In a December 14, 2010 article by the AP, “Poll: Most want easier way to fire bad teachers,” it said, “seventy-eight percent think it should be easier for school administrators to fire poorly performing teachers.” According to this poll conducted from September 23rd to September 30th by Stanford University, an “overwhelming majority of Americans are frustrated that it’s too difficult to get rid of bad teachers.” I inquire again; describe what a bad teacher is? What is a poorly performing teacher? Is it student achievement? I sincerely hope not! How would you like to spend tens of thousands of dollars and five or six years of your life to get an education just to have an eight year olds desire, drive, attitude and ability define your worth in your profession?
Now in another article, December 13, 2010, “Parents Blamed Most Often For Failing Education System, Poll Finds,” Sixty-eight percent of Adults blame parents, specifically the father, not teachers for “what is wrong in U. S. education.” This poll was also conducted from September 23rd to September 30th by Stanford University. It appears adults appreciate it is not the teachers burden, however they persist in their yearning to make it effortless to terminate teachers. This does not compute.
As I describe in my book, “Teachers… It Ain’t Your Fault,” (a book that was instrumental in my momentary termination from my 20 year teaching position) teachers are expected to perform miracles under perilous conditions. Children have little or no respect, largely due to what they gather from parents, administrators and media; especially the rhetoric about doing away with inferior teachers.
Years ago teachers had a complete fifty minutes to instruct; now a good deal of our time is wasted on discipline and classroom management. This takes away instruction time; in other words disruptive, disrespectful children take education time away from the children that are present to study. I will not even prevail on the expectations of teachers to instruct to each child’s distinctive method of ascertain information, which is for an entirely separate article.
If you imagine I am embellishing, here is what 1100 educators were enlighten to at a teacher conference on March 12, 2004 here in Las Vegas. A Dr. Hartwig, allegedly one of the leading guru’s on discipline in America’s schools said, “If a student kicks you, bites you or spits on you, it is your fault.” In his hand out he wrote that teachers have got to be able to just “take it.”
Ok, how many of you out there want to become teachers? What a notable recruiting tool this guy is in tempting youthful citizens to develop into teachers.
In the piece of writing a Carmen Williams, an office manager, said the issue is simple: Pay teachers more and get rid of bad ones. Good teachers are hard to find and the reason is they’re not paid enough. Well it is not that straightforward to pay teachers more, it would cost the tax payer an exorbitant amount of money. In Clark County if we increased teacher salaries just 10% (this would only be around $130 a paycheck) it would cost the tax payer around $90 million. As far as getting rid of bad teachers… Yet again I ask you to describe one.
It was nice to hear Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers quoted in the article saying, “The scapegoating of teachers must stop.” This is so true; remember, every time a child hears an authority figure talk about bad teachers we are giving them an excuse to fail and be disruptive. Their comeback is and will be, and I have heard it more than once, “Everyone says teachers suck and that is why I failed and talk back to that teacher.”
Also in the same article a professor at Stanford, Larry Cuban, said parents believe “all U. S. schools are lousy except the schools we send our kids to.” That may be true, but as I point out in my book the real problem is, “all parents want more discipline in schools, but no parent wants their child disciplined.” Until discipline is fixed education will continue to be in mayhem. Until condemnation critical of teachers, particularly by those who cannot clarify the distinction between a superior and inferior one, education will not obtain discipline.
Teacher/Author “Teachers… It Ain’t Your Fault.”