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Frazzled Educator Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:51 PM
Original message
Society's whipping boy: Teachers
Yesterday, I posted about society's attitudes about my students. . .today, I am posting about society's attitudes towards my profession. In two simple words: Blame Teachers!

Why are teachers to blame for everything? Why are teachers to whipping boy for our society?

Poverty. . .teachers are to blame.
Illiteracy. . .it's the teachers
Fall of the Roman Empire. . .blame the teachers.

I love listening to people that scream schools should run like businesses. Businesses take the best. There was an instance in Michigan when an Ice Cream Company Owner gave teachers a pep talk about how his ice cream company should be the model for education because of the profitability, the end product and the satisfaction rating. An old teacher in the back asked the businessman if he used the best products to make his ice cream, or whatever he got. The businessman beemed "nothing but the best." The teacher said "what do you do with the substandard product." The businessman replied "we throw it away." The teacher then said "we get everything. . .the best, the not so best. We, as schools, can not throw away the substandard."

But, the substandard is the norm. Think of it this way: A teacher has a student for 6.5 hours a day. What takes me 6.5 hours to build up in a student can, and usually does, get destroyed in less than 5 minutes by a parent!

"Mommy. Daddy. Look what I learned in school."
"I don't care."

Kids roam the streets looking for fun because Mom and Dad aren't home and when they do, they don't care. There is no parental supervision or involvement, unless the teacher does something that offends the parent's worldview. . .a teacher I know tried a pre-writing classwork using a prompt I found using spooky places. One place the teacher brought up was Hell's Half Acre in Wyoming. Some parent bitched about the use of the word "Hell" and the teacher got lambasted by my principal for using an "inappropriate word" in class.

I guess teaching Hell's Canyon (The deepest Canyon in the US) or teaching the place where most prohibition gangsters came from in US history is out (Hell's Kitchen). You know, in Michigan, there is a city called "Hell."

That lambasting came because some Christian parent didn't like something. I want to go on record as saying, I hate Christian bible thumping bunko artists! I really do! I hate these intolerant, bible thumping Christians who complain about everything they don't like, making education a race to the bottom. These parents fuck up their kids, and the teacher gets the blame when they try to elevate these students to make them think and appreciate the world around them

Teacher have been sentenced to life as a public servant. A silent butler in the service of my school board. Waste baskets for ideas on sale in the outer lobby. All because I have to do what these idiot parents say, even if it is a disservice to their children.
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. I live in a wonderful place
where the teachers are provided with pretty much any teaching tool they need and the kids come to school ready to learn. Oh, and we have no (vocal at least) Christian fundamentalists.

That said, I've spent half of my evening trying not to be critical of my kid's teacher. I'm really, really trying because the teacher is a fine person and a good teacher.

What on earth is a Christian bible thumping bunko artist? :rofl:
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lcordero2 Donating Member (832 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. I feel bad for you
This job is eventually going to kill you on the inside.

I hope that you see better days

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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
3. My deepest gratitude for all of you in that overworked, underpaid,
thoroughly unappreciated profession. I was blessed with some of the best throughout my years in school, and only the rare not-so-great one. Quite frankly, I don't know how any of you stand it anymore, your devotion is admirable. I know I would never last, bureaucracy and stupidity are not things I handle well.

I have enough trouble dealing with the idiots from this end, trying to basically f*** up what is left of our educational system, installing their "stealth candidates" on school boards to wipe out the last semblances of actual science, dumbing down the textbooks, removing anything that offends their precious little beliefs --more than once, I have told such a person that that is what parochial schools are for, and to leave the rest of us alone. fighting such a battle right now with one of our school boards, and trying to get rid of the xian zealots who have been screwing things up for several years now.
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Lefty48197 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. Actually, Hell, Michigan is a very nice place
if you like trees and lakes that is.

But to your point, yes teachers in America do receive a ton of unearned abuse. It all originates from the Republicans who are fighting against the unionization of teachers. That's all there is to it. They want to tear down the public education system, because it provides jobs for unionized teachers. They do the same thing to the post office. Who else would pick up a letter at your front door and deliver it across country to your friend's door for 39 cents? A private company? Hell no. The Post Office is one of the most efficient organizations on the planet, yet the Republicans have managed to convince a majority of the American people that the Post Office is a model of inefficiency.

They're doing the same thing to the teachers and public education. Think of how many millions of Americans have received a fine education, but would never have had the opportunity if it weren't for our public education system? How many millions have been pulled out of poverty because of public education?
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gumby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
5. The right-wing has been on a long war to dissolve 'public' education.
The same coalition that brought the Repubs into power are the same coalition that has been trying to destroy public schools.

The Christian-right wants to have everything public, including schools under their Taliban-like rule. They have been attacking the schools for a very long time.

The Corp-Nazi right wants to destroy public education for at least two reasons. First, they don't want their tax dollars (like the Christian-right) to finance anything that doesn't benefit them directly. More importantly, the public school system is just about the only sector that has a functioning union. That in itself makes public schools a prime target for the right.

For both these factions of the right, an educated public is their worst nightmare. They want stupid, easily manipulated followers.

It's about time an opposition party -- maybe the Democrats -- to start screaming that Public Education (just like health care) is a National Security Imperative.
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screembloodymurder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Look what they did to Clinton.
Teachers are up against a vast right-wing conspiracy.
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
6. Thanks For Your Work - Even If Mitt Romney Hates You
I'm always amazed when people say that teachers are underworked and overpaid!!!

Even when teachers do a measurably-superb job they get shit on - such as this incident with Willard "Mitt" Romney that I wrote about a while back:

Romney And Massachusetts Teachers - Mitt Needs A Math Lesson

You guys can't win - but you should.

Good luck!
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
7. i am on your side. a child in 3rd and 6th, i have LOVED, appreciated
valued and repeated thanked my boys teachers for all they have given to my boys. my youngest still hunts down his second grade teacher to give her a hug. the teachers have always addressed my issues, and we have always been able to find win win win.... win for the teacher, the parent but most importantly my child. i have yet to find a teacher that did NOT have my childs best interest at heart.

i have done private christian and i have done two different public schools.

i .... am truly an appreciate parent
i support our teachers
i back our teachers
i stand behond our teachers

and because everyone of my boys teachers are given this from me,..... i have always received the best from their teachers.

give a teacher a parent that is involved, and wow.... to what that teacher can do.

and that is in all their perfectly imperfections....
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 07:28 AM
Response to Reply #7
22. Same here. Mu daughters 5th grade teacher has become a good friend
of our family. It's shocking what they have to put up with.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #22
38. that is what i tell teachers. they are so much a part of kids life, that
brings them into our family, whether the teacher realizes or not. i agree, enough with blaming teachers. they do have a lot they have to put up with. i really put the responsibility on the parent. it seems to me too many parents have handed over their role of parent to teacher. i refuse, i dont wanna. lol
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BlackVelvetElvis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
8. That was a great piece you wrote about students.
You should write a guest editorial in your local paper (for starters). I wonder how many give lip service to caring but don't care about those "in the trenches". Students or teachers - its just a political agenda to them. The students and teachers both pay for this level of not caring.
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SPKrazy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
10. Teachers, Social Workers, Nurses,
professions with traditionally female majorities working in them

as a male social worker that's how I see it

they don't blame traditionally male professions as much for everything, or do they?

I'm too tired to think about this, I think?
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brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Maybe some gender bias, but
I think it's certain professions -where what you are doing is for the benefit of society. At least, this is what I've come to believe. Like schools, many non-profits pay the execs six figures and as little as possible to the actual deliverers of the 'product'. They're forever teling you how important your work is - and how broke the school/program is. They know you believe in what you're doing and they play it for all it's worth.

/rant off.

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Giant Robot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #10
31. This is one of those times when I don't think
that it is about gender bias. I suspect that is an unfortunate side effect, and can certainly weaken ones position in a patriarchal society, but that is about all. Speaking as a male clinical social worker here as well.

I think they(teachers, us, etc.) get the blame because they are available, easy targets in a society that expresses personal responsibility, but practices blaming. Why do teachers get the blame? Because they are there. They are simply the front line worker that parents and students interact with. A good question to follow this up would be how many parents have met their child's principal? How many parents know the names of the school board members? I would guess around 1-5% of parents would answer those questions positively.

Teachers et al. get the blame for the worst reason possible: simply because they are there and available to take the blame.
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Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
12. The public sector provides services that are not profitable but necessary
for society.

Businesses (in the private sector) can ONLY provide those things which are profitable or they don't stay in business. Profitable doesn't have to be necessary for society or even good for it.

Business leaders should shut their goddamned pieholes about education and other public sector functions about which they usually know nothing.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #12
39. That's the conservative catch-22:

1) If it's not profitable, it's by definition a "government waste" and should eb eliminated; and

2) If it is profitable, government should leave it to the private sector, since government "interference" in the market is unfair.

Add them together, and you get "Consequences, schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." (/Daffy)
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
13. I prefer to blame the lazy good-for-nothing goldbricking students
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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 12:09 AM
Response to Original message
14. Second whipping boy: parents.
Edited on Tue Oct-10-06 12:12 AM by lostnfound
I feel for you. Being a teacher is an incredibly important job, and it is wrong that they don't get more support and more freedom in how they teach.

Parents are also always being blamed. Control them, don't control them, expose them to art music literature, protect them, don't overprotect them, more family time more homework more exercise more time reading, teach them good manners.. But don't forget about your own health either, you need to exercise for 30 minutes a day yourself. And pay attention to your marriage.

Parents need to "step up and teach their kids about money" said my morning newspaper today, in an article about college kids with maxed out credit cards. Could it be that our society is so saturated with Buy it now! messages that it's like holding back a flood?

"No parental supervision or involvement". What's going on in the parents' lives would astound many. A friend in the midst of a divorce is coping with aging and ailing parents, medical emergencies literally every other week, and a low-paying job (with no health benefits). I worry that she will keel over any day herself from the stress.

On edit: Not trying to take away from your complaints. Personally I feel incredibly grateful towards my son's teacher, and I'm shocked that she does such a flawless job and always so cheerful.

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Dragonbreathp9d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
15. Telling the truth about today's affairs and trying to teach diversity ...
and tolerance, TEACHERS FAULT
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ManyHamsters Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 03:42 AM
Response to Original message
16. ...
I sincerely hope that you aren't regretting being a teacher. One of the very few role models in my life is my old World Issues teacher.

He had gone to Zimbabwe a young adult, seeking adventure and fun, and came back five years later, a different man. His face was haunted at times in class when he spoke of the atrocities in that place, or of pain he suffered in order to teach there. Education was the enemy of the wicked, for with that, they no longer held any power or influence over the young. They had a taste for the young, plucking them from their mother's arms at the ripe ages of 6 or younger, and twisting their mind until all traces of humanity was gone, and they had become an instrument of death and destruction.

His intellect, his caring, his humility, his passion for those in need and his bravery for speaking forth and taking actions to correct such things has affected my every step in life thereafter. While society and church had taught me to be selfish, he taught me what real compassion was, showed me some of the real problems of the world, and told me that I had the power, and moreso, the responsibility to help solve them. In a world full false idols, he was one of the few good and honest people, and I am forever grateful that I met him.

I fear what I would be right now if he hadn't been there in my life.

You wield the power to change lives. Maybe you'll never have similar experiences to my teacher, or maybe you have had more than I can imagine. I don't know. I only know that you hold the most powerful, and genuine position humans are capable of, in a way no gesticulating politician or posturing rapper will ever understand or feel obligated to understand. You affect lives. You make our children think. You affect our future. You are a role model, moral compass, and the last bastion of honesty and justice in a world obsessed with fictions, delusions and greed.

Society may blame you because of their own insecurities, because they are afraid to look toward themselves... but I know what you do, I know what you give up, and I love and appreciate you and all teachers for what you give of yourselves for the sake of our future every day.
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mykpart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 04:22 AM
Response to Original message
17. I wish all teachers were like you.
But they're not. You have to take the sub-standard students, but you shouldn't have to take sub-standard teachers. In my community there was a teacher who paid two of his students to break in to his ex-wife's house and steal the stereo equipment! And then of course there are the Mary Kay LeTourneaus of the world. You probably have had a few colleagues who weren't such great teachers. The irony is, if the profession was more respected and better compensated, it would attract the cream of the crop, and you could get rid of the bad ones. I don't think the bad teachers are what causes no respect for the profession, but they do give critics something to grab on to.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 05:19 AM
Response to Original message
18. 14 ponts of fascims
here you go teach, your explanation is in there


1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism

From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights

The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause

The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the peoples attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choicerelentless propaganda and disinformationwere usually effective. Often the regimes would incite spontaneous acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and terrorists. Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.

4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism

Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

5. Rampant sexism

Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.

6. A controlled mass media

Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes excesses.

7. Obsession with national security

Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting national security, and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

8. Religion and ruling elite tied together

Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elites behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the godless. A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.

9. Power of corporations protected

Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of have-not citizens.

10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated

Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.

11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts

Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.

12. Obsession with crime and punishment

Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. Normal and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or traitors was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption

Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

14. Fraudulent elections

Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

NOTE: The above 14 Points was written in 2004 by Dr. Laurence Britt, a political scientist. Dr. Britt studied the fascist regimes of: Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile).

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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #18
28. The United States is a fascist state
Pretty mush everything is there
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 05:38 AM
Response to Original message
19. Businesses serve a market, schools serve people
As a market changes, businesses address new markets, invest capital where needed, and shift resources away from old markets. Many businesses cease to exist entirely. There is no analogous process in education. The need to educate people is always there and the methods will stay the same throughout time. Hence, education needs ongoing government support.
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 05:38 AM
Response to Original message
20. People complain about the public sector but the thing they don't
get is that the public sector should never be run like a private business. It is where we jointly invest in the institutions that preserve the community--education, eldercare, public transportation are examples. These should never be run for profit. I have no problem with user fees to support operations but the infrastructure and the basic services should be the duty of all citizens to maintain. I would add health care to that list too.
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. These people think everything should make a profit
Unfortunately this is the most fucking ridiculous thing I've ever heard as Government is supposed to provide such services. Basically they are saying dissolve the government and I consider it tantamount to espousing some form of corporate anarchy.
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1932 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 07:19 AM
Response to Original message
21. About a week ago NPR did a story about New Orleans, the message of which
Edited on Tue Oct-10-06 07:20 AM by 1932
was clear: "public school teachers and their unions were destroying education in New Orleans and thank god the hurricane wiped them out so that now they can be replaced by private schools where the lack of job security keeps desperate teachers working hard for low pay to keep their jobs."
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izzybeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 07:43 AM
Response to Original message
24. My wife came home last night nearly in tears.
Edited on Tue Oct-10-06 07:45 AM by izzybeans
Every teacher in her school is questioning their purpose there. No one is happy. Every last one of them blames the test first, blame next political environment. These are all people who by choice teach in a school solely devoted to a student population whose families fall below the poverty line. There comes a point where they are going to say fuck it. Teach your own kids then. Between, threatening teachers with a loss of job because of an average test score, asking them to work 10 hours a day in order to produce bureaucratic documents and teach their classes in order to prove conformity to testing and curriculum regimes, telling them they aren't doing enough, and having parents constantly complain about their own child's discipline problems my wife has pretty much had it. Then she opens the paper and reads about how undertrained teachers are, or how they are not effective in the classroom, or how they are failing our kids. All of this written by a person who most often never taught a class, never had to listen to a screaming parent about their kids poor grades, and never had to tell a parent that if their child did their work and worked on this stuff outside of the classroom more often they would be doing better; "I don't know have you tried reading her a book?" She has 6 kids whose parents are not around, half of those in foster care. Two more whose parents are too stoned to walk to the store to get food, so their seven year old child must do the shopping. These kids are bright and charming. They want to do well. They work their butts off in school. But how can they advance in their studies when they must take care of their siblings when they are so young? Is this my wife's fault? Shall she lose her job because 90% of the time these children score the lowest on standardized tests and will continue to do so?

Very soon, if not already, the best and brightest among the ranks of the teachers will be leaving the profession they love precisely for the reasons you list, IMO.

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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #24
45. I know your wife's experience very well....
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
25. You have my appreciation
I'm not a teacher but I have a six-year-old first-grader. When she started kindergarten last year, I was to become aware of the public educational system and the plight of teachers. It's so clear to me that what you say is true: The teachers are blamed for everything and it's so unfair. The teachers at my daughter's school are angels on Earth. I can see that they give it their all and more to give our kids the best education they can. I think they're great and I let them know whenever I can and I'll tell you the same. ThankyouThankyouThankyou! :hug:
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 07:52 AM
Response to Original message
26. I've thought this for a while, Frazzled.

So many people blame the schools for everything, and the teachers for everything.

Teachers are expected to teach basic subjects, such as the 3 R's and science, also sex ed, driver's ed, everyday finances, etc. They're expected to make up for ALL the deficiencies in the home and in our society. They're expected to have ALL their students above average on the standardized tests :silly:.

Punish students, and many times the administration won't back you up. Remember the teacher in KS who punished her students for plagiarism, and the parents bitched about it, and the admin made her reverse the punishment? I heard she quit her job.

And 99% of the time, all you hear about schools in the media is so damn negative.

I salute those teachers and other school employees who have the perseverance to stick with it, even though they have to deal with mountains of crap every day.
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 08:47 AM
Response to Original message
27. Link for yesterday's post about students?
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Frazzled Educator Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #27
32. Here
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #32
35. Thanks. I emailed them to some teacher friends.
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
29. Teachers are getting a raw deal.
Edited on Tue Oct-10-06 09:01 AM by TheGoldenRule
No doubt about it. I blame NCLB and agree with the post upthread that said there is a coordinated effort by the thugs to destroy the public school system.

Can't have the children of this country think for themselves or learn too much now can they?! :sarcasm:
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
30. Teachers and other social service workers
have ALL of the responsibility but none of the real power to effect change. It is a set up from the beginning.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #30
36. Amen
It's the exact same problem in nursing. Exact same problem. It's a total set up and can lead to burnout if you can't find some small way to circumvent the inequity. I have but I do it outside the system and it's very localized subversion and quite exhausting sometimes.
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #36
44. Yep
and then when things don't go well who gets the blame? We do. I do not think that we need to be placed up on a pedestal for hero worship, but the animosity towards public servants is deplorable.
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Beausoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
33. I have 5 young kids. I support school teachers! You are great people.
I am fortunate to live in a small town with an absolutely superb school system. Our elementary school is one of the best in the state. The teachers that we have worked with have been oustanding individuals. Loving..they really LOVE my children. Firm, patient, intelligent and funny. I could not ask for any more.

The crap that teachers have to put up with,from republicans mostly, is reprehensible.

The GOP declared war...WAR...on public school teachers. I find that astonishing.

Just know that they are alot of us out here who respect and support you and your profession.

And thank you, for teaching our kids.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
34. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
37. I challenge anyone who thinks teachers have it "easy" to
spend two weeks teaching a room full of well-fed middle-class kids from stable families. They won't be able to handle it. They will find themselves crawling toward Friday afternoon.*

Now change the situation a bit so that the students are poor, with dysfunctional parents, the classroom is overcrowded, and you have no budget to speak of.

Such a cushy job, right? :sarcasm:

*A columnist for the Portland Oregonian about ten years ago was always criticizing teachers for being lazy and spoiled, so a group of English teachers in an affluent suburban school district in the area, challenged him to come and teach journalism for a week. What an eye opener it was for him to find out that you couldn't just stand up in front of the class and bullshit, that the students would not automatically pay attention or behave, and that grading student writing took up hours each day.
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
40. I think there are problems with some teachers and some parents.
I know some teachers who have a hard time with spelling, math, etc., and there they are teaching in grammar schools. The worst thing is dumbed-down curriculum, grade inflation and passing kids to the next grade when they have not mastered material. At the same time, parents are a way bigger problem, demanding junior be on the honor roll when junior is not doing honor roll work.
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
41. I have mixed feelings about blaming teachers for academic failure
Most of the teachers I had coming up were good. But when I had a bad one in a subject that wasn't my strength (mostly math), it would get me behind for a while and some other teacher had to catch me up the next year. I had bad math teachers in 5th and 6th grade and was never really able to recover from that. I had an excellent 7th grade math teacher, but she could only do so much. The "new math" phase of the 60s and 70s confused me hopelessly. I thank God for calculators and computers every day.

Or, I had a couple of teachers who were mentally ill, but protected by their tenure-a high school german teacher comes to mind.

But when I look at a large district-wide failure like the Detroit Public Schools, it's hard to blame the teachers alone for this. The parents certainly play a role in their children's academic failure. They also have a 42% graduation rate-kids are dropping out young, and the parents aren't making them go to school.

Here's an example, albeit from a suburban district. My cousin was expelled at age 14, for swearing at his principal. Under MI law, a child under 16 cannot be expelled from a public school without that district making arrangements for an alternative school program. His parents are deaf. I offered to go to the school with them and advocate for their kid to be re-enrolled (he was in 9th grade at the time). They declined, he never finished high school and has had 4 or 5 years running around with no discipline or consequences for his actions when he was in school. He did get his GED on his own (he's intellectually able, just a doofus). He is unemployed, but as his brother puts it, has a "tax-free" income. His parents never enforced any kind of academic standards on him and didn't enforce even school attendance. I don't blame the district, I blame his parents. His brother, who is a senior at the same school, has a 3.85 gpa and will likely go to UM in the fall. His only Bs were in gym, too.
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DaveJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
42. I have no problem with teachers, but the administrators...
The administrators are another story. I feel sorry for teachers and all of the professional politics they have to endure in order to move their careers forward. In my experience the people who make it to the top are almost always the wrong ones. The best teachers rarely get the recognition they deserve.

So, as a step-parent I take my fair share of responsibility, but I think the people who have the kids most of the time do have a responsibility to behave responsibly. And in many cases they (administrators not the teachers) don't.
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ItNerd4life Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
43. 5 Types of education: Academic, Professional, Financial, Social, & Persona
Edited on Tue Oct-10-06 12:48 PM by ItNerd4life
I always wondered why it wasn't broken into types of categories:
Academic - Math, science, reading, etc
Professional - Journalism, trades, business, etc
Financial - Bank accounts, wealth building, money management
Social - negotiation, working together, community
Personal - Self-motivation, Intraspection, what type of person do you want to be

People need bullet points and these give them. Not until people understand the types of education will they then stop blaming others, but actually become involved.

Side note: We all know Republicans never had Social education!
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
46. You're not going to like this statement.
No hyperbole, no outraged statements. Just my personal experience.

I've been through parochial grade school, public grade school, public junior high and public high school, state-run college and Catholic-run college. I even dated a teacher for about a decade after college.

Among the roughly fifty teachers I have known, I'd only classify about four of them as dedicated, caring professionals. The rest have ranged from out-and-out child abusers to drunks to slackers putting in their time, but people who in no way helped educate their students.

Scream at me, insult me, call me a bastard, send me to Abu Gareb. That's the evidence of my life experience and nothing you can say will change it.
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Frazzled Educator Donating Member (145 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. Then try to change that if that's the case.
Most of us are not what you describe.

That sounds more like the kids' dumbass parents.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. let it roll off, frazz...
water seeks its own level.
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