Archive for February, 2011

Hug a Teacher Today!

I write this blog for me. It is an outlet for a retired teacher with too much time on his hands. Never would I have expected that over 16,000 people would view this blog. The most common hits are the classroom management pages.  This tells me that there are many dedicated teachers who want to improve. Teachers striving to be better teachers! How proud this makes me to be a member of this great profession.

 

Doctors heal, Lawyers argue, accountants count, scientists seek and so on. The US literacy rate is 99%. That means that 99 of every 100 person in this country can read or write. “Have you thanked a teacher today?” It is very difficult to be a teacher today. Poor test scores, social problems, promiscuous teens, decay of moral foundations and a growing list of other ills have been laid at the doorstep of the present day teacher. It is like a brush fire being the fault of firefighters or gang violence blamed on police. Firefighters and policeman are offered better tools or improved training to help job performance. Teachers face more testing, greater demands on time and a spiraling cistern of criticism. Doctors and lawyers “police” their own profession. Teachers are evaluated and criticized by failed classroom teachers (principals and superintendents) or political figures looking for someone else to blame. Teachers have become the whipping boy of society that seeks to blame anyone but “me!”

 

Teachers can’t win! Bad test scores- bad teachers. Poor schools- poor teachers. Technology decline- faulty teachers. US lacks behind TIMMS-  unqualified teachers. Sexual promiscuity- ignorant teachers. Moral decline- decadent teachers. Deficit state budgets- overpaid teachers. Let’s face it! Eve must have been a teacher! It is her fault! The Tea Cups would fire all teachers and rehire under turn of the century regulations: warm body, ugly clothing, morally sound, bring your own coal, clean up after, and be sure to be home by the time the “street lights go on.”

Education budgets are some of the greatest expenditures that a state has to deal with. Trimming  budgets are the necessary burden of today’s leaders. Before attacking teachers who are the needed components to a successful system, we look at some of the state and federal mandated programs. Testing!  Testing! And still more testing! Do we really need all this testing? Or the time spent preparing students for the test format? Or the days to administer the tests? We already know the results- “kids need to learn more.” Social programs that foster good health or daycare services drain money needed in the classroom or cut from the budget. Excessive expenses for bulky textbooks, “administrative” travel or wasted instructional time. Teachers were once revered and are now reviled. The constant stream of abuse has had its toll on the public’s perception of teachers. The public views teachers as overpaid, under worked and unqualified. They are angry about failing schools manned by poor teachers. Test scores, politicians and the news media blare this tale!


If we are serious about improving classroom education and reducing the school budgets, ask the classroom teachers. Listen and trust their advice. Our children do learn to read and write and move on to become concerned citizens. Teachers can use a knife to slice some fat from the budget rather than the politicians would rather use an axe to trim the fat.

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February 22, 2011 at 5:39 am Leave a comment


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