Teachers aren’t martyrs, monks or nuns. But they are dedicated and trying their best for their students.

over (Medium)I am hearing a lot about teachers leaving their schools, even in high performing areas.

One of the Get Schooled blog’s most eloquent and articulate posters, Jordan Kohanim, who gave up her north Fulton teaching job this year, shared this list of ways schools could stem the exodus.

By Jordan Kohanim

There are some obvious solutions to this problem which can be addressed at the grass-roots level.

1.  Acknowledgement: This one of the most important factors. Recognizing that teachers have a difficult job and are doing the best they can (and often successfully so) is an essential and surprisingly easy thing to do. Acknowledgement across all realms of education — not just math and science is essential. All teachers have a role and purpose in a school. This doesn’t mean the principal needs to have a Ra-Ra session every year, but admitting that:

•This is a hard job, with not enough monetary compensation, that most people appreciate silently.

•There is a counter narrative that disparages the work of public schools which is largely false

•Teachers are being asked to do more with less and are adapting to those expectations for the sake of their students

Principals need to attach meaning to that. They need to express it not only to their teachers, but also their community. Leaders need to admit that public education is a worthy and successful endeavor — one that would not be successful without its teachers. Too many times, leaders refuse to counter this narrative because it allows them the savior role. If they agree with the perception that public education is failing, they can be the hero that saves it. This can lead to another dangerous scenario where educational leaders get caught up in their own ego and the misconception that a school’s success hinges less on the ability to govern and more on the principal him/herself.

2. Financial Gain: I have not seen a STEP raise. Had I stayed in teaching, I would likely not ever see a STEP raise. The money is not coming back for a long time, if ever. This is a hard economy, so it is no surprise that schools and teachers are suffering along with everyone else. That being said, leadership does not always have to do an across the board raise. There are other ways to compensate teachers.  A good leader must be resourceful in involving the businesses around the school. Reaching out to the local businesses to provide free meals to teachers during teacher work days can make a big difference. Having local businesses give out freebies to teachers in the form of classroom supplies can also help. Respecting teachers’ time enough to understand that endless meetings is not the most appropriate use of Teacher Work Days — work days that need to be used to plan for larger classes and a new curriculum. As one of my teacher friends put it, if there are so little monetary resources, those resources need to be put where they will do the most good — in the classroom. Finally, giving hope. As I said, had I stayed in teaching I would likely never see a STEP raise.

Every year I taught, I lost money either through furloughs or benefit cuts. Had I been told there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I might have tried to stick it out. Instead, I received a narrative of money woes that basically told me to suck it up, that I should be grateful I had a job at all. I am grateful I have a job; I wish it were teaching. Instead, it is a field in which I am monetarily compensated for the time I put in.

3. Destroy the Martyr Mentality: The other dangerous perception that exists in teaching today is the “do it for the kids” narrative. This means that if you were a good enough teacher, if you cared enough about teaching, you would suffer whatever it takes to make your classroom successful. After all, you got into the job not for the money or the summers off, but to help society, right? This mentality creates a Kafka-esque Hunger Artist scenario. Teachers are told to sacrifice more and more to show just how dedicated they are. Equating an individual’s ability to suffer for the sake of his/her work is not a durable approach. There must be a breaking point.

Allow teachers the freedom to speak out about the conditions in which they teach without fear of retaliation. Shift the public perception that good teachers suffer for the sake of their students. It is not necessary. Teachers are not monks and nuns. School leaders need to produce a narrative that teachers are not the sole equation of success. Schools require all community participants from local businesses and social institutions to parents and elders to contribute to the success of the school. A school’s success affects housing value and thus the wealth of the entire community, so it would behoove all members to bear the responsibility of the success of their school — not just the teachers.

Of the utmost importance is the voice of the educational leadership. The voice needs to change from one of blame-shifting to one of support. Everyone can acknowledge that changes are being made to improve schools, but scapegoating teachers will not only demoralize them and drive them out of schools, it will forever tarnish public education. Leaders need to sacrifice their egos and admit they are not the sole bearers of success. They need to impart to the public the importance of keeping GOOD teachers — not just the importance of getting rid of BAD ones.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

175 comments Add your comment

Pride and Joy

August 1st, 2012
5:45 am

This comment is incorrect “Teachers aren’t martyrs, monks or nuns. But they are dedicated and trying their best for their students.”
It should read “Many teachers aren’t martyrs, monks or nuns. But they are dedicated and trying their best for their students.”
Not all teachers are dedicated and trying their best for their students. There are bad apples in the bunch just as there in other professions.
When Maureen paints every teacher with the same broad brush, she negates concerns from parents and anyone else who has a different opinion.
This blog is just pandering to the base. It’s not journalism, it’s brown-nosing.

Peter Smagorinsky

August 1st, 2012
5:46 am

Well said Jordan–I hope that someone in authority is paying attention to the effects that wretched working conditions are having on teachers’ commitment to their profession, and on the likelihood that talented people will want to become teachers.

redweather

August 1st, 2012
7:03 am

@Pride and Joy, You write, “When Maureen paints every teacher with the same broad brush, she negates concerns from parents and anyone else who has a different opinion. This blog is just pandering to the base. It’s not journalism, it’s brown-nosing.”

Talk about painting with a broad brush!

mountain man

August 1st, 2012
7:08 am

But teachers ARE martyrs. We ASK teachers to be martyrs, just as we ask police and firefighters to be martyrs by paying them pittances for doing important jobs. And it will not change until teachers say “Enough is enough, good-bye”.

NWGA Teacher

August 1st, 2012
7:14 am

Financial gain: There is no doing more with less. Less is less. In any economy, poorly paid workers look for other ways to make a living. In order to teach to the new standards, teachers need new supplies. They aren’t likely to spring for those classroom book sets when their own budgets have been cut to the bone.

Martyr mentality: It’s a profession, not a volunteer ministry.

Eyes Rolling

August 1st, 2012
7:32 am

Horse hockey. Talk about a martyr mentality… the writer of that extended whine needs to go look in the mirror. With a very small number of exceptions (grand total of three or four, and they were all considered pariahs by their “peers”), the government school teachers I had were lazy mediocrities who couldn’t have gotten real jobs if they had to.

Whirled Peas

August 1st, 2012
7:43 am

Teachers are no more or less dedicated to their profession than the guy who collects the trash or the guy who installs cable, the nurse who administers shots or the cop who chases bad guys. They all get out of bed every morning and try hard to do their jobs well. As far as I am concerned, they should all be paid about the same per hour. Teachers think they are special. They are “special”, but in the same way as everyone else.

redweather

August 1st, 2012
7:50 am

@Eyes Rolling, You write, “the government school teachers I had were lazy mediocrities who couldn’t have gotten real jobs if they had to.”

I guess there must have been a sale on broad brushes.

jezel

August 1st, 2012
7:55 am

Do Tell….so maybe allowing students to draw or not to draw smiley faces on teachers’ evaluations is not such a novel idea?

Maureen you should have been put to sleep for that comment.

How about promoting the idea for the reduction of class size by 50 percent. The money is there…in the budget today….but it is being used for other purposes.

The only way education in Georgia will improve…is to hire more teachers and lower the student teacher ratio…..STRAIGHT UP….MAUREEEN

Now get busy writing about something to solve the problem rather than side stepping the issue with foolishness. Have some heart and show some courage.

HangingIn

August 1st, 2012
7:59 am

I have been reading this blog for several years and have never commented, but as the issues in education become more dire I felt it necessary to say my piece. I am a 20+ year teacher and agree with the post today. Teachers know they are never going to get an adequate salary for the work, but a little appreciation goes a long way. Teaching is no longer the fun, creative adventure that it used to be. It’s all business about results. I happen to be a math teacher and I do get good results, last year my scores hit 96%’ but only 2 years ago they dropped to 78%. Am I doing things differently; not at all. I just skip anything remotely creative and stay focused on the “school goal”. It would be nice to be told by admin that it is recognized that we are working as hard as we know how. Instead of let’s see what can be done to raise the scores next year.

I apologize if I have rambled; first posts make me nervous. Especially when I read how rough some of the commenters are on each other!

Ed Johnson

August 1st, 2012
8:02 am

Hopefully, those who should will appreciate Jordan’s insight and wisdom.

Just consider distinguishing “leader” and “manager” and perhaps replace the former with the latter to reflect essential reality: on the one hand, scant leadership FOR teachers; on the other hand, excessive management OF teachers.

Leaders typically go about the business of providing for other leaders to emerge. Managers typically go about the business of trying to figure out who needs to be subjected to, say, “quality control.”

retired teacher now

August 1st, 2012
8:03 am

I’m am so sorry that Jordan needed to leave teaching but I totally understand. I left as soon as I hit my 30 years to start a second career because I don’t trust the retirement systems no matter how well funded they “say” they are. In two years I’m close to making what I did my last year of teaching. That included my 30 years and two graduate degrees. My time is now not wasted in useless meetings or endless paperwork.

Entitlement Society

August 1st, 2012
8:10 am

How many times are you going to post the same story?

Wes

August 1st, 2012
8:13 am

Hard to take comments from Jordan very seriously when she threw in the towel and quit. I’m sorry for being negative but its the truth.People all over the nation haven’t received raises and many have lost their livelihoods all together. Its a tough job in extremely tough times. Doing more with less is the new normal. Teaching is a profession that requires dedication from caring people over the long haul.

Solutions

August 1st, 2012
8:29 am

jezel – Class sizes are already half of what they were when I was in school (six years in Catholic school, six in public), yet student accomplishments do not match those of the late 1960’s, not on ACT scores, and not on other standardized tests. There was an urgency to learning in those days, but with the extended childhood of today’s youth (to age 26 for health care on mommy’s policy), there is no urgency.

redweather

August 1st, 2012
8:41 am

Wes, first you note that teachers like everyone else must deal with the tough times. Agreed. Then you say, “Teaching is a profession that requires dedication from caring people over the long haul.” That’s an important distinction, don’t you think? Isn’t that what makes teachers and the teaching profession different? And isn’t that what Jordan is talking about?

jd

August 1st, 2012
8:50 am

The great thing about our government is that we are the government. Voters are the boss! So, how many people would work for a boss that seldom praises good work, that allows a few bad apples to color the perception of everyone else’s motives for working for the public good, and a boss that refuses to analyze evidence and make decisions in a business like manner.

Very few. It is no wonder turnover in teaching, public safety and public service is so high. You get the government you deserve.

Chappy

August 1st, 2012
8:54 am

Hum, firefighters paid poorly? The ones in my xtended family are paid pretty darn well.

All homeowners, recreational travel a LOT, money for plenty of toys, what is the measure your looking at, vs a wall street broker? Planning on handsome tax payer funded retirements uneffected by the kind of wholsale dumping that private industry has done to its retirees pension plans. Give me a break. I seriously believe as those millions that have lost pensions retire and then loose their homes because their taxes are o high to pay these govt benefits we will have to have a new govts to even out the imbalance between the numbers who’ve lost everything and he ones on the public dole.

Teachers poorly paid? I’ve a five year teacher friend, 28 year old just bought a new home. Not wealthy, but has a decent life.

I think this rant is by someone who considers their “noble purpose” should keep them fom suffering in this economy?

Suck it up and enjoy the rest of your summer vacation. My taxes were not adjusted adequately when property values plummeted, and I will not support ANY raise.

Many people leave teaching, there are plenty of intelligent people who’d like a to week winter vacation.

In the history of America the people that made this nation a world class country went to one room schools and write on slate tablets. Lacking top rate computers isn’t going to stop real teachers from infecting their students with a love of learning. Those who can’t take the heat SHOULD get out of the kitchen.

iTeach

August 1st, 2012
8:57 am

Bravo, Jordan. Well said. :)

MB

August 1st, 2012
9:07 am

@Solutions – You had 70 students in your classes? Come on… I also went to school in the 60s and 70s and we had 30-34 in classes, BUT students who did not behave were sent to the hall or the principal’s office and consequences were dealt out at home AND school. Our teachers were educating us, not preparing us for a series of multiple-choice tests. Teachers were respected by (most) students, all parents, and the community.

@Wes Jordan didn’t say she quit because she didn’t get raises; her income was going down (between furloughs and our portion of insurances and retirement going up each year) AND she wasn’t hearing hope of anything changing. Teaching a class load up 30% for less money, no appreciation or affirmation for your efforts from administrators, parents, or community, the inevitable toll on your person life… this is her “not a martyr” call for change.

We hear complaints about teachers just “there marking time,” so how can you fault someone who make the decision to NOT take that route but continues to advocate for her colleagues left in the trenches. “Allow teachers the freedom to speak out about the conditions in which they teach without fear of retaliation” is a valid point. Now she is taking her own time to craft pieces to share how teachers are being treated, and why the “irreplaceables” are leaving, and people post opinions such as teachers should be paid the same as garbage collectors. (If teachers got paid the overtime, many might jump on that salary scale!)

@redweather – Amen – somebody take back the broad brushes this morning!

DoingMyBest

August 1st, 2012
9:11 am

As I read these negative responses, I am floored and angered. How is it that teachers can be blamed for all of the problems with today’s students and schools and yet be treated like this? I am sorry that some of you have had bad teachers in the past, but the majority of the teachers that I’ve worked with in my 10 years of education have been top notch. It’s obvious that we won’t be compensated more in the near future, but a little appreciation – the same appreciation we show to other public service workers- is all we’re asking for!

are you kidding?

August 1st, 2012
9:12 am

TEACHERS ARE NOT MARTYRS. Bravo Jordan. By the way, all states are not compromising the education of its citizenry. The 1996 Olympic games boosted this state to a status that it could not retain. But this is the land of ignorance.

a 1942Georgia

August 1st, 2012
9:15 am

In Hall Co., the firemen are leaving for better pay and benefits out of the county.
Next it will be teachers leaving.

MiltonMan

August 1st, 2012
9:17 am

Good God, yet another complaint from a whiny teacher. When I attended college, the “teachers to be” were receiving degrees in some of the easiest programs being offered on campus – education, secondary education, early childhood developement, etc. Then they would complain how “upsetting” it was that engineers were getting more money???

If Jordan is not happy at a North Fulton school, she probably will not be happy at any other public school system. Also, she is part of the problem & not the solution. The teachers in this state are part of NEA that crappy organization does nothing but continously dump money into democratic candidates – remember Roy “rat” Barnes? It is getting real old to see “Hope and Change” “Yes we can – again”; “Forward”; “Be smart – vote democrat”, etc. bumper stickers in the teachers parking lot – nothing more than lemming mentality.

Teacher Reader

August 1st, 2012
9:20 am

Maureen, I wish that you’d do more posts on how our schools can improve, spend money wisely, and provide a quality education to the children. The nonsense about teachers not being well paid, etc, is really tiring.

As a former teacher, teachers have many benefits that other professionals do not (extra vacation time, a nice salary for 180-190 days of work, summers to get an extra job and add to their income, etc). Every employee is feeling the current economic climate, not just teachers. How many non-teachers have had to pay more for their healthcare each year, or would love to even have a health care for their family? How many would like to have vacation time where they don’t loose money, or have time off with their children at Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring break, and the summer?

Teachers complaining about pay, demands, ect have little ideas of what other professionals have. I know many professionals paid comparable to teachers, who work more days/hours a year, have poorer benefits, and don’t complain nearly as much.

Our society doesn’t need more blog posts about pity parties for teachers, but we need to have posts on school systems around the country that are doing well in the current economic times (meaning students are learning and thriving, ready for college and the world). How are these districts spending money differently? How are their priorities different from those of districts the Atlanta metro area? Do we need smaller school districts to better educate our children?

In my 40 years on this earth, I learned in twelfth grade that teachers will always feel under paid and want more. Lets move on to topics that can actually help our children and improve our schools.

Why not look into the corruption and misspending of DeKalb? Rumor has it that the school district misspent millions of federal dollars and needs to pay it back. Lets have blog posts that can help change our schools and make them better than what they currently are. Having posts where teachers complain about their compensation and work conditions does little to improve the quality of education our children are receiving and works to bring down teacher morale-which is pretty low in many districts.

Chunter

August 1st, 2012
9:21 am

Yet more teachers bewailing the “unfairness” of life—and yet refusing to leave teaching for some other line of work they’re better suited for, as would the rest of us.

Each year we produce LEGIONS of college graduates eager to teach. But the complainers among us deny them the chance—by stubbornly hanging on to teaching jobs they apparently find too unrewarding.

MiltonMan

August 1st, 2012
9:26 am

“Teaching is no longer the fun, creative adventure that it used to be. It’s all business about results.”

What else do you expect??? The federal government basically calls the shots now in education. Teachers now are afraid of failing any student – this democrat idea/buzzword of “social promotion”. Teachers are afraid of grading in red ink because you night “hurt the students feelings”. Teachers not allowing the students to play “kill the man with the ball” because it is not politically correct.

Teaching is a joke.

catlady

August 1st, 2012
9:27 am

Aw, Hangingin, just a little drawing and quartering among colleagues!

Bravo, Jordan, totally true!

NullOp

August 1st, 2012
9:29 am

I looked into becoming a teacher. The deck is stacked against them from the git-go. Low pay, indifferent students, horrible parents and short sighted administrators. Sure every once-in-a-while a motivated student comes through but our society has so devalued education and educators I don’t know that America will ever regain all the ground it’s lost.

NullOp

August 1st, 2012
9:31 am

Everyone crank up Netflix this weekend and watch “Waiting For Superman”. It’ll tell you a lot about the schools systems in this country.

Emily

August 1st, 2012
9:31 am

Teachers have a hard job. I respect that. The idea that my kids’ teachers work In wretched conditions is just ridiculous. I cant speak for all schools of course. When teachers generally engage in this kind of rhetoric, it makes us poor taxpayers and parents disconnect.

Beverly Fraud

August 1st, 2012
9:46 am

From Jordan:

“Allow teachers the freedom to speak out about the conditions in which they teach without fear of retaliation”

Ok Maureen, now that Jordan said it, will you FINALLY admit this is a problem?

DebbieDoRight - The Only Thing Wrong With Capitalism is Capitalists..

August 1st, 2012
9:49 am

Too many times, leaders refuse to counter this narrative because it allows them the savior role. If they agree with the perception that public education is failing, they can be the hero that saves it. This can lead to another dangerous scenario where educational leaders get caught up in their own ego and the misconception that a school’s success hinges less on the ability to govern and more on the principal him/herself.

^^That statement right there, made the whole article for me. We expect more from teacher that we ourselves are willing to give.

How many of the ones complaining about “bad teachers” don’t go over their kids homework with them? How many of those complaining don’t got to PTA meetings? Sell cookies for the school? volunteer in the classrooms? ETc., etc., etc.

Yet we expect teachers to work long hard hours with some kids that even their mothers’ don’t love, supplment these kids school supplies out of their own pockets, give, give, give until they can’t give anymore while the parents give NOTHING but critizcism and disain. HOw realistic is that?

Instead of saying that teachers have an “entitlement mentality” the complainers need to point that finger at themselves.

PS: If you can read this, thank GOD for your teacher. If you can understand it, Thank GOD for your teacher. If you’re not smart enough to understand then BLAME yourself for falling for the “false narrative” that blames teachers and praises CEOs who still us blind.

Beverly Fraud

August 1st, 2012
9:57 am

“Hard to take comments from Jordan very seriously when she threw in the towel and quit.”

Well Wes, when THOUSANDS of Jordans quit, and you’re left with increasingly DIMINISHED intellectual capital in the teaching profession, because all the quality has left, perhaps then you’ll take it with the seriousness it deserves.

DebbieDoRight - The Only Thing Wrong With Capitalism is Capitalists..

August 1st, 2012
9:57 am

MM: Teachers now are afraid of failing any student – this democrat idea/buzzword of “social promotion”

Teachers were able to innovative and go “outside the box” until something called No Child Left Behind came into play. You’re so quick to decry Democrats, but please tell me, what brilliant mind thought of NCLB and how has it worked since its conception?

KIM

August 1st, 2012
9:59 am

Teachers are God’s workers on EArth. No blogger can denigrate you. Go forth and do your work. And Jordan, you are right. I’m sorry you left the profession. I know a couple of magnificent teachers who did the same. It had NOTHING to do with the kids.

Beverly Fraud

August 1st, 2012
10:04 am

Everyone crank up Netflix this weekend and watch “Waiting For Superman”. It’ll tell you a lot about the schools systems in this country.

Null Op you’re “Waiting for Superman”

REMOVE THE KRYPTONITE!

Allow teachers the authority to remove the chronic/severe disrupters, allow them to advocate with REAL SAFEGUARDS in place against retaliation, THEN judge them.

Don’t set them up to fail, then blame them for failing.

Set them up to succeed, THEN blame them for failing.

DebbieDoRight - The Only Thing Wrong With Capitalism is Capitalists..

August 1st, 2012
10:06 am

Shouldn’t that be IF they fail? Just asking…….

Old Physics Teacher

August 1st, 2012
10:10 am

I am so tired of hearing “there are 20% of teachers who should be fired…” In point of fact, that could be said of EVERY profession, but you never hear anyone complaining about the percentage of incompetent lawyers and doctors.

Hear, I’ll say it now, “20% of doctors and lawyers need to be fired and replaced with cheaper practioners!”

What we need to do is come up with a score card for doctors and lawyers. Let’s see how many doctors cure their patients. Let’s see a score card of wins and losses of attorneys. Make them put these up in their waiting rooms. What’s that you say, it’s unfair to the doctors? Doctors give instructions to their patients and if the patients don’t follow instructions, it’s not the doctor’s fault?” WRONG!!! They get paid a lot of money — some of it from the government, yeah…that’s right… They should be held to the same standard a public school teacher that makes tons less money is, right? It’ll never happen though, right? Their association… uh… union will prevent it from happening by buying more legislators.

Beverly Fraud

August 1st, 2012
10:11 am

What the “teachers whine” crowd seems to forget.

The teaching conditions Jordan and others are talking about are directly linked to YOUR CHILD’S EXPERIENCE in the classroom.

So if you don’t think BETTER LEARNING CONDITIONS for children are worth advocating for, go ahead, keep saying “teachers whine.”

Unfortunately the children, unlike Jordan, cannot leave.

DS

August 1st, 2012
10:15 am

No need to get so ugly folks; Jordan’s article was spot on! Teaching today is not what it was 40 – 50 years ago so stop with the comparisons. If you haven’t stepped inside a classroom lately it’s time you did! Go volunteer.

Beverly Fraud

August 1st, 2012
10:15 am

Yes Debbie, it should be IF they fail.

Because we might find out with support for DISCIPLINE, and protection against RETALIATION, most children will rise to the level of expectation the teacher sets for them; or to be more precise, is ALLOWED to set for them.

But when you tell teachers a child who does NOTHING gets 50% credit…what else were you expecting, except “failure”?

MB

August 1st, 2012
10:17 am

@MM As someone who had children in North Fulton schools and now works in the system, I can tell you that it is not “all that” to work here. School board members and HR personnel have told people in public, “if you don’t like working here (Fulton), there are many people eager to take your job.” We have had wholesale changes in administrators (look at the long lists of personnel changes in the Board Briefs the past two years for verification) and some of those have definitely not been improvements. If you actually read the posts here, rather than spouting your invalid rhetoric about unions, Roy Barnes (who tried to make it easier to remove incompetent teachers while Sonny made “austerity” cuts in times of prosperity), and so on, you might get the message. Teachers aren’t leaving because they’ve lost their love of teaching.

(And the comment about education majors – put YOUR broad brush away. My degree was not in education, but you know, as with everything, there are weak and strong people in every field – including engineers!)

GwinnettGuy

August 1st, 2012
10:19 am

I grew up in a traditional household where I was told that I would regret the day a teacher said I was being bad. I also grew up in a house where the expectation was that I would excel at school. I guess for that reason I have a healthy respect for those in the teaching profession.

With that said, I always find the “bitter” posters humorous. The standard, “Well I’ve had to deal with it so teachers should suck it up too.” This mentality of, “Something bad happened to me so it should happen to them too since I pay them” is really pathetic.

We should be striving to take care of those that take care of us. The military, firefighters, teachers, cops, etc should be among the people we try and take care of… but instead we are spending millions on rappers, singers, athletes, and movie stars.

In the meantime, we are letting our politicians rob us blind and making us fight each other.

I thought it was funny that a poster pointed out how well education was performing in the 1960s. What has changed since 1960s? The federal and state government butting into local education. The more they regulate, the more we decline. I guess the general public has not figured that out.

mommamonster

August 1st, 2012
10:22 am

Teacher Reader…if teaching was so awesome why did you leave the profession?

Eyes Rolling

August 1st, 2012
10:24 am

PS: If you can read this, thank GOD for your teacher. If you can understand it, Thank GOD for your teacher. If you’re not smart enough to understand then BLAME yourself for falling for the “false narrative” that blames teachers and praises CEOs who still us blind.

I taught myself how to read, knucklehead. By age 3. Perfectly happy to give God the credit for that. Government employees, not so much.

Oh, and whatever educrat drone taught you to spell “steal” as “still” ought to be fired…

david

August 1st, 2012
10:26 am

federal programs with catchy names and a load of regulations will never improve education. parents driving the importance of doing well in school is the real solution. until the parents take responsibility for their childs academic performance, the situation will not change.
most teachers work hard at their jobs and care about the students. some don’t. no difference in any other business.
until the parents support the teachers and administrators, it will not change. today, if you try to discipline a child, the school and teacher risk being sued by the parent.
here is a proposal for a new law: every parent should be required to spend one week each school year working as a teachers assistant in their childs school.
how many businesses issue employment contracts that legally require the employee to fulfill, yet they then cut the promised pay with furlow days and unpaid work days without retrobution?
Local school systems should be in charge of educating the children the best that works for them i their area.
Parents should be able to send their children to the school that best suits their needs. The state government then should merely administer the paying of schools accordingly.
All tenure should be eliminated and teacher unions outlawed. Teach the approved subject matter effectively or be gone.
If the child does not do the work, flunk them. The current program of endless chances to “recover” is aimed at meeting federal regulations for school improvement not educating. It merely reinforces to the child that they really don’t need to do or learn anything.
Well, that should be enough to crank up the readers.

williebkind

August 1st, 2012
10:29 am

We have two problems creating this alleged exodus. One, when government gets involved other than providing funds it steals from tax payers, the programs usually go bust or a minimum fails completely. Finally, the teachers have lost the discipline in the classroom. Since moral values and traditional beliefs are second to fads and special interests of the far left wingers, there is no right or wrong any more. Therefore, school should be voluntary.

Tonya C.

August 1st, 2012
10:31 am

GwinnettGuy:

You pretty much summed it up. My experiences mimicked yours.

I long ago said teaching needs to move away from being a calling, and move toward being acknowledged as the profession it has become. That taking the old ‘doing more with less’ and actually following through with it is hurting the profession as a whole. The kids should absolutely be the focus, but teachers are human and are affected by their environment as much as the next person.

Karen Russell

August 1st, 2012
10:33 am

I will embark on my 28th year of teaching in a few days. I work at a wonderful school in a very supportive community in a very angry and backward state. I am dismayed at the vitriolic comments being directed at teachers on this blog who speak the truth born of experience. If you haven’t taught, it’s easy to hurl angry words about something you likely know very little of. I commend Ms. Kohanim for her willingness to voice what many teachers experience.

Yes, results are important but schools are not businesses with deadlines to meet and numbers to crunch. Schools (public and private) are very diverse places where many different value systems collide and, most importantly, are filled with children. Schools reflect the society we live in, and public schools accept all children regardless of backgrounds. In a utopian world, all would come from supportive homes with educated parents who understand their role in educating and exposing children before they begin their formal education. Alas, this is not the case, so we embrace many roles during a school year; teacher, counselor, advocate, social worker, nurse, parent, negotiator, TEACHER.

Before you sit anonymously at your keyboard and malign us, come do what we do for a day. It might change your perspective on “government teachers.”