By the Schools of Thought Editors
We asked for comments on Sam Chaltain's guest post, "When did teacher bashing become the new national pastime?" and we got more than 700 of them. Most comments were supportive of teachers, but some commenters thought bashing was justified. Here are excerpts from a few comments.
Derp said: "'Those who can't do teach.' The absolute stupidity of that comment is immeasurable. Those who 'do' had to have someone teach them how to 'do' whatever it is that they 'do'. "
Ann said: "How about try roofing and painting for a living in the Mississippi heat. Teachers complain about what their jobs require, and are seemingly oblivious to the fact that their job is cushy compared to a LOT of jobs out there. You teach 1st Grade and you're complaining. Oh give me a darn break already. "
MarileeBob said: "I very much appreciate the teachers I had in school; there was one in particular who made a big difference in my life at the time. I'll always remember the extra time he spent with me, and the encouragement he provided. He made a huge difference in my life and I might not be here today if it weren't for him. Know that you are making a difference in the lives of the children you teach, and try to brush off the criticism the trolls are throwing out."
Wisconsin101 said: "The teacher bashing is correct and should take place for the teachers have brought this upon themselves via their union greed. Student scores continue to go down while teacher income has gone up. The public resentment is from the exposed high wages & mind numbing ridiculously over the top pension & benefits these buffoons get while their bosses, the taxpayers, make on average ½ as much w/o the glamorous pension and benefits. Then comes along another union worker, the author, telling us how we are wrong."
William said: "I am a teacher at a private school in Milwaukee. I love my students and hope they will go to college, get a good job, and break the cycle of poverty. My biggest problem in school: the parent(s). I have parents that let their kids stay up late playing video games, and then junior comes to school exhausted and falling asleep in class. I have parents that don't care if their child doesn't do his/her homework. I have parents that get their kids to school late, pick them up early, and take them out of school for any reason. I have parents that don't feed their kids breakfast or give them a snack for snacktime. We had two students last week threaten to kill themselves. Ask yourself: Would I work in conditions like this, meanwhile being criticized because my students aren't performing well?"
Eric C said: "Americans are so nasty and disrespectful towards teachers – why would anyone want to be a teacher here!? It seems like the worst job possible – just reading these comments here, I feel so sorry for these people. I am from Finland, where teachers are well respected, and our students are the top in the world. Americans can learn something from us…I think there is not much a teacher can do for a child who is abused, neglected, starving, living in filth, etc. This country is unfair, and any meaningful reform in education must address this. Let's start by feeding and clothing the children, before we jump on the test score bandwagon."
Stan Adams said: "Let's grade parents too – and their socio-economic status. You can bring a horse to water but you can't make it drink. I'm sorry. Teachers can only do as well as the support they get from the student, the student's family, and the community. Otherwise, it's like throwing the teachers to the lions."
Steve Richmond said: "You should live my wife's life as a teacher. It sucks. I would never become a teacher and I long for the day that there's a national crisis due to a shortage of people wanting to take up the profession."
Dawng8500 said: "Having worked in the public schools in Wisconsin, I'm frustrated by the brainwashing our teachers have had. They are paid well (75,000 plus another 30,000 worth in benefits), retire at 55 or 30 years with full benefits (including full medical benefits paid), and they whine they aren't "appreciated". I go into schools, and see them badgering and bullying the students, and being bullies at meetings, and then becoming angry when the students question them. They spout their liberal poison, and make students turn their shirts inside out if it is one supporting our Gov, Scott Walker. I have lost MUCH respect for many. Their behavior is reprehensible."
Henry said: "Why teacher bashing? Collectively, teachers failed to educate American for more than one generation, both tangible and intangible, in every aspect. Second, teachers (again collectively), while enjoying one of the best pay and benefits in the nation, are perceived as the greedy because they refused to carry fair share of the economic burden in bad time and were readily to sacrifice education progress of the students for benefit "bargaining". Teachers, with the leadership of their Unions, had made big tactical mistakes and have no one to blame but themselves."
Ron said: "Want respect? Stop being lap dogs to the liberals, tow a more moderate line. Stop with the cheating scandals (Atlanta). Stop with the millions wasted in the (NYC) rubber rooms. Stop looking like raving union goons (Wisconsin). Stop with the daily reports of teachers molesting students. Stop with the "underfunded", because we spend more than any country on education and have little to show for it. Stop paying hordes of administrators over 100 grand a year (Newark). And no job should have lifetime security after 3 years: get rid of tenure and fire the teachers you all know are bringing down your profession."
Bucky said: "These pessimistic expectations are what drag down the education system. If anything, we should be trying to support our teachers as much as possible, because who is spending 8-3 everyday with our kids developing their hopes and dreams? Teaching is meaningful because of the powerful impact it has that cannot be measured with money or a ranking. "
Ggmama said: "A kid does well in a class, we praise the kid.
A kid does poorly in a class, we blame the teacher.
A kid is accepted into an Ivy-league college, we ask the parents how they did it.
A kid drops out of school, we ask why the school didn't do more."