Winning the Argument Against Teachers (Union Debate Continued)

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by EdEd, Mar 10, 2011.

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  1. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    For those following the lively discussion about unions and collective bargaining, I was encouraged to start a new thread with the topic below. Here's the background:

    The debate in the previous union thread became quite heated, with many arguments ranging from very anti-union to very pro-union. One thing became clear to some, though - whether unions are good or bad, effective or not effective, there is an outstanding truth not being addressed: teachers are losing the public debate about whether they are worthwhile, and even worthy of being stood up for. Sometimes you can be right, but that doesn't win the argument.

    So....

    _____

    Clearly, there are issues with unions right now - even if they are good, many people outside of those unions - from politicians to members of the public - see substantial flaw in them. With the teaching profession already under intense scrutiny, with a major critique (whether true or not) being that teachers are either lazy or otherwise don't earn high salaries, what is the best way to change this image of teachers in the public, and help the country understand how vital teachers are?

    When the average person outside of education hears of teachers refusing to teach, leaving at 2:30 and not writing letters of rec for a student, and complaining (through unions) about still not being paid enough, I suspect it looks bad, and it encourages the public and their representatives to have a negative view of the profession, and the professionals in it. Rather than addressing weaknesses in the profession and talking about how to address those internal standards, many members of the public and government hear complaining about unfair treatment. This, I suspect, rubs many the wrong way, even if those complaints are more than legitimate and dead-on accurate.


    If you were in a position of leadership on a local, state, and national level, what could you do to refocus the country on the importance of education and educators, the weaknesses in the profession that need to be addressed, and the unfair treatment educators are experiencing - from news reports to the paycheck - without making causing your audience to label you as immature, lazy, ungrateful, and defensive?
     
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  3. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

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    I'm glad you started this new thread! I'm just going to repost what I posted near the end of the unions thread:

    I think inviting legislators and other politicians to shadow a teacher for a day would be a great way to show exactly what a teacher's duties entail. I have seen this work in other fields on a local level, and it was very effective in showing lawmakers the unfair workload placed on employees in the public sector.

    I also think communities should organize a sort of public discussion in which a handful of parents, students, teachers, and other community members are chosen to present short speeches about their take on issues in education (I'm afraid a public debate would turn into a crazy free-for-all).

    This isn't in the realm of educational leadership, but I wish someone would make a flashy documentary about the plight of teachers. We see a lot of films like "Waiting for Superman" that place the majority of the blame for failing schools on teachers and teacher tenure, but those stories only present one side of the issue. I'd like to see a film that highlights the other side.
     
  4. Cerek

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    I mentioned my idea in another thread. The only way to permanently change public perception is through media advertising, documentaries, shows highlighting the everyday plight of teachers, etc.

    It would have to be done carefully to avoid the appearance of being defensive or whiny on the part of teachers, but I think a series of commercials putting the burdens faced by teachers across the country on other industries would be a good way to start. Maybe a commercial that says "What if?" as in "What if nurses were evaluated on the health of their patients each year?" or other commercials along that line. There could also be commercials by public figures expressing they gratitude to the teachers that helped them along the way (in fact, there WERE a series of commercials like this about 10 years ago or so).

    The reason public perception is so bad is because teachers seem to be under constant attack and vilification in the media, movies and political corridors. The only way to fight that is to start putting POSITIVE messages out in those some areas.

    It IS truly a shame that teachers are NOT given the respect their occupation deserves and also are not paid in accordance to the education and training they have to receive, but public opinion CAN be changed. It takes a coordinated and consistent effort, but it will eventually take root and grow - sometimes much faster than expected.
     
  5. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I know that in our province, we are having an "invite your MLA (member of legislative assembly - local representative) to school day".

    Overall, I think teachers need to really focus on celebrating what's right in the teaching profession. Sure, it sounds schmaltzy, but it's the only thing I see as doable. We need to emphasize what's going right in our classrooms, including making parents aware of what's going on. Sure we could come up with huge macro solutions... and wax philosophical, and the discussion is great, but ultimately, I think we need to start on the micro level.
     
  6. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    A nice idea but whats the bettingvthat if you had such a person coming to your school you would do your level best to show the school in a good light? Show good classes, tidy the place up, lick of paint etc when what you really want them to see are the kids out of control, stressed teachers and crumbling buildings!

    A bit like the Queen over here. She must think that all hospitals and schools smell of fresh paint and are fully carpetted in red!
     
  7. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I am glad we restarted this thread because I thought the other one was too involved for me to get in on. lol.

    We used to have a principal for a day program at my last school and it was such a dog and pony show. I want a teacher for a day program, but I want it to be realistic! I don't want the people treated like special guests.

    Work to rule should be an eye opener to parents and the community. It should make them realize all the extra work we do. When I was in school, I would have never expected a teacher to tutor me or work with me after school. Letters of recommendation, supervising clubs with no pay, etc. Unfortunately, we start doing these things to be kind to students and do what is best for them. But as the job becomes more and more demanding, sometimes we just can't reasonably be expected to do these things anymore. But the community and parents have come to see it as part of our job - our responsibility, not just something nice we do for the kids. So when we work to rule, it doesn't make them realize all the things we do for their kids normally. It just makes it look like we aren't doing our jobs. And that is really frustrating. As it is, parents are already annoyed that I won't call them after 3pm or give out my cell phone number.

    I don't know what the answer is. Students don't see the value in education until much later and I think the same is true for adults. If we didn't have public education at all, it would be a disaster, but because the fall out wouldn't be immediate, I think people in the community have a hard time seeing the value.
     
  8. Reality Check

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    If you were in a position of leadership on a local, state, and national level, what could you do to refocus the country on the importance of education and educators, the weaknesses in the profession that need to be addressed, and the unfair treatment educators are experiencing - from news reports to the paycheck - without making causing your audience to label you as immature, lazy, ungrateful, and defensive?


    I'm not trying to be a "fly in the ointment" on this proposal, I'm really not; I like the concept a lot. But I'm reminded of something I heard a long time ago that, "People have to arrive at the truth themselves. And they will do that only when they are ready to and not one minute before. You can't force the truth on them."

    There's more cynicism than ever about us right now. Whenever I see someone publicly point out anything about our profession, the hours we put in or about how difficult its become in our field, I usually hear a reply of, "That's the profession they CHOSE. If they don't like it, leave."

    I think the public is going to find out sometime down the road in the relatively near future. I would think that anyone about to enter college or is currently a freshman, would look at what's going on and say, "Why would I want to enter a field where my livelihood is threatened everyday? :dunno: No one with a bachelors or masters degree should have to be treated like that. I'm going to major in something else!"
     
  9. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I hate that this has turned into a two sided debate. Michelle Rhee has some good ideas. Bill Gates has some good ideas. Everyone has something to contribute to the conversation. I don't see why they are villifying unions and teachers and trying to create solutions without them, and I don't see why unions and teachers aren't always willing to try some new ideas, as well. Some things that unions are strictly against, like charter schools, don't make sense to me.
     
  10. EdEd

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    I think there is truth in your quote about arriving at the truth, but it doesn't mean we can't pave the road to make their journey easier. After all, if one can't be taught something - or at least encouraged to learn - why teach at all?

    Also, I do agree about the "entering the profession" comment - at least for young teachers who have had the opportunity to see how things are. NCLB-related state tests, for example, have been around for a minute - any teacher under the age of 27 or so would have had enough time before beginning their journey in college to research that fact. Doesn't mean they can't complain, and doesn't mean they shouldn't try to address the system, but the comment is true - they should have known what they were getting into. The issues going on now with unions, negative comments about teachers, etc. is relatively new (at least to the degree that it's happening now), so I don't think most anyone could have known. However, for those 3rd year education majors - they do have the forewarning to understand the difficulties of the profession right now.
     
  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Perhaps, in order to truly give a perspective of the classroom, administrators should be entered into the substitute pool for one or two weeks a year.
     
  12. DrivingPigeon

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    I agree with this and the shadowing statement. I don't think people truly realize what we do every day. They think back on their own school experience. When people find out I teach kindergarten, 90% they say, "Oh, that must be so much fun! They are so cute!" Both statements are true, but it is also much more work than people realize.

    I would love for a local politician or school board member to shadow me for a week. I would also love to be part of a documentary on teachers!
     
  13. DrivingPigeon

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    I would have to disagree. I am a third year teacher. While I had a basic understanding of how schools operate today (from observing, student teaching, etc.), I was shell-shocked my first year. There are so many things that you don't really understand until you have your own classroom.
     
  14. Cerek

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    There is a lot of truth that people have to learn things for themselves. While you would expect that to be far easier with the multitude of technology available today, many people are still just as UN-informed as they were before because they grab onto the first soundbyte that they agree with and don't bother to do any research for themselves.

    When I was subbing in an advanced high school a couple of years ago, the students were assigned to draw a political parody cartoon. I noticed very quickly that almost the entire class was against Obama, so I asked them why they didn't like him. One student cited the commercial of attacking Obama's support of abortion by showing a nurse walking out of a room and leaving a baby on the table to die. The student (a sophomore, IIRC) quoted this commercial as if that was actually what happened in abortions and Obama personally endorsed it. :unsure:

    I tried my best to explain there is a lot of MIS-information on the internet and in other media and they should always check several (including some that disagreed with their view) before forming their final opinion.

    I think the same thing is happening to teachers and unions. Yes, this IS the career we chose. I knew full well that extra hours and relatively low pay were part of the package and gladly accepted it anyway. However, NO PROFESSION deserves to be unjustly demonized for things that are not their fault or that they have no impact or control over. But you have the popular talking heads that spout hateful rhetoric to villainize opposing views and too many people accept what is said at face value.

    There ARE glimmers of hope. I mentioned the TV commercials that ran several years ago. I don't remember all of them (because I wasn't interested in teaching at that time), but I distinctly remember one featuring David Schwimmer (from Friends) praising the teacher that had the biggest influence on his life.

    There is also a local TV station (out of Chattanooga, TN) that runs a weekly piece called "What is RIGHT in our schools?" They have run this series for several years and each report features a special teacher or school program that goes above and beyond the normal call to help students achieve their best.

    So there IS hope, but it will take a coordinated effort and a fair amount of time for public opinion to change.
     
  15. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I agree. Documentaries are a great way to show the public the challenges we face.
     
  16. John Lee

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    Of course my comment will ruffle feathers, with everyone telling me either I'm full of S- or that they never see anything like that at their work... BUT

    Teachers are the biggest whiners I've ever been around. I've worked in other careers... of course I have friends, acqaintances, etc. And I never hear complaining like I hear daily during my day at school.

    I think that kind of thing has a huge effect on how people perceive you.
     
  17. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Wow.
     
  18. Cerek

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    Hmmm.....well I've worked in other careers as well and there was a substantial amount of whining at every job I ever had. Sometimes it was between coworkers, but more often, it was between departments, much like the complaining between grade levels that some schools have.

    I've only worked for one company where this was not a daily occurrence and that is because we only had 8 employees, so everyone got along pretty well. We still had occasional squabbles, but not complaining every day.

    Even if you DO hear more complaining at your school each day than at other jobs, how does that affect the perception of people OUTSIDE of the school? Most teachers keep their business "in house", so I have to wonder how people who don't work in the school hear about the complaining.
     
  19. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Some posts are so entirely crazy they're simply not worth a reply.

    Anyway, I still think that the key is for teachers to really focus on finding something that goes right, and building on that. I did that a lot in the first term, but I've fallen out of that practice... my goal is to use the "Celebrate" page on my blog on a daily (or at least 3 times/week) basis.

    Not only has it helped me in my own classroom, but it has parents, teachers and admin excited about what is going on in our school... and while I can't say it has started something huge, I know that good was coming from it.
     
  20. Cerek

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    I think teacher webpages and blogs are a GREAT way for teachers to give parents and the community an "inside look" at what goes on in their classroom each day and is also a perfect venue for promoting what teachers do RIGHT in their classrooms. You do have to be careful about the comments you write, however.

    Several of my sons teachers have webpages with blogs. A few weeks ago, one of them posted something like "02/28/11 - Today was just a 6th Grade day on steroids." I understood what he was trying to say (or at least I think I did), but my mom found the comment to be offensive. So you have to be careful about what you say and how you say it.

    If done carefully, though, the Class Blog could be a perfect venue for promoting all the good things going on in your class and your school.
     
  21. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Definitely be careful! "6th Grade day on steroids" is probably not a good choice of terminology!

    At the beginning of the year, I had all my students select a "codename", that they can tell their parents... then when I post about them, I post about "Taylor Swift" rather than using their actual name. It's a great way to keep kids secure on the internet, and still celebrate what they're doing.
     
  22. Cerek

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    I like that idea as well. :thumb:
     
  23. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I think the problem is that to the casual observer, a teacher is just presenting material to a class. If someone came in to shadow you, that's what they would see. They wouldn't see that you gathering materials for the class previously, waiting at the copier, putting together a power point, brushing up on the content, creating the word wall or the formal lesson plan document. They don't realize that you have one student with accommodations because she has a learning disability, another with accommodations because he has an emotional disability, a third that is legally blind and needs special materials and considerations, a kid that needs to go to the bathroom whenever he asks for medical reasons, and a kid who is insulin-dependent diabetic and has to leave early for lunch every day. Not to mention that you need to remember that if the knucklehead in the front gets bored, there are going to be behavior problems, and that kid over there is going to have a million questions the first 10 seconds into the assignment so you better be able to head that off. And they don't know that this student here has taken this class 2 years in a row and is failing it again. And lets not ignore the other 25 kids in the class. And that is just ONE period so multiply that by 6.

    So when someone comes to shadow you, they need to understand that what looks like presenting information, behind the scenes really looks like THAT times 6. And THAT times 6 doesn't get done in a 45 minute planning period.

    It's like going to see a play - it looks pretty on the stage. No one ever sees what is going on behind the scenes or days before opening night.
     
  24. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    :clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:
     
  25. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

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    But even if an observer only sees part of what a teaching job entails, it's up to teachers to talk to them about their jobs. During planning period, explain that you spend approximately X hours grading and planning lessons at home each week. Also, if I were to have someone shadow me, I would probably ask him/her to arrive at school when I arrive and leave when I leave--I like to arrive fairly early, and I think observers would feel differently about teachers' jobs if they experienced what it was like to arrive to school at 7 and leave at 4 (or later). That's part of the job, too, and observers would be able to witness that as well.
     
  26. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

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    Awesome! What blog website do you use? I would like to try it.
     
  27. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I used Edublogs, since I was given a free membership (by a member here)...

    I used it a LOT during the first term, and then it hasn't been used as much the last few months, but I've resolved to get back to it once we start back on Monday. If you want to check it out, it's www.misterfleming.com, but keep in mind, the posts from the beginning of the year give you a better idea of what the website could be!
     
  28. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    This is an awesome idea!! This way parents and the general public can actually see how much work we put into and also the type of challenges we face and what we do to solve these challenges.
     
  29. John Lee

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    Why would you think teachers keep their complaints in-house? I'm sure, if they whine to anyone who will listen in the staff room, they will whine to friends, family, acquaintances...

    Here's maybe a good way to put it: Cops, fire, and teachers can effectively be classified in the same way. Common, public service positions. Cops and fire enjoy a much better public perception. Teachers, not as much. Why?

    One of the reasons, as I said, is the perception. I know cops and firemen. I do not think they whine and complain anywhere near the level I hear from teachers. Teachers traditionally lament their salary level, that they don't make enough. You don't hear that kind of thing attributed to cops/fire. Teachers always try to justify how hard they really work (in defense to when people tell them they have summers off). You don't hear cops or fire have to defend or boast about their work level. I think those (complaining) attitudes have become attributed to teaching to a degree.
     
  30. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Can I ask you why you are part of a profession that you despise as much as it appears? Not being critical, just curious.
     
  31. John Lee

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    Where did I ever say I despised any part of the profession?
     
  32. Cerek

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    QFT..

    "Teachers are the biggest whiners I've ever been around."

    That definitely gives the impression you despise at least one part of your profession. You also believe teachers should be paid less as they get older because - in your opinion - they aren't as energetic, efficient or effective as younger teachers. That sounds as if you either begrudge having older teachers in the profession and/or envy the relative job security they have earned through their years of experience. Not sure if you actually "despise" the presence of older teachers, but your previous comments certainly imply you dislike having them around.

    You say you've worked in other careers. Which ones have you worked in? As I said, I've worked in a number of different careers myself and complaining from employees has been consistent throughout all of them.

    Your police and firefighter buddies don't "whine" as much as the teachers you are around. When do you hang out with your buddies? What are you doing at the time? Maybe the setting and the circumstances are part of the reason they don't voice their complaints to you.

    You say that - if teachers will whine to anyone in the staff room - you are sure they also whine to their family, friends and acquaintances. That is an assumption on your part. How do you know they actually do that? Do you hear teachers whining outside of the school on a regular basis? Are you around them when they are complaining to these outside parties? Or do you make that assumption because you talk to your own friends about complaints from work, so you think that everyone else does as well?

    How often are you around your stoic friends from the police and firefighting departments vs the amount of time you are around the teachers in your school?

    Actually, I just realized I'm making my OWN assumption that you are a teacher. I'm not sure you've ever mentioned what grade and/or subject you actually teach.
     
  33. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Some arguments just aren't worth arguing.
     
  34. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    If I received the reverence a firefighter or police officer gets, maybe I wouldn't complain as much. A firefighter or police officer's heroic acts are tangible and often material. Teachers save lives every day too. But the results of their work are not seen until much later. If there is a fire or drug bust, we all see the heroes on tv. How often do they show a med school graduation and put the all the teacher's pictures on the news? How often do teachers get discounts at restaurants and stores? Maybe some, but not like I see for cops and firefighters.

    I don't think it is fair to compare us to cops and firefighters, especially when this thread is about public perception.
     
  35. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Getting this back on track, I hope I'm not whining when I tell people about my day. If anything, I try to explain what I do and how I do it. I tell them about my inspirational or creative moments that explain why I love to teach. It's almost like secular witnessing, I suppose, or grassroots PR for teachers.
     
  36. John Lee

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    It's clear that you dislike me Cerek and others. Fine. I don't need to answer your questions, as if to prove myself worthy (e.g. "What have you done in past careers?" "You're probably not even a teacher" ...as if I'm not teacher material.) Suffice it to say that I've spent many years in education, and that in my school community (parents, administrators, fellow teachers/staff), I am well respected.

    So my opinion is not that of some loose cannon or troll. I am known as a dedicating and caring educator. It does seem like I often offer a differing opinion because I'm not willing to take to this forum as some yes-man/woman for teaching. According to people like you: Everything is fine in education w/regard to teachers and what they do. Teachers are above reproach and criticism. ("Yes, there are rogue teachers..." etc.) The test results and graduation rates are not the fault of teachers. The perception of the public is not influenced in any way by teachers. All the problems in education are external, the result of administration, parents, attacks on education by the public. Where is the acceptance/realization that we as teachers (yes, I said we... can you imagine my gall) should have, in how we are perceived? I hear nothing but "it's because they (parents/admin/public)" do not understand. Going back to the point I made about cops/fire/teachers... Cops and fire enjoy public accolades, while teachers do seem less esteemed. I am not willing to simply say, "it's the media" or some other bogus excuse for why we do seem to be under more attack. Deflecting blame instead of trying to actually trying to look at the underlying cause is akin to "curing" your disease by taking pain medication. It doesn't do ish for the actual fix.

    As to your comments about my opinions and older teachers... I've said many times that I feel teachers should be allowed to work as long as they can... funny how you don't quote that. I've also said that we need all types in education: not just old teachers, young teachers, married teachers, women teachers, good-looking teachers. We need all types. I was trying to discuss ways that we can employ all demographics of the teaching profession instead of the current framework. I could be wrong. But because I happen to offer an opinion or viewpoint that is not strictly in-line with what you and others want, I'm a villain?

    Bottom line, I enjoy what I do. I wouldn't do a job that pays me poverty wages if I didn't enjoy it. And regardless of what you may think, if I were to decide that I can no longer do this for what I'm paid, it would be a loss to my school community. This is to illustrate that there are MANY people like me, who may leave the teacher force as a result of pay, which would hurt education. And if my district offered me a teaching position at double that (say $30k), I'd take it. I think that indicates the hunger and the love I have for the profession. It's not me wanting to undermine my profession's earning power, or act like some saint, or whatever. I would hope that it would indicate to people like you the hunger I have. I would hope that you would also realize that many people in a similar situation would probably jump at the same opportunity, and that lots of people are chomping at the bit.

    Public education in this country is broken in many ways. If you don't realize this, then you aren't looking hard enough. Since teachers ae the largest entity within this, why is it off-the-table, to address how teachers affect this broken system?
     
  37. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Mar 12, 2011

    Well, it seems your feathers are the ones that got ruffled.

    I never said anything about having to prove yourself worthy. I questioned your claim that you've never heard as much whining in your other careers as you've heard from teachers (more on that in a second). My experience has been vastly different, so I asked you to list the careers you worked in that had this remarkable lack of employee complaints.

    In your comments about teachers, you seem to keep referring to them as a group distinct from yourself. I don't recall you ever saying something like "my fellow teachers are the biggest bunch of whiners I've ever heard". You DID say you hear teachers complaining to anybody in the staff room that will listen, but that could mean you were a sub instead of a teacher at that school. So I thought you might still be in college pursuing your license or a licensed teacher having to work as a sub (which might have explained your comments about older teachers not being as capable and energetic as younger ones). So I was seeking clarification on exactly what subject and grade level you teach and - if it isn't too much trouble - how long you've been teaching in your current position. That's not an attempt to imply you are unworthy, I'm just asking for some extra information to understand where you're coming from a little better.

    I asked how much time you actually spend around your cop and firefighter buddies vs how much time you spend around your fellow teachers to point out that MIGHT be one reason you don't seem to hear them complaining as often as teachers. Just something to consider.

    I personally think the idea that teachers are responsible for the poor public image because they're just a bunch of whiners is far more bogus than the daily attacks teachers and unions receive on the news, internet and other media. I'm sure negative attitudes among teachers probably plays a small part, but I would wager it is a very small part. Teachers DO normally keep their complaints "in house" for a number of reasons; first of all, there is the confidentiality issue of accidentally mentioning a child's name to someone outside the school during a rant. Secondly, a lot of people DON'T have any sympathy for teachers because they think we just sit at our desk all day and play with the kids - then get the summer off. So there isn't likely to be the same sympathy and understanding from someone outside the profession. Often this is true even if it is your spouse of family. Those that don't teach simply don't know all that teachers do behind the scenes. Again, I would bet your police and firefighter buddies DO have their own complaints about their jobs, but also keep those complaints "in house" for the very same reason.

    I've never said everything in teaching is fine. I have said I understood full well the downsides that came with the job and I accepted them gladly because this IS what I am meant to do for the rest of my life. I will be on this ship until it goes under completely or I reach retirement, whichever comes first.

    As for the respect police and firefighters get, silverspoon addressed that very well. They risk their lives every day and (very often) save the lives of others in a very tangible and immediate way. People can see the difference their efforts make. Teachers may not face life-threatening situations daily (with the possible exception of some urban middle and high schools) and the differences WE make often take years to be fully realized. So our results are not immediate and don't usually don't have what it takes to make a YouTube video that goes viral. But it is enough for me to know that 10 or 15 years down the road, the kids I teach today WILL realize the difference I made in their lives.

    I've never said there is nothing wrong with the education system. In fact, there is a lot wrong with it and I've offered opinions about what *I* think is wrong and some possible ways that could be addressed.

    You also said older teachers just weren't as energetic or capable or effective as younger teachers and implied there was really no arguing that point. I beg to differ because I'll stack a teacher with 20 years experience up against someone with less than 10 any day of the week. Experience brings certain types of knowledge and wisdom that can only be gained through experience. It can't be taught in a school or even by a mentoring teacher. It is one of those things you have to learn and develop for yourself over time and there really is no shortcut to it.

    There is nothing wrong with offering different opinions and "stirring the pot" a little, I do the same thing all the time. But if you're gonna do that, then you also have to be prepared for criticisms and questions about your comments and be prepared to back them up with some solid reasoning.

    You can't make controversial statements and then expect everyone to just say "Wow, thank you for pointing that out to us. We never thought about it like that." Especially when you seem to go out of your way to make your comments emotionally charged.

    You wanted to ruffle some feathers and - obviously - you did, but now you're the one that seems to be whining about the responses you got and certainly don't seem to like having your own feathers ruffled in return.

    As for me personally, just because I challenge or take exception to some things you post doesn't mean I dislike you, it just means I'm not going to give you a free pass on statements I think are wrong, short-sighted or unnecessarily inflammatory.

    Anyway, it's time to get this thread back on topic. My apologies to all for derailing it again.
     
  38. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 13, 2011

    I think several of your posts here leads one to think so.
     
  39. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Mar 13, 2011

    To get back to the original question:

    I don't think that arguing over whether teachers are whiners or not is helpful in solving this problem.
     
  40. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Mar 13, 2011

    Cops and firefighters have traditionally been men. For a long period of time, teachers (especially elementary teachers) were women. I think that has a lot to do with the public perception of the job.

    The other part is that everyone has been in a classroom, but not everyone has been in a fire station or police station. People think they know everything that goes on in a classroom, but there is still some mistique about cops and firefighters.
     
  41. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Mar 13, 2011

    I've worked at other professions and there are whiners all over. In fact, my husband's main complain is when he is visited by a lady who just loves to whine and whine. He is an accountant.

    It is true also that some places have more whiners than others. I've been in 4 different schools and I can totally attest to those differences. The first place I worked at our principal was a tyrant so nobody dared to complain or say anything negative. Many APs would mention about what great group of teachers we were. On another school the principal was so laid back that teachers were bullies and the whining was unbelievable high.

    I think the point about this is when is it whining or when is it productive complaining? When someone first complains and vents a frustration it is easy to understand relate and use that as an opportunity to help. But when the help and advice is refused and the complaining continues, then there needs to be a need to take a deeper look. After a while we need to come up with an action plan, adapt, or get out of the situation because the complaining or whining is going to hurt the environment. I can see how excessive complaining can turn into whining and for some of us it starts to get on our nerves and much worse when it can also ruin our reputation even though not all of us are like that.
     
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