachers (in my district and in general) response? "We'll put all the newest teachers at risk (of being fired--losing job, income, identity, self-worth). The rest of us? We'll take 10 vacation days (unpaid)."
This quote is a bit interesting, only because it seem to highlight the dynamic I illustrated directly above.
Well, I'm not trying to say that unions are necessarily evil. And I don't want my comments to be qualified one way or the other by whether or not I'm "a teacher". (It wouldn't take much to figure out though by my previous posts.) And I know that unions have done a lot for working-class folks in this country. I'm speaking (union-wise) to a dynamic that I see in my personal dealings and what I read about current issues (e.g. CPS strike) in union states.
New teachers have always been at risk of being fired. That is the nature of the job. Older members have seniority, and the experience that comes from it. Yes, there are older teachers who shouldn't be teaching, but the vast majority of experienced teachers have themselves benefited and their students benefited from their experience.
I would have you ask yourself, is it the teachers' fault that the budgets are being slashed? Or are there other things at play here? California teaches 1 out of every 8 students in the United States but our per student spending is near the very bottom of the United States.
I think you need to talk to your politicians and to your parents: the ones who justify the cutting of education money in favor of turning education into a for-profit venture.
What you see in your personal dealings doesn't always characterize all teachers as a whole or all unions. And sometimes unions have a duty to go on strike when teachers are being threatened.
In California, a bill is set to be voted on for which large corporations, and SuperPACS have funded that will eliminate a large part of the unions to support a political stance. Members of unions already have a right to opt out of having their money taken for political purposes so there is no point to further removing that ability. It directly targets working class unions. I think this is something that you should be worried about instead.
Oct 2, 2012
Sure, it is not the teachers fault that budgets have been slashed... but that shouldn't exempt them from the effect should it? (Besides taking the vacation days I mean.) It's not John Smith the cabinet-maker's fault the economy has tanked... but that doesn't exempt John Smith's cabinet-making business from the effects. And it isn't a case where they've had to made superficial cuts to budgets. Cuts have been draconian. And BTW, the per-pupil spending figures... I simply don't buy. Not when the state is among the highest in teacher salary. (I don't want this to be an indictment on how much you happen to make--i.e. take the discussion down a different path. I just think that the statistics are cooked so to speak to suit needs.)
As to your point about the prop measures coming up, I can certainly respect your opinion. But I also realize that you are pretty much giving me the company (union) line, which is fine. But by the same token, one could say the exact thing about 38 & 30 (two teacher-supported measures that I will tell anyone who asks me to vote NO on).
The bottom line, and how it relates to this thread, is that teachers hugely hurt themselves in public perception and support. They alienate the people they serve (i.e. the parents), by IMO making them responsible for the failings in education. And they don't help themselves, forsaking their younger teaching brethren.
Parents are responsible for certain things i.e. getting their child to school & on time. Making sure they are fed & clothed, that their child comes to school ready to learn.
Parents fail their children when they send them to school hungry, tired & dirty. Or ill-prepared. Parents fail their children when they don't read with their children on a daily basis.
Parents need to take responsibility for raising their children and that includes educating their child.