There's got to be some good about teaching NOW!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by FourSquare, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    The other thread about changes in teaching got me thinking about my building. Now I *love* my new school so far and all the people in it. Most of the teachers there have been around for 15, 20, or 25+ years. They have more to teach me about this profession that I will ever know, but I gotta say, they are mad as heck about EVERYTHING.

    MADDDDD about Common Core.

    MADDDDD about technology.

    MADDDDD about differentiation.

    MADDDDD about inclusion.

    MADDDDD about being evaluated...apparently ever! Once a year for tenured teachers is too much, they say.

    MADDDDD about how crappy parents are now.

    MADDDDD about disrespectful kids.

    MADDDDD about administration.

    MADDDDD about (insert any new idea here).

    Now apparently I was born in the wrong generation and missed some glory age of teaching where it was much easier and more fun....but isn't anything good now? EVERY PD we've had about some new thing the dinosaur teachers sit in the back and snicker and say "I'm not doing that." :( I mean....I get it. Yet ANOTHER thing coming down the pipe that will probably disappear in a couple years....yet another thing for you to do...but it can't be all bad, can it? :unsure: I'm trying to stay positive here!

    Full Disclosure: I'm only a naive 2nd year teacher who will probably be grumbling in 20 years. :angel: But I think we have made some seriously cool advances. Look at all the stuff we can do with Internet and social media in the classroom! Look at how we moved away from doing a basal with round-robin reading and instead focused on small group instruction/one on one conferencing! Remember when SPED kids were in the dungeon/far away corridor/coat room? :whistle: Now we can include them! :woot:

    Progress? No? :unsure:

    Ummm.....WE DON'T HAVE TO MAKE COPIES ON THE DITTO MACHINE?! :thumb: C'mon...you gotta give me that. ;)
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    No scooping coal into the heater?
    No getting lost in a blizzard on your way to the boarding house?
    Yes to being able to be married?

    :lol:
     
  4. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    YEAHHHHHHHHH....THERE WE GO!

    :celebrate:
     
  5. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    I remember being in your shoes! Yes, there are many wonderful things about teaching now. I love that so much of what we do now is research based instead of using whatever seems to work.

    I think what is hard is that education is being blamed for many things. Along with that the teaching profession is being attacked and blamed for what is wrong with our country. Teachers tend to take it personally especially when they (well most of them) go in and do their very best every day. It seems like no matter how much we give, they want more.

    New things come down the pike, and teachers are expected to jump on board and go with it. Unfortunately, these new things are just old ideas with new names. We never settle on anything long enough to see if it is making a difference for our students.

    Another frustrating thing is to see incompetent teachers make the same amount of money for less work and effort. Principals are so overwhelmed they don't have time to see what is going on and do anything about it. In this area the unions have waaaaaaaaaay too much power. I personally feel if a principal can document you aren't doing your job, you are given multiple opportunities to improve, and you dont improve, then your union should not protect you.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Someone in the other thread mentioned the Socrates quote.

    Kids are kids are kids. They're the most rewarding part of this profession we've chosen, and they don't change.

    Today I had a kid leave class yelling "Love ya, Mrs. Aliceacc." She's known me for 2 weeks, and we're already forming a bond.

    I'm not mad about anything. I enjoy going to work each day. I like my classes, I like my school, I like the professionals with and for whom I'm privileged to work.
     
  7. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    June, July, and August. (Only half-kidding)

    :cool:
     
  8. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    My $.02 as a fairly new teacher but with many years of experience in other fields...it is a great profession or calling. However, it is unfortunately attached to the government so there are many dullards and/or bureaucrats that inhibit or stifle the process.

    Until this mess is detangled from the incompetency associated with all government managed processes it is doomed to be less than optimal.there are those who post here that are in the private sector but I personally am appalled at the waste, inefficiency, etc. that I see as a government employee within the system.

    with that said, I will wake up tomorrow and do my best to help my students learn math.
     
  9. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I think one of the best parts about teaching is building those bonds with the kids like Alice mentioned. My co-teacher and I had a bunch of kids giving us a hard time about the Browns today. (They lost again for anyone who might have thought they managed to win a game :lol:) They aren't afraid to come and ask questions, but they know we expect a lot from them and we make them work. Our kids respect us but more than that they try for us. They are willing to go out on a limb and try something new that we present. They're eager to participate in discussions. And they will absolutely go to bat for you if you ever needed them to :)
     
  10. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Eh. I'm only in it for the stickers and school supplies.





    .








    .






    .







    Kidding :lol:
     
  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I was able to teach Beowulf to a student who had given birth the day before. She was on the phone in bed with her son in a bassinet next to her. I cannot imagine her being able to do this even a decade before.
     
  12. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Giraffe, you might be on to something... My love for school supplies knows no end...
     
  13. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I have taught for 20+ years and I will say now is the best time ever to teach--although not the easiest. Technology has made teaching a lot more fun, exciting, and saves so much time. The SMART RESPONSE clickers grade many of your papers and the SMART BOARD coupled with the internet makes so much possible in teaching children. I know that teaching has never been so fun to me, but I must admit that the admin. has found plenty of ways to see that we have plenty to keep ourselves busy with extra work. Without taking an extreme amount of advantage of technology, I can see why teachers would complain. Not me though, I am smiling and looking forward to teaching tomorrow. :)
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I think a lot of it has to do with our attitude about the changes. We either try it and look on the bright side, or don't. We make a lot of it what it is.
     
  15. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I really admire the teacher next-door to me. She is a year or two away from retirement, and still actively trying to improve her teaching methods. Being a small parochial school, we don't get a lot of mandates from administration on curriculum or how we teach (although we do take state tests, follow the Common Core standards, etc.). However, she has started using the Daily 5, goes to different workshops, etc. It's really neat to see because I know it wouldn't be that way for many others. :)
     
  16. Math

    Math Cohort

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    :lol:
     
  17. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I'm trying very hard this year not to be MADDDD about stuff, and so far it's working pretty well. :)

    I love common core. Sure, it's a lot to get used to, but I think having a common set of standards (and assessments) is great!

    My class is awesome this year!

    I still absolutely love Daily 5! Building stamina is so exciting and rewarding. We reached 20 minutes of read to self stamina today, and my class was cheering and hugging me. I love it.

    I am really trying to focus on the positive this year. I'm not letting the meetings and paperwork get in the way of what I love to do.
     
  18. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I think that is just amazing. I love when teachers continue to have that love of learning and professional development, even when the end is in sight.
     
  19. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    She is also doing this in the middle of her own health struggles, and with an extremely difficult class this year. She is definitely my role model!
     
  20. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Well I am a new teacher as well, but I love many things about teaching, apart from just teaching!

    For instance, it's awesome to be able to use technology in the class. I love the new ways that they're beginning to teach science to make it more friendly for females and using more engineering.

    I love that we have, it seems, a great deal more support! The frequent observations are great, and I love that we are getting BTSA for new teachers like me. I love the increased accountability (which may be a problem that many of the dinosaur teachers are having a bone to pick with). I agree that when I get to their point in life where I've been doing it for a while, I would probably be fed up with it, but new teacher, being plopped alone into a classroom... bring on the evaluations! I need all the help I can get!
     
  21. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    My first year of teaching, my mentor teacher had been teaching for 32 years, all in the same grade/school/room. She was like your teacher next door. She was constantly looking for new ideas, incorporating things that she learned in workshops, etc. It was so great working with her! I think she retired last year, after teaching for 38 years.
     
  22. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Well, we tend to be results-oriented as people... we always talk (complain) about the effect, but don't look at the cause. I have a fat brother and sister-in-law, and they limp/struggle around, complaining about their aches and pains. They neglect to see the cause (their excessive weight, causing their aches/pains.

    Likewise in teaching, I don't think we look inward and what we (as teachers) do to create the environment we work in.
     
  23. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    The good/great about teaching now is I STILL get to see a kid succeed after struggling or not trying hard enough. Case in point I have a girl who has never given much effort and misses lots of school. Mom is odd and lets her stay home for nothing. I am teaching a modified volleyball game and she is FINALLY giving it some effort and doing great. I know it makes her feel good and is inspiring her to more effort.
     
  24. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    That every day is a new day and all it takes is a few changes to make things better than the day before.
     
  25. Poodle15

    Poodle15 Companion

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    THIS is why I want to teach. That "click" you can almost hear and definitely see when a student gets it.
     
  26. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Sorry, but I find the term dinosaur teacher to be a bit offensive. I guess it just seems like a bit of stereotyping....Maybe I am just tired today!:yawn:

    Anyway, I do have a bit of a problem with the accountability issue. I have 27 students. More than half have some type of learning problem. These children are in the second grade, but they are reading at a very beginning first grade level. It has taken two years to get them to a beginning first grade level. I am expected to have them show one year of growth in one year, and if I don't then I am accountable. So I have to accomplish in 1 year what two other teachers could barely accomplish in two years? That does not seem fair.

    In addition, these are the students that are in my room the least. They are being pulled for speech, pt, ot, social skills, ell, and therapy with a counselor! The special education teacher is with me for 2 40 minute times during the day. That is if she shows up on time since she often gets delayed in another class with students that are having issues. Often she doesn't show up because of meetings.

    Now the other teachers in my grade don't have all of these issues. Whose scores are going to look better? Now nobody wants the special education students because they make you look bad no matter how much you do or how hard you try. Some of these kids are never going to show a years growth.

    I have no problem with accountability as long as it is made clear that there has to be some exceptions. And as of now, there are no exceptions. It frightens me to know I could lose my job because I have the special education students. If that makes me a dinosaur teacher, then so be it.
     
  27. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Ya think?
     
  28. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apologies on the term. It is thrown around a lot and I didn't really think about who would be affected by it. :sorry:

    As for accountability, I am probably calling it something wrong. By accountability, I meant being given copious amounts of constructive criticism. I realize there is also a component of consequence when using the word accountability that I didn't think of either. But I feel that I enjoy being given advice and constructive criticism, and that I'm not simply being plopped in a room and expected to teach with no standards set on my teaching abilities.

    The programs in my state are pretty helpful apparently (I haven't yet experienced them myself), but as I said, I like being evaluated, and wish my Ps would pop in more, and not just pop in but give me some type of review or advice, positive or negative afterwards.
     
  29. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    While working my second job this evening ( aka cab driver, chef, etc.) it dawned on me I sound like a "Crankasaurus!" :lol:

    I agree with you that I will take constructive feedback any day of the week. Back in the day, we were shown to our rooms and told good luck. It was sink or swim. That attitude though probably helped me realize that in the end I really only have myself to depend on when it comes to being the best I can be in the class room. I have a relentless drive to improve. The day I am no longer wanting to learn and reflect is the day I walk out of this profession.

    However, I prefer to not be forced out because I can't do the impossible!
     
  30. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    At my first school, I was shown my room and then for the rest of the year told that everything was my fault. If a student had poor attendance, that was my fault. I was the reason that a boy began throwing desks and chairs around the classroom for no apparent reason (undiagnosed ED at the time). It was my fault that kids came to me and didn't know their alphabet, etc. I was given no guidance, and no constructive criticism.

    My current school was much better. I still didn't get as much constructive criticism as I would like, and I really want to observe some "successful" teachers at other inner city schools (I've been asking for 5 years). Now we have a new P and TONS of changes (not related to her) - Common Core, a totally new (and unreasonable) teacher evaluation system, mandatory leap-style computer testing (and some of my kids can't read their names), and now, almost at the end of the first 9 weeks, a new reading curriculum (but no spelling, grammar, or writing to go with it). I'm just praying that my new P offers true constructive criticism (and maybe the opportunity to observe someone else!).

    I love my technology. I love opening the eyes of my kiddos to a world they never knew existed. Every day, I feel as I imagine Anne Sullivan to have felt when Helen Keller spelled water in her hand. It's amazing. It's a ministry. I really believe that you have to love it to truly succeed.
     
  31. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I don't think anything you said was unreasonable. :)
     
  32. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    That's a HUGE difference over the years.

    New teachers now have so very many resources at their disposal. When I started, there was no such thing as a mentor. There was no internet, no chat boards.

    You took classes and got your degree. You sent cover letters-- there was no one to offer advice or proofread them-- and you got a job. And you were expected from that point onward to know what you were doing. You became friendly with the teachers in your school, and you learned from them anything you didn't already know. I was very fortunate in my choice of friends those first few years. I learned a lot from some magnificent teachers.
     
  33. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    That's great that you were able to learn so much Alice!

    However, I think the problem with that later approach, is that some teachers took that lack of resources and accountability to mean that they could do whatever it is they wanted with no consequences, and never truly learned how to teach.

    This outputs the teachers who are angry with all the new changes and feedback in accountability in Education because they're used to just sitting and lecturing or having students work from a book only, and they don't like that they're being asked to try new things or that they might be held accountable.

    I think this is the problem the OP is facing right now. The quintessential teacher who shouldn't be there, but can't be fired because he is tenured.

    It's great that it turned out to be effective for you, but I don't think the old method is a very reliable nor responsible way for putting qualified teachers into classrooms.
     
  34. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Whoa! Well...no. I wasn't being that serious! ;) I was more poking fun. There are DEFINITELY some folks that need to go for the reasons you stated....but that's probably like 2-3 people out of a staff of 90. Just to be clear. :)

    The students at my school seem to enjoy being there and 80% of them meet or exceed on state tests :)rolleyes:) so they must be doing something right. I'm not teasing cause they're terrible, I'm teasing cause they're GRUMPY! They think my small group work is "doin' too much." And they all teach from lecterns. Seriously! They have little podiums that they stand behind. And, I die. :lol:
     
  35. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Remember the threads about bad hugging, unions etc. Here is one reason I love my job. I taught a boy about 7 years ago. He was way below average in PE skills. He tried hard and never quit. One of those type of kids that would probably fall through the cracks. I have sort of kept up with him through his mom (teacher from my school that left, leads the union now etc). Tuesday, I talked to his step dad for awhile telling him how proud I was of Tristan for staying with varsity football even though his playing time was small. He told me that Tristan worked 40 hours a week this summer and then went to football practice. SOOOOOO today during my math group in walks Tristan, big football player and senior in HS. Shakes my hand and gives me a BIG hug in front of the group. I love it when my former kids go on and develop good work habits and work ethic even though they are not the highest skilled. But don't worry, we don't communicate on FB. ;)
     
  36. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    It is nice to come back on here after about a year away from atoz and read uplifting posts like this. I'm finally finding my own school to be home- after three years. It struck me today, when a dear friend was leaving- we had her send off party today. Going back isn't going to be the same without her- I realized I do treasure the people I work with and we do depend on one another and that came about over the course of years- it may have been slow growing, but it is there and the wealth of knowledge and experience is incredible when you open yourself up to it. I have amazing colleagues and a fantastic first grade class this year and overwhelming support from my school friends. The kids are definitely the highlight.
     
  37. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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  38. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    What's good about teaching?
    The fact that I get to stand up every morning and say "The Pledge of Allegiance" with pride, knowing that it is the teachers, not the politicians that make this country what it is. We have, in my opinion, the best job in the world. It's hard, and constantly changing. It's stressful beyond belief, but that's part of what makes it good.
     
  39. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I never get tired of seeing the light bulbs go off in a kid's eyes when they finally get something they've been struggling with. Makes all of the other crap worth it.

    (For the record, I think I'm a Crankosaurus Rex this year.)
     
  40. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    What is good about teaching? Well, my absolutely fantastic office space!

    Okay for real, I love getting to know the children well. I love getting to learn new things from my students. I love getting to create and try out new things every year. I love feeling like I have one of the coolest best jobs for me I could possibly have. I hate feeling something is tedious and that is something I have never found teaching to be. I love being paid enough to live comfortably in the SF Bay Area and have all the time off. I love feeling like a leader even if it is for this and that in the school. I love the team I work with. I love trying to figure out how to fulfill new things (such as common core) and still support the learning of the children.

    I think my favorite thing I have seen from teaching is how everyone has things they excel at and every child is fun to get to know and a lovable person. It is one of those things where I thought it theoretically; but teaching has shown me how true it is.
     
  41. jpommes

    jpommes New Member

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    There should be a forum or thread dedicated to stories like this!

     

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