Monday, July 23, 2012

Excellent Essay on Current Attitude Towards Teachers

A gentleman by the name of David Reber wrote a wonderful essay about the outrageous attitude many people share about teaching. Teachers are criticized for doing or demanding the same things that other professions take for granted. While commentators scream "listen to the troops on the ground" when discussing the need for the Iraq surge during President G.W. Bush's term, "speak to small business owners" when the President Obama held a summit on improving the economy, and "listen to the doctors" when debating the new health care law, teachers are labeled as "lazy," "resistant to change,"  "advocating for themselves instead of the students," and "protecting the status quo"  when challenging proposals they believe will have a negative impact on their performance and the quality of their students' education. They are essentially told to suck it up or find another career. Do we speak that way to our soldiers, cops, doctors, lawyers, etc. when they oppose measures that may impact them negatively? No. Why hold teachers to a different standard? An excerpt is below. You can find the full article here.

I’m going to step out of my usual third-person writing voice for a moment. As a parent I received a letter last week from the Kansas State Board of Education, informing me that my children’s school district had been placed on “improvement” status for failing to meet “adequate yearly progress” under the No Child Left Behind law. 
I thought it ironic that our schools were judged inadequate by people who haven’t set foot in them, so I wrote a letter to my local newspaper. Predictably, my letter elicited a deluge of comments in the paper’s online forum. Many remarks came from armchair educators and anti-teacher, anti-public school evangelists quick to discredit anything I had to say under the rationale of “he’s a teacher.” What could a teacher possibly know about education? 
Countless arguments used to denigrate public school teachers begin with the phrase “in what other profession….” and conclude with practically anything the anti-teacher pundits find offensive about public education. Due process and collective bargaining are favorite targets, as are the erroneous but tightly held beliefs that teachers are under-worked, over-paid (earning million-dollar pensions), and not accountable for anything.
In what other profession, indeed. 



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