Saturday, January 28, 2012

A teacher manifesto worth 2 minutes to read, and 20 hours of thought

Praise heaven! No work followed me home from the classroom on Friday. Granted, I had to stay until 5 to accomplish this, but hallelujah anyway! Naturally, that lends itself to more time to dink around on Facebook, and actually look through my friends' profiles; as opposed to simply rifling through the News Feed. 

Whilst perusing the many interesting happenings in the lives of my acquaintances, I noticed several of my teacher friends sharing and commenting on the post "In What Other Profession", shown below.

After clicking and reading, I have been sitting and thinking about the statements, and the truth behind them, and the injustice of all of it, for the last half an hour. And probably will continue to think about it for the rest of the night. 

PLEASE read the post and share it if you agree with its sentiments. It needs to go viral. If I were a crappy teacher, or a lazy or unmotivated one, I probably wouldn't be sitting at the computer in my spare (unpaid) time reading educational blogs in the first place. But clearly if you're reading mine, you're not one of those sad few anyway.

Why did politicians decide to start scapegoating teachers for the systemic problems facing education today? Haven't the majority of those same issues stemmed directly or indirectly from outside political intervention into the educational system? When did it become the job of educators, who are paid for 7.5 hours per day, 9 months of the year, to solve all of the problems (educational, social, emotional, parental, financial) of America's youth today? And how are we supposed to not only maintain, but continue to improve student test scores and graduation rates, with ever declining funding and increased poverty in our student body?

If anyone has easy answers, I'd love to hear them. But I don't think there is an easy answer! And I don't care either way. Because I love my job, and I love my school, and I love my students, and I love my coworkers, and I will continue trying to be a better teacher and person for as long as I live. (sounds kind of like wedding vows! hmmmm...)

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