Your comments: Teacher bashing
March 9th, 2012
04:05 PM ET

Your comments: Teacher bashing

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."

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Filed under: Teachers • Voices • Your comments
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Shiny Happy Person

    Eventually, states will have to farm out teaching jobs to white collar convicts like they do with printing, making license plates, ordering from catalogs and roadside landscaping...they'll have to bus them into schools, have a guard at the door with a gun and have the convict read the state-written lesson from a script. NO ONE is going to want to be in the teaching profession anymore because of the eventual lack of benefits and job security, long hours, low pay and especially, the lack of respect, so making a convict be a teacher is a perfect choice – what else are they doing on the state's dime but sitting around on their asses? Who cares about the kids?!

    March 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  2. Adolph

    Teachers are responsible for the failing school system, most of the teachers are undereducated themselves and non of them have the guts to stand up for change in the system. Besides, most of the schools are teaching the adults of the future (today's kids) with the tools of the past (your grandpa's book's). Its not fair to blame it on the teachers, they dont know what will be next. They are just people that get a pay check and want to make sure they don't lose their job soon. they want what everyone wants, a good job with security(not getting fired).

    March 14, 2012 at 4:21 am |
  3. Yvonne Zanders

    Teaching is a hard job. I enjoy been in the classroom what I did not enjoy was kids who came to school falling asleep or asking for food. one student told me that gun shots kept him up all night . parents do not help you and you only see than when they want to shout at you.. Teachers should be paid much more.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  4. Touche Turtle

    I don't have an issue with teachers and quality education. But I do have a problem with the way education is funded and managed in America. Teachers have become political pawns in a fight over precious dwindling resources... tax payer money.

    March 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  5. Cabawegati Gikokarho

    Sadly, in today's society there are numerous reasons why somebody would wish or want to complement an unknown number to some person. This particular man or woman may end up getting someone they know ...ReversePhoneLookup

    March 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  6. David B. Cohen

    While I agree teaching isn't as physically demanding as roofing, for example, that's not really a useful comparison. What makes teaching hard is not having the resources to meet the demands of the job, having to take the job home with you to do more work at night and on weekends, and facing levels of complexity and sometimes dysfunction that have no corollary in most other jobs. To suggest teacher pay and benefits are excessive is to buy into the faulty comparisons favored by conservatives. It is well established that if you compare teacher pay and benefits to other professionals with similar levels of education, teachers are getting shorted. And then, to Ron:
    "Stop with the cheating scandals (Atlanta)." – Blame should include government, district and school admins.
    "Stop with the millions wasted in the (NYC) rubber rooms." – Contracts are negotiated. Admin. shares blame.
    "Stop looking like raving union goons (Wisconsin)." – well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder on that one.
    "Stop with the daily reports of teachers molesting students." – we should absolutely not tolerate abuse or molestation, but you're exaggerating the frequency and ignoring the vast majority of teachers who provide safe and supportive environments for kids.
    "Stop with the "underfunded", because we spend more than any country on education and have little to show for it." – Funding comparisons with other countries don't work; too many variations, and they don't pay for all the things we do – employee health care in particular. And we're actually doing a pretty good job of educating most of our students, but we're not addressing the shame of the nation: 40% of our children living in or near poverty levels.
    "Stop paying hordes of administrators over 100 grand a year (Newark)." – case by case basis. And yes, many people are worth $100K/yr unless you think public employees are truly "servants" and not professionals.
    "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." – exaggerating the problems with tenure. Most principals in NASSP survey said firing teachers was a manageable process. It's not teachers' job to fire teachers – we need to make sure schools have the tools and resources to support teachers better so that fewer end up needing to be replaced (whether through firing or the incredibly high attrition rates we deal with).

    March 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Teacher's Wife

      Job security my ASS! Sorry – I agree with SOME things on your post, but if you think for one minute teachers REALLY have job security you are sadly mistaken. Tenure means nothing. If administrators don't like you (just like in the "REAL WORLD") they find ways to get rid of you. And they do it viciously. And your career is OVER for good. There is no going to find another school to work at. You're blacklisted. Unlike in a corporate world, where there is always another company to move on to. And if you're accused of something – they come after your personally. Your house and family are then on the line. And there is not a damn thing you can do about it. In the real world – if you screw up at a company – you're fired. That's it. They don't sue you personally. I work in high level management in the corporate world and I wouldn't want to be a teacher if you paid me hundreds of thousands of dollars. It;s so bad out there right now you have NO IDEA unless you have an inside to what teachers are going through. Corrupt BOEs with no one to watch them on witch hunts for teachers to appease parents and make sure their funding from the state is secure. And my husband doesn't make a lot and he works his butt off every single day from the time he gets home (NOT WHEN SCHOOL LETS OUT) to 10 or so every night and every weekend and throughout the summer. TALK to a teacher. Tenure and unions are there for a reason and the teachers PAY for it. Along with pensions and healthcare.

      March 10, 2012 at 10:29 am |