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I almost got fired because I was expected to teach elementary kids in the middle of an open school. I had eight classrooms around me with teachers trying to talk louder than the other teachers. Because I was in a media center in the middle, classes used my "classroom" as a hallway. The principal wondered why I couldn't keep the kids attention. Oh, and I was supposed to teach a full lesson in less than 25 minutes. I did get kept on and was moved to a new school the next year where I had an enclosed classroom. Kids paid attention and learned a lot.
So this is a long-winded story about he had one boss that liked him, and one boss who didn't. He got a couple bad reviews and quit. Sounds like it could be in just about any profession industry. So I ask the editors, what's the point of this piece? I could have written the exact same thing about my job as an corporate accountant.
Although, it appears I should have probably done a better job listening to Mrs. Kirkeby while diagramming sentences to get a better handle on my articles.......
Wow, a corporate accountant thinks his job is the same as the teacher's job. Are there autistic staff that you train while being evaluated by your boss and your job depends not on the financial reports but whether your trainee gets promoted?
Rocketstep: As "a" corporate accountant….sorry but that's the teacher in me. We should not run our schools entirely like the business world. That's the point. Whomever is asking you to do their accounting…WANTS your service. We know students NEED our services, but too many students are sent to school with issues that interfere with WANTING our services. If you ran schools like the business world, why would anyone want to work with at-risk youth? You would want to work with students who mostly WANTED the services you were providing and whose families communicated they WANTED that too.
When I was in college i took a class in jazz ensembles. The class was taught by a serious jazz musician. Like, you can buy his album on iTunes. He gave me an A even though I did not become a proficient jazz musician under his tutelage. Said he saw me try and grow. Should his performance have been judged on his ability to turn me into a jazz musician? If so, he would've had a tough row to hoe. I swear though that even though I am not a jazz musician now by trade, I got something from that study that helps me even now.
Another anecdote. About the same time I was taking that jazz class, while I was home on break I visited my old high school, having graduated the year before. My old school had just gotten some bad press because a teacher had made a racially insensitive remark to a black student and her parents went on the warpath. Now I had encountered this teacher. I'd observed her behavior in the classroom and I'd characterize it as loony. Looking back on it, I think she was suffering from early onset dementia. But she had tenure and no intention of leaving her post just then. During my visit I ran in to my old principal and had a conversation about the issues of the day. In what must have been (looking back on it) a breach of protocol he confided in me that this individual was a rotten teacher and he wished he could fire her outright. So I toss out these two examples to illustrate what I see as conundrums facing the whole concept of evaluation of education: the results of an educator's efforts are relative to every student, so how do you say quantitatively whether the educator is doing well? Then, the other thing is, everything an educator says in the classroom can be politicized, so how do you know you are applying common sense and not caprice when deciding what educators' behavior is out of line? Do you fire every teacher who offends someone, or just the ones you know in your gut have it coming? How do you deal with that in the context of a union shop? It's a sticky wicket.
Imagine how hard it would be for teachers to give a poor grade to star athletes. I grew up in a city that was known most for its quality schools, and even in those schools the coaches got their way 90% of the time. I can't imagine how corrupt a school without tenure would become.
Lets get to the root of the problem.....Parenting! We are so disfunctional in our society today that we have lost control of our own homes. We constantly blame others for our problems and expect everything for nothing. Cultures that show honor and respect for their elders show more success then ours. If we bring back the respect to the classroom we will see exponetial growth in education. Lets get behind these teachers so they can do what they were trained to do, not just babysit.
tmuns222 -- Very true. Teachers would be doing sensationally better if all they had to do was teach. Unfortunately, many parents view school as free day care and leave their neglected rugrats at the door.
tmuns, agree completely. Ignorance breeds ignorance. And parents who do not participate in their child's education are neglectful. We all had teachers we liked and disliked. Maybe I was lucky, but even the teachers I disliked would have been better if I had given them the chance. Today's students have waaaay too much freedom to make decisions about what they do in school and what they choose to learn. That doesn't make their teachers bad...parents, are you participating in your child's education?
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