There is a clear difference in supporting the educational needs of our children and supporting “teachers”. For example, in one case it means that we are dedicated to improving the system that delivers learning to our most precious resource. The other case means that we’re just blindly supporting people who think they’re teachers.
And that kinda pisses me off.
Look, I get it. Many of the most influential people in my life are teachers. Some of my most FAVORITE people are teachers. But I love and respect them more for what they do and who they are than the job they hold. In short, just because someone is a teacher doesn’t mean they are entitled to the reverent awe that teachers normally get.
As in any organization or occupation there are people that are simply not suited to handle the task. They don’t have the skills, the mindset or the vision. In some cases this can be coached and managed. A teacher can “see the light.” In others, it simply can’t. And in those cases we should call it what it is and remove the individual from the scenario.
And THAT is what makes THIS to frustrating :
Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County public schools’ new superintendent Tony Tata said Tuesday that he has visited 60 schools in 60 days and that his first priority is to “protect teachers and classrooms, first and foremost.”
Tata appeared on WRAL-TV’s morning news and said he is budgeting enough money to keep teachers and give them a bonus.
“We found enough money for the next year to keep every teacher in the classroom and to grow teachers,” he said. “I’m actually recommending a $500 bonus to every full-time teacher.”
What the WHAT?!?
When you give a “bonus” to EVERY full-time teacher then it isn’t a bonus; it’s a flippin pay raise. A bonus is something that’s given to someone that does something that merits a bonus.
Look, teachers are key. Good teachers are hard to find and should be paid more. But the shitty ones–GONE! And until we admit, and say as much, we’re just continuing the horrible set of circumstances that got us here in the first place.
Couldn’t have said it better myself, and wouldn’t even try! Almost all of my mother’s side is teachers, including my mother, so I believe I share the same respect that you do for the teachers themselves.
But let’s face it – the profession has become largely a selfish, entitlement-ridden, cover-my-ass and my-job-above-all environment that uses students as human shields.
Yes, teachers have to deal with meathead administrations. My mother’s school just had an administrator come through to measure student “engagement”. No one agreed to it, he won’t disclose his metrics, nor will he disclose the outcome or ultimate goal of the exercise. This is his own little project. Here’s what they know is happening, though: he’s trying to free up budget and has sideline chats with each of the teachers “encouraging” them to take early retirement packages. His “engagement” numbers are completely subjective to him, and therefore going to be slanted no doubt against the more senior teachers as they have likely been decided ahead of time. This guy’s using every intimidation and “subtle” trick in the book to make every senior teacher uncomfortable and has them all walking on eggshells wondering what he’s going to do to screw them. He also has had private meetings with students who all of a sudden are now all talking about how “old” the teachers are, and how better things would be if they had newer, younger teachers to teach them.
All my mother and her colleagues want to do is just teach the kids and have a wage that keeps up (or ideally, beats) inflation. She scoffs at the b.s. bonuses for the same reasons we do. She knows they’re meaningless, and she usually attributes it to the admins trying to kiss the teacher’s asses or distract them while they take something else away at the same time.
But as I say to my beloved mother, “Hey, you’ve got the union, you’ve paid for it, so use it.” Beyond that, tough luck for you because that’s working life no matter where you are, and no matter what we do for a living we’re ALL doing it for the children in one way, shape, or form so that argument from them only goes so far. So I’m “yes” to supporting education, but definitely “no” to supporting anything outlandish that teachers are supposed to receive because they’re somehow more special than the rest of us. If I have to pay for my Viagra, so should they! (haha)