By Carl Azuz, CNN
(CNN) - During the average school day, teachers are with children as many waking hours as parents are. But many educators believe there’s a short in the communication lines between themselves and parents. When asked what they’d want parents to know about education, not all of the teachers we spoke to wished to be named - but they did share many common concerns from the classroom.
1. We're on the same team
First and foremost, teachers want students to thrive in the classroom, and they could use your help.
Jennifer Bell, a 7th grade social studies teacher in Tennessee, suggests that parents do all they can to ensure that students are doing their homework, exercising, eating well and sleeping. Whether students come to class tired or ready to learn can hinge on parents’ involvement. “We need their support,” she says. “We can’t do this on our own.”
In the words of an elementary school teacher from Georgia, “We are professionals. Teaching children is our area of expertise. Your child benefits more when you support me.”
And while educators expect students to make mistakes, Mississippi teacher Beth Wilbanks Smith asks parents to help them learn from those mistakes. “They will grow to be productive citizens if we all work as a unified force,” she writes.
2. Curriculum isn’t always up to us
One aspect of education that teachers say many parents don’t realize is that there’s not much wiggle room in classroom curriculum.
Forty-five states have adopted The Common Core State Standards. As a result, Bell says that teachers aren’t always responsible for the pace or the material. What they are responsible for: teaching the material itself and the test scores that result.
Parents may not agree with the education guidelines set by state or federal government, and many teachers don’t either. A Georgia educator told us, “Legislators and politicians are not educators; they make decisions regarding education without the knowledge of how it will impact student learning.”
So teachers ask that parents show understanding when addressing issues that educators do not have the power to change.
3. Share the responsibility
Something educators don’t want is for parents to have a combative approach to problems that arise at school.
A pair of Georgia elementary school teachers said that a student tells his side of the story through his own point of view. In order to get the whole story and avoid any misunderstandings, it’s important to objectively approach the educator.
A junior high school teacher from Missouri echoes this. “The national rhetoric lately in politics, movies, etc. has really put teachers on the defensive, and I think parents today are more likely to try and place blame on a teacher instead of ask their student to take more responsibility.”
This educator suggests allowing the student to both fail and take the responsibility to correct the error. “As a parent, I know this isn’t easy, but always trying to jump in and save your student won’t help them in the future.”
4. A track record doesn't guarantee a track star
“Something that has come up in conversations often lately among teachers: Past results don’t always result in future success,” writes a Missouri educator.
Teachers sometimes hear parents say that their student has always done well in a given subject, so there’s no reason why he or she should have trouble with it going forward.
But that’s not always the case, and it’s not necessarily the teacher’s fault. “This year’s concepts are very different,” the educator says, and the student “might be struggling with a more advanced concept.”
5. We know where you’re coming from
A recently retired Georgia teacher told us that 80-85% of her colleagues had children of their own. She says this gives educators compassion and insight into how a child learns. “Parents see a child. Teachers see both the child and the student. They have the ability to see multiple perspectives.”
When discussing success in the classroom, Smith also mentioned compassion as an ingredient, along with structure, order and inspiration. The recipe “makes for a dynamic environment,” she said. “I am not ‘a friend’ to my students, but I am their mentor, their confidant, and their stability while they are in my care.”
And while virtually all teachers would like to give more individualized attention to students, educators are limited by time, curriculum and class sizes. These are challenges that teachers feel some parents don’t understand.
As stated by a woman with decades of experience as both a teacher and a parent, “Your child is unique, just like everyone else’s.”
I have taught elementary school in the same district for 17years. I love my job and going to work everyday. I wouldn't do anything else. I have dealt with the parent side with my 4 children who have since graduated. I understand that every parent wants what they think is best for their child and we all want to protect our children. I beg parents to be involved, to come into the classroom, to call, email, write letters with any concerns they have with their child's educational experience. I might have 5-6 parents out of 27 that take an active part in their child's education. The other 20+ I never see or hear from until their child is in "trouble" at school and it NEVER has to do with the academics. "Why does my child lose recess because he broke a school rule?", "Why does my child have more than 15 minutes of homework each night?", "Why does my child have to participate in PE-they hate PE", "Why doesn't my child have any friends?", etc......The list goes on and on. I try my best to deal with these issues, but the whole time I'm wishing they would be concerned about their child's academics. And parents, don't blame me for policies that our government puts in place that I have to follow. I don't like some of the policies either, but I have no choice. I value each and every student and I do my very best to make them a better person along with teaching them the best I can so they can pass the tests that are government dictates. Most of them have never been in the classroom to see that it is a community of very diverse learners that have a lot of other issues going on that can affect their education. But yet, you EXPECT every child to do well. Let's see – I have a student whose mom had to go to jail last night, another student's sister had an accident and is in the hospital in serious condition, two of my students have parents going through a divorce, etc. I KNOW for a fact that I have a hard day teaching when I have a personal crisis, or each time my son and daughter-in-law deploy to Iraq/
Afghanistan. I wouldn't be able to sit and take a test and pass it either. I think we ALL need to have a little more compassion and understanding for all those professions who are a part of our community giving it their all, to help each child succeed and become a productive part of society.
If teaching is so easy, why doesn't everyone do it?
This is part of the problem, your first response was rude, and who wants to take any parent or adult seriously with that response. Your last post was much more logical, and completely understandable. At the same time, here would be a few hits for you in regards to your over the top advice.
Here's a bit of advice for teachers who want parents' help:
1. Teach my kid something. Don't have him bring a book from home and spend your entire class period reading it.
Really? So students who have difficulty getting through the text, we should just not work with them during class, or even better send them home so they are on their own? I am pretty sure reading is an essential skill in life, so perhaps you need to see if this is happening every single day of school for the entire school year. I find it hard to believe they aren’t learning anything.
2. Don't show Disney movies in class and call that education.
I completely agree, but again I would question if this is happening every day. Do students ever need a break? Do you ever need a break from your job? Well, instead of next time viewing a movie, we will have them read. Oh wait, you don’t like that either. Do us a favor; don’t ever complain again when we give your child “too much work then.”
3. Don't give out candy to the kids every day when the school handbook clearly says candy is forbidden.
I would love to know what school district you belong to because 1st they are reading too much, then watching movies, while eating candy all day. Sounds like an awesome time. OK, so no more candy, don’t send your child to school with a Coffee, Red Bull, Monster Drink, Coke, and then we will quit offering students something they enjoy. Do you ever need a piece of candy or gum during the day?
4. If I request a conference with you, make time for it. Don't tell me that you don't have time to meet with me.
Great idea, I forgot your child is the only student I have. The other 179 students and 358 parents never ask for a conference either. Sure, I will make time for it, normally on the days you are only available, probably right after school, not during the day when I an off period.
5. Communicate with parents directly. That includes responding to our emails.
I don’t know how I have time to respond to your emails while forcing my students to read and watch a movie at the same time, the entire day, while passing out candy and making time for conferences. If you lead any of your emails the way you do with these pieces of advice, I would probably not respond either. I have a feeling your emails have never began with…..Hello Mr. Smith, I hope your day is running smooth, I understand you are busy, but when you have time, I have a question……..or when you have time could we please schedule a meeting at your convenience……I would really appreciate it. Thanks again.
Teachers need to (1) show some interest in actually teaching and (2) ask for parent involvement by communicating directly with parents. In my Atlanta-area school system, that would make all the difference.
I think you should become a teacher and show us how it is all supposed to be done. My bet is, you wouldn’t last 1 day, let along 1 week.
obviously like your web-site however you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very bothersome to tell the reality on the other hand I will certainly come again again.
DF, neither of us know this kids real issue. Bad teacher, or a kid that is struggling to realize the teacher is putting more of the learning/understanding on students because they are GT. Making a kid read a book and doing nothing else = bad teacher. Teaching a GT kid the basics and giving them challenging muti step questions with limited support = what should be happening. Rescuing a child every time they get stuck teaches them to give up & wait for an adult.
Plus, student, theres a difference btwn "verbal learner" (teacher paraphrasing FOR YOU) and a verbal learner...someone who struggles with reading and needs a book read to them. To say youre a verbal learner means if the teacher read the book to you outloud youd understand it but wouldnt if you read to yourself. I have a feeling youre a "teacher paraphrase for me" learner.
i fully agree the economy is going down the crapper. i would suggest home scooling you can teach them what you want at what time.
Support cancer patients that use medical marijuana – tell your congressman to stop the discrimination and abuse..
Hi there. What you say about parents getting more involved and sharing the responsibility is really interesting. I work at Warwick University in the UK, where there was recently a conference on Understanding Parenting. One of the speakers talked about her work with schools to encourage parental engagement, and the outcomes are really remarkable. The talk is recorded in a podcast here: http://bit.ly/SQlYEC (last one – by Janet Goodall) if you want to listen to it.
Wow! I can't believe the negativity in so many of these comments. As someone who has several teachers in their family and had two children go through the system from pre-school through college I get both sides of the story and it's never as black and white as people see it. Are there bad teachers. Yes, of course there are, just like there are bad mechanics, bad doctors, bad lawyers and yes, bad parents. There are also good teachers and great teachers. From 1988 to 2011 when my children were in school I met many teachers. Out of this large group of educators only one or two could have been classified as bad teachers. The majority of them were good teachers who did there best to impart as much knowledge as they could and a rare few we're great teachers who left a strong lasting impression on my children and myself with their obvious love of teaching. Several of these teachers(one of them my daughters fourth grade teacher) are actually still in touch with my children and give them encouragement and support to follow their dreams. They did/do all of this despite how difficult it can be with the ever changing rules, regulations, curriculum and support for their job. My brother who teaches is one of those who works hard to help his students reach their potential. He and his wife are both teachers. Neither of them make over 50,000 and as I've been with them while they were shopping I know for a fact that they spend their own money for supplies because of budget cuts. They purchase such basics as pens, pencils, paper and high liters. Things parents should be providing but don't for whatever reason, lack of money or maybe they just don't care. Many times they have to purchase their own basic supplies as well. I've also known many in administration who fight tooth and nail to get their teachers the resources they need and some who didn't care as long as they got their pay checks. And parents, some of us are very involved, some want to be but life gets in the way, and some expect teachers and child care professionals to do their job all while blaming them and not their child or themselves when there are problems. Maybe it's time we all stopped trying to place blame and started trying to find a way to make the system better. There will always be someone be it an uncaring teacher, a self important administrator, a lazy student and a self absorbed parent. What we have to remember is we are all individuals and our children are our future. Don't put them in the middle of a fight between groups of adults like children caught in a bad divorce case because we all lose then. Teachers, stay strong and thank you for everything you do for our children. Administrators, don't give up. Keep working to help others see what is needed for or children, all of our children. Parents, remember that a teacher can only do their job properly if they have your support. Don't blame them for everything. Look to yourself and be honest with yourself about your child. Ignoring problems and blaming the teacher for everything does not help your child. If there is a problem, work with your school to resolve it and help your child understand that there are bad apples in every walk of life. Kids, students, remember that ultimately only you control what you learn and how you use it. Refusing to learn only hurts yourself.
Thanks for keeping it real!!
Wow Tanya, You hit it on the nail. Fantastic!!!!!!! My daughter & her husband are both high school teachers & I see all that they go through. They work on their days off & also during the summer. They also spend their own money to help out their students. They also buy little things & give to their students as an incentive to learn. One incentive that my Son-in-Law gave his students was that if they all passed the SAT, I believe that is what they call it now, exams he would let his students shave his head & eyebrows & color on his head. Guess what they all passed & he made good on his promise. Would any of these people who are against teachers let their kids do that. I think not. Again, THANKS Tonya
So, teachers are pairing up with helicopter parenting? HOW STUPID. In the past 12 years I have watched the student expectations rise as the student interest in a topic decreases. This is bad news for tenure professors who want to keep their jobs. Suddenly these coddled babies are thrust into a very fast based and tedious learning environment. The students expect to be treated like they were as children by their parents and teachers, so the student goes on to give the professor negative reviews. These negative reviews (they are mostly personal attacks and not about the materials covered in class) reflect poorly upon the profs that do not kiss butts. This causes profs to eventually lose their jobs. For what? These students then enter the workforce and are expected to do professional work?! This article is a recipe for disaster. Parents, I plea with you to be tough on your kids. Make them play outside and hide the video games. Teachers, PLEASE do not side with the parents! TEACH them how to study, how to read between the lines, connect dots, create their own opinion. You will destroy the job market in 20 years. I am 40 now and the last of a group that respected education and all of those who brought it to us...however tough we had it.
I just graduated with a degree in history with teacher certification but I have been in the public school system from k-12 and my mother has taught in the public school system for over 20 years. Every teacher is not perfect, I am just out of college and everyday I learn something to make me a better teacher. I love what I do, I love my students, I love helping them understand the concepts but I make mistakes. In 5 years I will be a better teacher, in 10 years even better, and in 20 even better but I will never be perfect. As a teacher I can promise I will take care of your child and I will everything I can to help him or her succeed, however I have rules and expectations. In order for me to teach your child something they have to follow the rules. Those rules are to make sure that every child feels safe and has the opportunity to learn. If your child disobeys those rules then they have to face the consequences. In middle and high school we don't need helicopter parents as someone mentioned, but, we do need parents on our side. Parents are the most influential part of a child's life, they look to you to learn about the world. Help them learn that there are consequences for their actions and that if you work hard you can succeed. I know my content and I have worked hard to create lesson plans to help every child learn and I am willing to stay after and come in early to help every child. There are bad teachers, teachers who are not looking for ways to improve or are not looking at student growth, those are bad teachers because they have lost the reason behind what we do. However just because a teacher is strict or does not cater to your child does not make a him or her a bad teacher. Some of the strictest teachers I had taught me the most and taught me to do it on my own. If you have a problem with a teacher email or call to set up a conference, but remember we schedule conferences around our classes so our students don't lose class time. I ask that you remember your child's teacher is a human being, your child's teacher wants what's best for your child, and your child's teacher loves what they do.
Not going to bother with extemporaneous extrapolations (cool, eh? I went to public school for 12 years) about what ancient culture influenced present-day math. Actually seems like a bunch of wannabe intellectuals trying to one-up each other.
The basic most parents seem to gloss over is, essentially, it's not possible to make a piece of fudge out of a turd. That's it, no PC rhetoric. Sending a dysfunctional, unmotivated little cretin with no morals to school and expecting a superstar in return is not realistic. It's not the teachers fault that the boy has the genetic mentality of a doorknob and it's not the school to blame that the girl is obsessed with food and weighs 122 lbs in the 2nd grade. The first five years of life, also referred to as "the formative years" are when the kids are supposed to learn morals and manners and acceptable behavior. Don't have time for all that - then don't expect a school system to start from scratch for little snowflake.
This is part of the issue exactly: "it's not possible to make a piece of fudge out of a turd. That's it, no PC rhetoric. Sending a dysfunctional, unmotivated little cretin with no morals to school and expecting a superstar in return is not realistic"
There is a constant and growing drumbeat coming out of our schools that the students there are "turds" and "cretins". The problem is that if you actually work with said kids either in school or outside of school one finds that this is not the case. Schools are not the cesspools we are being led to believe and the kids in my town are not the hudlums and gansters the school system in my community insists that they are. I don't see it, I don't experience it. So I am left to wonder what the school system is doing that distorts their sense of reality to this alarming degree. Yes there are some problem kids, but there were problem kids 50 years ago.
@ DonF. Yes there were bad kids/students 50 yrs ago. But now tell me this, was there ubiquitous MTV to teach them how to act badly? Was there Facebook, texts, internet to distract them and show them all of the disruptive ways. Usually, you had a few bad apples who were considered "Stupid, retarded" and that was it. Can you say that to anyone today, when it actually needs to be said. Try it, they'll lynch you faster than you can say, sorry. Or better yet, they will video you and show it to the world stating, "look how bad my teacher is."
You know what, i ain't no teacher, but when I'm told to work harder that's what I do
I don't go to work I don't get paid
When I make a mistake
I get yelled at
That's the way life works
You Understand that
Do your Job and Teach, your a teacher Right
You know how Weld something
Well I do
What is a Drumbeat? The Teachers call the Students that to their Face of Behind there Back?
You are 100% right, but the critics don't want to hear about the real problem. They just want to scapegoat teachers because "it's your problem to teach me and prepare me for life, not the people who actually gave birth to me." Keep up the good work.
Here, here! If teachers didn't have to put up with kids who screw around 100% of the time and torpedo every class session, then real education could take place again. It's ever since schools were expected to teach kids who 50 years ago would either be in a self-contained room or just flat-out expelled, teaching has become impossible. Other nations say "oh – you don't want to learn? Go sell turnips by the side of the road!". No child left behind assumes that all kids can learn and learn at the same rate. That is INSANITY! Don't slow down the kids that can learn by inflicting the ones who don't want to on them.
As a teacher, I understand many of the points people make. If you are not a teacher, you can't comprehend what it's like. It looks like an easy job from the outside. I chose to be an educator because I enjoy working with kids. Most do not decide to be a teacher based on anything financially. I go to work everyday with the intention of having my students learn something they can use in the future. Maybe it's something as simple as being a good role model and learning to how to deal with a difficult situation. Yes, government has made education look worthless and that the system is failing. I disagree. Many kids are creative and willing to take risks. They are willing to fail and then try again. I agree that parents can be difficult. I also understand that teachers can be equally as difficult. Teaching and learning has to be a joint effort. I enjoy my days as an educator. I work with sixth grade students. Most of them fall in the 11 and 12 year old range. If you haven't had the chance to have a conversation with someone in this age group in a while, you need to do this when you have the opportunity. These kids are awesome and have a unique outlook on life. I enjoy my days working with these students (administrators- no so much). I don't feel that these will fail us in the future. Is teaching a tough job? Yes. Is it worth it to me? Absolutely.
Oh, I can understand teaching. It's like being a doctor. Cake job. Last time I went to the doctor I was charged $37 (after insurance covered a portion of the "office visit") for literally a 5 minute visit. He didn't even DO ANYTHING. The nurse took my blood pressure and I doubt she received $34 of that. And as easy as the job of the lawyer I went to a few years ago for a real estate issue. I had to correct his grammar and typos and ask him to rewrite the contract. Paid the guy HUNDREDS to write it up. Supposedly "one of the best." Or the financial planner trying to sell me on how awesome they were by showing me a misleading graph of the performance of their company during a "new client" presentation. I don't think he expected someone to point out that when you jump from 0-50,000 on the y-axis and then count by 1,000's it makes the results look better than they are. The guy next to me, I didn't know him, laughed and said, "that was good, man." Private sector. I keep forgetting how awesome it is.
I want to wish you the best in your teaching job. Since it's a cake job, I expect that you will be going to get your degree. Please let me know what you think after your first month.
HTU...please read my post again. You may have missed the drops of dripping sarcasm.
he, he...your posts make me laugh.
Being a student I completely understand that a teacher is dedicated to our education. I respect that and I'm glad for it. But is it really helping us when they teach us everything from a book? I understand we aren't her only class and she teaches more than one subject. But how is it helping is when she does that. I mean we might as well be reading our text books independently. And if we don't understand something then she will send us to our peers. This would be helpful if our peers understood anything either. Any advice Hmmm?
@ Student...You need to work on your logical reasoning. If you are saying you don't need the teacher and could just as well learn from the book and, at the same time, say you have questions the book can't answer...HMMM...maybe YOU NEED THE TEACHER??? Next time, instead of looking at the assignment for 30 seconds and giving up (you know that's what you do), turn the pages in your book (after blowing the dust off it), use the index, and do some REAL reading. Like ACTUALLY read it. Write down stuff that sounds important. Reread things that don't make sense. You know, do some real WORK while you read. Life ain't easy. You'll be reading informational texts your whole life. You may as well learn how to do it in school on your own.
Ah, well... The problem I believe is that the student feels the teacher is not "teaching" simply reading. I've gone through a situation like that before, where the teacher had a slide-show running and all we did was take notes, day after day after day. From my understanding, this is what will most likely happen in university. Unfortunately, being sophmore high school students, we cannot tell what is important, and what is "fluff". The point the student above was trying to make was that the teacher did not explain, did not elaborate, did not inspire the students. She was simply an auditory version of the textbook. Quite redundant for group of students who could read, wouldn't you say?
Yes, welcome to college where professors have you write your own textbook of notes, you study, and then your test is high level questions using the basic facts they gave you as the foundation. The teacher should put the slides away, have the kids read for 10 minutes, then discuss the section. At least then the kids would become more literate by practicing their reading. Powerpoints are so boring and overused.
I am not even in collage. I am in MIDDLE SCHOOL. And I asked you for advice, not judgement. I am in the gifted and talented program and actually care a lot about my grades and education. I know I am a verbal learner. And when the teacher will not elaborate on what the text book is saying i struggle to understand. With the geometry text book we are using, I find it is worded strangely in some parts, as do my peers. However, referring to your earlier statement, I do try to figure things out before I ask questions because I care about actually care about learning. I'm sorry if that is a new concept for you.
I also never said I didn't need the teacher. In fact I said that I do need a teacher. All I was really pointing out was that my teacher was not really teaching me or most of my class anything.
Your teacher might be awful. Having dealt with GT students my gut tells me you are used to school being cake and this teacher isnt feeding you low level info like youre used to. Since you dont know this teacher is preparing you for life by asking you higher order thinking that isnt regurgitation, you complain to your parents about your teacher. Then the teacher gets "in trouble" and you win. Because the general pop knows more than the teacher. Case closed.
The point "student" is trying to make is that "Since you dont know this teacher is preparing you for life by asking you higher order thinking that isnt regurgitation. is not taking place because the teacher is just reading from the book - the same material students could read for themselves rather that providing additional material, insight, or promoting discussion using what you "call higher order thinking." It is clear from your comments that because the observation is coming from a student you are unable or unwilling to hear what they are saying. This "student" is asking for a more not less academicly rigorous experience.
@ DonF. The problem is, he is not the only student in the class. There are others who learn a different way. How do you account for that? If this kid is the only one in the class then one can understand his problem, but you are usually teaching for the lowest common denominator in a class not the highest performing. Welcome to inclusion and No Child Left Behind. This is something that is hard for you to understand since you are looking at the problem from only one person's (student) eyes.
I am so sad that we have gotten to a point in which educators are not valued. People like to compare what they did when they were in school to what is done now, but that is not really a valuable comparison. Today, in addition to all the other subjects that were taught 50 years ago, we must also teach technology and use it in our lessons (smartboards, graphing calculators, I pads, uploads, wikis, blogs, googledocs,...). Math, science, English, and history have all been added to in the last 50 years. We still need to teach the other information, but we have 50 years of additional information to teach,; however, we still only get 180 school days. What we need is a longer school year so that we can truly teach what needs to be taught. What teachers really need is time to fit in all the stuff we are required to fit in. However, this comes at a cost, and judging by the posts here, no one wants to pay that.
Pay for performance just like the "private sector" companies I hear about from people I know. Everyone somehow gets the bonus because they were "part of the team". And, strangely, they complain about all the incompetent people they work with/for. Some private sector friends I talk to say they work with management to create their "performance objectives" and, if necessary, can tweak them midway through if all agree they were too lofty to begin with. And...EVERYONE WINS!!! Seriously, aside from downsizing, how many people in the private sector actually get fired for being incompetent? How many people have you heard from that got canned because they were awful at their jobs? It's either for financial reasons or because the department is being relocated and they don't want to move or the department has been eliminated.
Every time I hear these excuses, it makes me wonder what is going on in public schools. When you talk about teachers not working hard, they spin out and talk about all this lesson plan/ curriculum they must make up. When you question as to why the curriculum is crap and the students arn't learning, they tell you how it's been laid out by the state and they have no control over it. More political double talk.
The problem is that the curriculum is not completely spelled out when it comes to the teachers, the guidelines are there, but the how it is to be done is created by a team of teachers. The state or feds change things each year so each year the team must re-write what is to be done. It creates problems because teachers are unable to try something for very long before it has to be changed. There is not enough time to see any meaningful advances if things change constantly. Teachers, however, do not need to discuss curriculum to show that they are working hard, the job is more than a full time job and the state requirements for furthering one's education is strict enough that teachers need some time off to take those courses otherwise they would need to take them during the school year which means less time dedicated to teaching. Before you judge, spend some time in the classroom.
Kris, you and the rest of the ignorant just keep forming opinions based on what you THINK you know. What do you do so I can attempt the same? Im sure, in my view, its an easy job any hamster in a wheel could do.
If you haven't done this job, then follow a teacher for two weeks. Otherwise, quit talking in ignorance.
Teaching IS NOT the private sector. Teachers' jobs are evaluated based on things over which they have NO CONTROL! Your child has a 60 IQ? Too bad! He has to pass the test or it's your job on the line! Your child refuses to pick up a pencil? Too bad! There is nothing the teacher is allowed to do to discipline that student and the student had better pass the test or it's your job on the line! Do dentists get fired when they tell their patients to brush their teeth but they get a cavity? Teaching is the only profession in which you would be expected to be successful every single time! Thos of you who want to badmouth teachers should come spend a week in our shoes and you would be singing a different tune! Politicians have divided parents and teachers and whent he parents and teachers figure this out and band together, they can effect more change!
Well 1 hour after school is out. 3 kids getting help. All in different subjects which isnt efficient. I cant teach them all at once so lots of waiting. Sorry im not calling other parents whose kids SHOULD be here. I cant violate FERPA by discussing those issues in front of other people. Ill be here until at least 5. Got here @ 6am. My own kids and wife would like to see me. God forbid Im sure from some of your comments. Id gladly work year round if i was guaranteed most days to have 9-10 hours and be done. Trying to correct quizzes 155 in between as well. Easy job. And pays well. The only part if the job i enjoy is the kids.
Yeah, people seem to only count you as "working" during the school day. They don't count the grading, lesson prep, extracurriculars, recertifications, and all of the other things that teachers do. Teachers work a ton more than people give them credit for.
Funny, I had dinner the other day with a friend in the "real world" (aka private sector). He's managing leader in his professional area. Meaning, when others have difficulty on their projects (technology firm) he comes to their rescue. He's GOOD at what he does. REAL GOOD. It's funny how his frustrations deal with significantly incompetent people in the workforce who, somehow, manage to reach the "pay for performance" goals and not get fired. Maybe, like CEO bonuses, we should make the goals reachable for everyone even in failure.
There are lots of bad teachers and lots of parents who are not involved in their child's school life. But I believe that parents and teachers need to begin working together to make schools what they should be...a place where kids learn and enjoy learning. I don't think qualified teachers have an issue about being evaluated. It's "how" they are being evaluated. I am both a parent and a teacher. This year students K-12 were assessed in the first weeks of school to get a baseline of where they are academically. I have a friend who went to her son's HS open house and the teachers apologized that they didn't really know who her son was yet b/c they had spent the first week assessing students. How sad is that? But how can you blame the teachers when their hands are tied to policies that were created by politicians? I think parents and teachers need to stop blaming each other and look to the real problem. Politicians create these rules that don't really impact many of them, either b/c their children are no longer in school OR b/c they send their kids to private schools. IF schools fail, then the state can get involved and schools can be privatized. Then unions won't matter, but neither will parents. School boards won't exist. Your school will be run like a corporation, by a corporation. Food for thought.
What the poster meant to say was its way more complicated than many of the simple solutions some of you believe in. Does crime rise because police dont do their jobs or do other things affect it as well? Same in education. Teachers are scapegoats for all societal ills. Some people understand that. Some dont. Some teachers are awful. Not enough to "turn around education". I hold a math major. Not math education. I still pour my soul into the job but have 2 interviews set up for other work. Im sick of being a worthless person in the eyes of many. I still get "youre so smart why are you a teacher?" From people. Thats why america has issues...teaching is a joke to most.
Good post and very smart. Why are you a teacher (sarc.).
Seriously though you raise some very good points and I am still thinking about what you said, thank you.
And one last point:
Teachers ARE NOT BABYSITTERS. They are there to teach. If you kid doesn't behave, it affects the entire class. Maybe it's not your kid but someone else's who is disrupting the whole class. Well, you can't throw the kid out everyday when they behave badly. That would affect learning.
And last but not the least, $ 100K salary is after obtaining a Masters and then 75 credits toward PhD. How many of you who are saying that teachers are lazy or greedy have even a high school diploma? Teachers are not the drop-outs, it's you as the parent that is failing and blaming a third person.
Try taking some personal responsibility for your kids, I know that type of thing is out of vogue. Because it must be someone else's fault if my kid doesn't learn, right?
These posts come off as an angry and emotional rant. I don't think that is what you are going for. So in all honesty, because I would like to know what you think, could you write that again in a calmer and more focused tone?
@ MikeB. No they are not emotional rants, They are the truths. Do you think I am ranting or making up the 750 papers a week because it fits my "rant" without any truth to it?
Now, you may want to think that, whenever someone with passion for teaching or responsibility, is presenting the truth or showing people their hypocrisy is "Ranting". But that's all that is, TRUTH not a Rant. Educating people who don't know a thing about a certain something from making assumptions and then without any expertise trying to offer alternatives is NOT Ranting. Do you guys question other truths like Gravity as a theory (or a scientist's rant) too?
for the knowitalls
“Do you think I am ranting or making up the 750 papers a week because it fits my "rant" without any truth to it?”
” Now, you may want to think that, whenever someone with passion for teaching or responsibility, is presenting the truth or showing people their hypocrisy is "Ranting".”
First of all this is a straw man (a form of logical fallacy where you restate a weaker and obviously untrue parody of a person’s argument and then destroy your own weak creation rather than address the real argument. Incidentally I didn’t even make an argument I just asked you to clarify yours).
Secondly “presenting the truth or showing people their hypocrisy” you are asserting that you are correct to prove you are right this is a fallacy known as Circular Reasoning; (i.e. I am right because I said this is true).
Finally the posts come off emotional because of all of the caps and the aggressive insults “showing people their hypocrisy.”
@ MikeB. Well if you are not even open enough to contend that someone is not making up stuff, then I have nothing to explain or defend to you. If you think 750 papers are a made up thing, then maybe you are the one who doesn't want to believe reality and is cynical enough to think a professional would make up things.
Capital are used for EMPHASIS not emotions.
Actually, I understood exactly what he was trying to say. mkeb1, I also understand that you don't like his message, therefore you criticize his presentation.
Actually, I understood exactly what he was trying to say. mkeb1, I also understand that you don't like his message, therefore you criticize his presentation."
I criticized his presentation because it is poor (and I provided reasons why), you liking it does not change those factual observations or give it any greater credibility.
Also I don't dislike his message; I can't as I have been unable to discern a cohesive point to dislike.
You are completely pathetic. You sit here "defending" teachers while you complain of your workload.
I don't care about your workload. You are a fool for taking a job that requires you waste your life grading papers.
Good luck with that. I'm going to the beach this weekend and am making 50k more than you... I will be thinking about you and your papers. haha
@mkeb1 You are obviously an intelligent person, so you are wasting your time talking to a "teacher". They're good on picket lines but not so in classrooms, and certainly not so when defending themselves against charges of incompetence.
I have been teaching for 11 years and have a Master's degree and National Board Certification and I only make a little over $40,000! Yep, I'm awfully greedy! I barely cover my bills each month!
To answer all of you who say that teachers work part-time or half the year. You are gravely mistaken if you think what the school hours are, is all that is required of teachers. So, by your logic since in a salaried job you only get paid for 40 hrs, I guess you only work 9-5 with 1 hour for lunch each day, every day. You don't bring any work home. You don't even think about work once you clock out at 5 pm. Well if that is your reality, maybe you can believe that's what a Teacher does. And then you are welcome to your own delusional worldview.
But in ther real world the Teachers come in early or stay late for Extra help for students who are failing, that is on their own time. They come home with instructions from administration for how to teach, that requires time. They have to make a lesson plan for the next day, it doesn't materialize out of thin air. And don't give me the logic, once you have been doing it 2 yrs you can do it for the rest of your life. Things change in the world on a daily basis and Teachers have to incorporate those things in their teachings. Let's not forget about all the homeworks and tests that are given your kid have to be checked and graded by someone, there is no fairy that does that at night for teachers. Also, you have 1 maybe 2 kids at home, a teacher has 150 kids a day, so one homework or test turns into 150 papers to read and check. That's just one day. Now count all the other days i.e. 5 days a week. So 150 X 5 = 750 pages/answers to read, grade and enter in each kids Grade report along with other issues that the kid is having. That is just one week. This is if all the children behave, come into the class, sit down and open books and do as the teacher says. And we all know how realistic that is with 35 kids with colds, throwing up, hormones razing, family issue, technology with constant texting when they should be paying attention to what is being taught.
YOUR kids are NOT SMALL ADULTS who are logical (though I say that knowing most of you have no clue about being logical or the right thing) or behave the right way in each situation, Do you behave properly in every place? No, well chances are your Johnny doesn't either.
Still think they only work part-time?
Do you have 150 things to read through on a daily basis from work and come up with the ideas for the next day, once you get home?
I can"t tell you how many people think I was crazy for getting out of teaching when you ONLY work 7:30AM-3:30 PM M-F for 9 months with summers, weekends and and the same holiday breaks as the students. Trying to explain that you are at school at least 30 minutes before the first student shows and are putting in 2 hours every night at home grading homework/papers, creating lesson plans/test, sending out progress reports, etc not to mention all the extra time doing the same on weekends all without overtime pay is more difficult than teaching pre-algebra to a 15 year old who's taking it for the second time. Throw in spending my summers in grad school and required continuing education classes at my expense and you'll see why I couldn't handle the disrepect any longer than I did.
A short response to key points.
1. We're on the same team
What they mean to say is we will be on the same team when you do what I say and take responsibility for everything we fail to teach your children.
“But many educators believe there’s a short in the communication lines between themselves and parents.”
The problem isn’t that there is not communication between parents and teachers (most parents make a great effort to reach out to teachers) the problem is that the schools and the teachers fell that there is and should be only one communication line use; one that allows the teachers and school officials to dictate every aspect of the child’s education. All of this while at the same time pushing responsibility for any underperformance onto the very parents whom the teacher/school has demeaned into a non-contributing semi-team member (more like an intern getting coffee than a full-fledged associate. But don’t take my word for it take theirs;
“We are professionals. Teaching children is our area of expertise. Your child benefits more when you support me.”
Whether students come to class tired or ready to learn can hinge on parents’ involvement. “We need their support,” she says. “We can’t do this on our own.”
Clearly do what I say “…Your child benefits more when you support me.” And failure is your fault, “We need their support,” she says. “We can’t do this on our own.”
For them to push for complete control and to accept no responsibility is shameful. And if you think I am wrong in asserting that you have no power over what your child does and learns in school I challenge you to go down to your school today and try to dictate a real change…see what happens I dare you.
2. Curriculum isn’t always up to us
This is true, but they usually won’t consider changing any of the aspects that are up to them either.
3. Share the responsibility
“Something educators don’t want is for parents to have a combative approach to problems that arise at school.”
Naturally, no one who is dictating how things are going to be wants the subject of that dictation to fight back or to come to the dictation prepared to resist. No dictators want compliant obedient subject.
Many teachers who have done something wrong defend their actions by pushing blame automatically onto a student in a kind of students and parents are guilty until proven innocent and proven jer ky once found innocent.
“A pair of Georgia elementary school teachers said that a student tells his side of the story through his own point of view. In order to get the whole story and avoid any misunderstandings, it’s important to objectively approach the educator.”
This presents the argument though the teacher isn’t seeing things from their own point of view and further places the assumption that the teachers point of view is by default more right than the parents and the students in complete disregard to the existence of real truth.
5. We know where you’re coming from
“Parents see a child. Teachers see both the child and the student. They have the ability to see multiple perspectives.”
This statement is presumptuous and foo lish; it is m oron ic and vain to think that you are the only person in an equation seeing all the angles.
“Your child is unique, just like everyone else’s.”
And that is all a teacher can ever see your child as, number 45. Which is why the parents have to push back against the teachers unions, and the dictatorial administrators so that all parents have the power to advocate for their child whom the schools cannot see as more than just another kid.
Man am I glad I'm not your kid or your kid's teacher.
Thats right tom when reason fails ignore the ideas and attack the person.
JB my post makes assertions based on the text and supports those assertions with citations taken directly from the text.
Rebittals do not get more rational than that.
sorry spelling correction; rebuttals.
They still come off as rants. Oh well, guess you can dish it out but not take it.
I am absolutely dumbfounded at your response. The scariest part about your comments is that I think you actually believe them. Delusion and blind-sightedness are powerful things. I wonder what situation(s) you encountered in order to develop such narrow, close-minded point of view.
Good personal insults but not a single thoughtful response to my actual assertions.
Weak man weak.
Such BS. My wife is a teacher. The majority of parents do not attend parent teacher night, so no, I do not believe that most parents make a great effort to communicate with teachers. They only contact teachers when their kid gets in trouble or is about to fail out of school.
People like mkbe1 should just homeschool their kids. No one is going to handhold the children of these nutjobs the way that they want, so they should make life easier on everyone and just do it themselves.
Generally I refrain from personal insults but as you have denigrated to calling names "nutjob" allow me to return the favor.
Just because your wife, who I will assume is a good teacher despite having shown the poor judgment of marrying a qu ack like you who lashes out personally when someone presents a dissenting opinion, is a teacher doesn't address any of my arguments. Your bringing it up is childish like a highschooler whinning "Don't talk about my girfriend."
Your wishing that people who provide dessenting opinions from yours should go away "People like mkbe1 should just homeschool their kids." which simoultaneously groups people into non human type groups while advocating their elimination from broader society is very third r e ich of you. It speeks volumes about why you support teachers and thier unions to the exclusion of all other invested parties doesn't it. Why don't you just send us to au sch witz?
I just wish you would get out of you Hi tl er Youth outfit and consider that other people may have something to offer even when they are different from you.
As far as holding kids hands I can tell you I wish your parents had shown you more love growing up if they had you would not be such an aggressive hateful t ool to your wife, and her associates.
"“A pair of Georgia elementary school teachers said that a student tells his side of the story through his own point of view. In order to get the whole story and avoid any misunderstandings, it’s important to objectively approach the educator.”
This presents the argument though the teacher isn’t seeing things from their own point of view and further places the assumption that the teachers point of view is by default more right than the parents and the students in complete disregard to the existence of real truth."
Nice reading fail. Obviously the teacher quote is simply urging the parents to be objective and hear both (biased) points of view instead of immediately assuming everything their child says is 100% true and that the teacher is 100% guilty.
The fact that you put together what appear to be such coherent arguments, combined with the fact that you have obviously gone completely out of your way to misinterpret each and every one of these points discussed in the article leads me to the conclusion that you are a troll. And quite a successful one at that.
"Nice reading fail. Obviously the teacher quote is simply urging the parents to be objective and hear both (biased) points of view instead of immediately assuming everything their child says is 100% true and that the teacher is 100% guilty."
Eh wrong! Obviously is an assumption and an unfounded one; you are assuming that is what they meant but that is not what that segment is saying.
In that segment those quotations are clear and direct in pointing out that the parents should assume the teachers point is correct and allow the student to pay for it. At no point to the teachers say that the students view should be considered a legitamate opinion.
"...I think parents today are more likely to try and place blame on a teacher instead of ask their student to take more responsibility.”
But at least you are now addressing the argument thanks for that.
It sounds like you had a very difficult time with a few teachers. I'm sorry that those interactions have given you such a negative view of the profession. The article was merely stating that teachers are human too and that when an emotionally charge incident happens, please remember that there are three sides to every story- his, yours and the truth. Dealing with young people all day is difficult; they are hormonal but loveable, irrational but clever, and thoughtful but zany. When you are dealing with all of these dynamics in one place, and teaching a subject some find difficult, it can get a little crazy in the classroom. The teacher needs to balance what she is to teach, how she is to teach it, what the administration expects her to do, and what the students really want (which is not to do school work). So to be fair, please remember that unlike the business world in which so many variables can be held constant, teachers only have the control of a few and if the parents work with the teacher, then students do better. Isn't that what we all want?
“It sounds like you had a very difficult time with a few teachers. I'm sorry that those interactions have given you such a negative view of the profession.”
First off it is presumptuous and rude of you to assume you know what my experiences have been. Like any human being I have had a variety of experiences with schools and teachers both good and bad. My thoughts and ideas on this are based in reason and are supported by the statements made by teachers in the article, not by my experiences (so if you are going to try and dismiss my arguments you shouldn't try to do it with a backhanded accusation of bitterness concealed as concern).
“The article was merely stating that teachers are human too and that when an emotionally charge incident happens, please remember that there are three sides to every story- his, yours and the truth”
The article does not state that, as you can see in my response to the previous poster above (who made the same assertion you are making now) the direct quotations from the teachers clearly indicate that there is less validity to the students and parents opinions and that the student she take responsibility for any incident. (For direct quotes see above response)
“So to be fair, please remember that unlike the business world in which so many variables can be held constant…”
I don’t think you understand the business world if you think any variables are being held constant.
“…teachers only have the control of a few and if the parents work with the teacher, then students do better. Isn't that what we all want?”
Actually when the teachers work with the student then the students do better. The teacher and the parent need to be EQUAL partners in the management of a child’s education and this assertion that parents have to blindly support the teacher in order for children to get an education is simply false.
So I rebut your last point with this assertion; when parents and teachers work together for the child as equals then and only then the student does better.
If your one of the Small Percentage that Blames Elementary School Teachers for your Students Grades your Either Limited the Grading Process, Embarrassed, (Resulting in Anger), or Hoping to Intimidate.
WILL YOU PEOPLE STOP SAYING, "YOU TEACHERS" OR USING THE PLURAL, TEACHERS. NOT ALL TEACHERS ARE BAD. SOME ARE. ALSO, EVERYONE NEEDS TO COMMUNICATE. OUR COUNTRY IS FULL OF MORONS WHO THINK EVERYONE ELSE SHOULD COMMUNICATE BETTER. JUST SHUT THE HECK UP AND YOU, YES YOU GO AND COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CHILDREN'S TEACHER(S). DON'T EXPECT YOUR KIDS TO BE RESPONSIBLE TO PASS THE NOTE/LETTER TO YOUR TEACHER AND THEN BACK TO YOU. PICK UP THE PHONE AND/OR EMAIL THE TEACHER. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD
What do you mean you people?! (sarc.)
What a sad state we are in.
All you have to do is read the comments section here.
I'm a parent and an educator.
I'm not ignorant enough to believe that all teachers are failing our kids. There are about 60 percent that are average, 20 percent that are poor, and 20 percent that excel.
I'm not ignorant enough to believe that all parents are failing their kids. There are about 60 percent that are average, 20 percent that are poor, and 20 percent that excel.
(The same can be said for doctors, lawyers, policemen, cashiers, construction workers, repairmen, mailmen, politicians, etc.....okay, maybe not politicians....lol)
I do know that there are some teachers better at teaching than others.
I do know that there are some parents better at parenting than others.
Until our society gets back to the basics of getting a good education, then we will remain stagnant: being responsible for our own self, being a parent and helping our children with homework, working together and supporting each other (instead of blaming), teachers being accountable for themselves, students being accountable for themselves, parents being accountable for their children, value and respect hard work, respecting a good education, etc.
The only point the author was making is we need to start working together instead of blaming each other. Educating a child is not an easy job, neither is parenting. We both agree that we want the best for the child.
"wheres your work?" "I dont have it." "call your mom youre staying after". "my mom wants to talk to you" "he cant stay i cant give him a ride." And the cycle continues.
What teachers want parents to know is that parents are not doing their job and are the main fault in the failings of our education system. And all you parents who are reading this don't get your panties all tied up in a knot - the parents I am referring to are primarily those who would not read an article like this.
EXACTLY. Most people on here complaining have kids who will end up doing OK. Their issues are minor. "Why wouldnt you let me know jonny has a C when hes had As and Bs his whole life?" "Um, because I currently have 27 students with Fs Im required to contact..."
Here is a true story. I teach at an inner-city middle school in Georgia. Yesterday the assistant principal called a parent of a child who cursed out a teacher and walked out of class. When she told the parent what had transpired, mom replied, "I don't know what to do with him. I can't do anything with him. He's your responsibility from 7-3"
Now it is true that some teachers have life reeeeeeally good and can be whiney and annoying (I have worked with plenty of them) but many of us are in the trenches every. single. day, and I welcome anyone who thinks teachers are a joke and need to suck-it-up to spend one day at an inner-city middle or high school and then come and post here. You have no idea what we deal with every day. Gladly. Willingly. Eagerly, even. Just don't demean what we do as easy money with summers off until you have walked in these shoes.
Keep it up, inner city schools need you.
PREACH IT! I teach L/A in a rural community in New Mexico and I hear that too often. Keep up the good work and keep your head held up!
Funny how many parents assume all teachers are those laz y ones and how many teachers assume that parents are like th one you describe.
I believe the problem is the system; 1) allowing politics to dictate currculum 2)those small minded tests 3) the way teachers are educated in public universities... the list goes on.
Thank you for your hard work, I hope its worth it.
Wile I do appreciate your efforts and willingness to work in the inner city. I am not ready to give you the nobel peace prize just yet. You signed a contract and you cash your pay check. You agreed to do the work, you have no right to expect a parade each morning touting you as anyone's savior. If you don't want to work in the inner city don't. If you can't do the job you shouldn't be there.
Sometimes teachers are assigned to schools in the inner city. Your remarks about "suck it up, you get a paycheck and cash it" are not only juvenile, but inaccurate.
Would you say the same of soldiers?
I would never compare a teacher's job to a being in the military. That's like comparing the President to a 7-11 clerk. Totally different. I have no problem that you don't agree with me, I don't agree with you either and that is ok by me. I didn't say suck it up once. I did say if you don't like being there don't be there.
After reading a lot of these posts it seems like one think that can be agreed upon is the fact that "good teaching" is very hard to define, as is often the case with "good parenting." However, a lot of the skills between the two are transferrable (the ability to listen, giving a firm consequence with a calm tone, doing the best you can with the time you have, etc.). The thing that shocks me most about some of these anecdotal posts is an inability or unwillingness to have true and open dialogue. If a parent is upset about the way their child is being treated, they should set a meeting with the teacher. If a teacher is frustrated with a student's behavior, they should set a meeting with a parent. Although both parties might not always agree on the problem/solution, acknowledging that there is a problem sets the stage for finding a solution. To add, if the teacher or parent refuses or ignores the meeting, that's when you know one side isn't living up to their half of the fight. As a teacher in an undeprivlidged nieghborhood in North Philadelphia, I wish I had more access to parents. It's easy to ignore a problem with a student until you speak to the parent, or teacher. Both sides need to step up more often, set the meetings, and start sharing their ideas. Upset parents have a right to be upset if they believe their child is being treated unfairly. However, if they wanna come up to the school and shoot off at the mouth about salaries, summer vacation, etc, most teachers have no time for that.
Here in Northeastern Penna. pulbic school teaching positions are represented by teachers union. They are considered the largest and most powerful union group in the state. The incentive to excel isn't there. In addition, most of the school districts lack the financial strength that enhances strong educational performance. The combination of the 2 has lead to generally poor standardized test scores as compared to the rest of the state. Additionally teacher hiring is not based on experience or academic performance, it is based on the following (in order):
1. Family / personal connections
2. Substantial "Cash Donations" to those who control hiring
3. Disciplines that are in high demand, such as secondary advanced math
One additonal thing needs to be mentioned. The administration at our state capital has deemed it acceptable to cut funding to all school districts across the state leading to all kind of program cuts. The Govenor thought it more important to not tax the natural gas drilling / producing companies who funded his last campaign than to contribute to education.
If you know all of those things to be true, they are all illegal and should be reported to the proper authorities (i.e. the PA Department of Education).
1. Teachers should not assign regular homework, but rather give 15-20min to complete any reading/assignments while the teachers are walking around to answer questions since they are the experts (not the parents). Homework should be limited to studying for tests and large projects. Home-school link should be established thru graded work coming home and newsletters. If parents choose to ignore these, then there's less educational detriment to the child and if they choose to read them, then they're just more informed without burning into their time off their jobs to teach their kids.
2. To accomplish #1, school districts need to lengthen class periods and either reduce number of class periods or lengthen the day by that amount of time.
3. Also to accomplish #1, teachers must be considered the highly-educated professionals they are. They should be paid at the same rate as other careers which bachelors is required for beginning and masters is required for continuing. Teachers also need to understand THEY are the experts for education and that parents shouldn't need to do more teaching at home.
You sound exactly like many of the parents I come across. I am not a teacher, I am involved in youth programs (Boy Scouts / Cub Scouts). You are the parent, its YOUR job to make sure homework gets done, thats why its called homework. You always want someone to blame for your failures. Pay attention to your kids, what they do, who they hang with, how they do in school, and not how "busy" you are texting someone. Your kids are YOUR first priority. My wife and I didn't leave our responsibility to a teacher. AND just for the record, Son #1, despite being blind, graduated in the top 10% of his high school and has 2 college degrees, Son was graduated first in his High School, College and Law School.
Here here. I am a parent of 3 cub scouts. I have a wolf, a bear and an arrow of light. I value my kids having the opportunity to get an education. I want them to value it too. I don't mind putting in the work making sure they succeed. One thing I can not do is volunteer to work in the class room. I have to work and I don't mind spending all of my spare time making sure that my kids are getting good grades and making these years count. I hate that no matter what I do it is never good enough for their teachers, I hate that because I don't get the opportunity to come to the classroom and do their job they act as if I am a lousy parent. I My sons teacher last year choked him on the fourth day of school (I didn't get home that Friday until 7pm and my child's neck was still red). I told the principal that I didn't want to have to press charges and create a legal problem for my sons school, I merely wanted him to be put in to a different classroom. She refused citing school policy regarding transfers. She then told me that if I didn't like what was going on that I could move out of the district and send my kid to another school. Well I told her that Itook out a 30 year mortgage just so my kids would have the opportunity to go to school in that district and that wasn't an option. I was told that my kid was a liar infront of my child. I told her that i would not leave until she put him in another classroom and that he would sit in the office with me until she did. She threatened to call the police and I told her go ahead i will report the assault that took place. She eventually transfered my son. My problems with her didn't end there. She made snide remarks to my son on a regular basis. Once my son got his finger hurt in the car door by his brother and he began to scream upon arrival and she was in the parking lot. Infront of my husband she said to my 6 year old stop acting like your mother you little cry baby. It would be nice if we still lived in a world where you could trust that the people hired to educate your children were all trustworthy and kind. Sadly we don't live in that world. I am now constantly on the defensive and from that point on there will be no trust of anyone in that school. I would be doing my children a disservice given that experience to think that those people care about my kids.
Personally I found the piece to be condescending and overly whiney. For every success, teachers take the credit. For every failure, teachers blame the parents and the students.
Try this exercise: Count up the number of teachers who have really mattered in your life. Most people will be able to identify two or three. Now consider that, by the end of high school you will have had 30 to 40 teachers. At best that’s 10% of teachers that have had a direct effect on you. How would you rate a ‘profession’ with a success rate of 10%? Would you want them running your companies or your governments? Would you want a group with this kind of record building your planes or treating your illnesses? If not, why would you want them anywhere near your kids?
Wow! I can name every single one of my teachers, even the ones I did not like because they all taught me something that I needed in life. Now, what you are really saying is this: Count the number of teachers that you liked. That is is a completely different survey. I liked many because of their personalities and I disliked the personalities of others, but teaching is not a popularity contest. I disliked my Algebra 1 teacher, but she still taught me the skills I needed for the rest of my math requirements.
If you can remember only 2-3 teachers, then you just weren't paying attention. I too remember every teacher I had in public school, and they were ALL EXCELLENT. Every last one of them worked hard to make sure my classmates and I got the most we could out of our time in school. We didn't blame our failures on our teachers like people do today. You anti-teacher fools are gonna miss public education when it's gone.
As a teacher, I find this article's points to be rather simple and arbitrary. I agree with the points, but it seems like it should be clear that we are on the same side. Of course I want your child to succeed.
My experience comes from a private school setting, so it probably differs from a lot of commenters on here. However, I have to agree that I find it shocking that more and more people have become so critical of teachers. It is true that there are a bunch of "bad apples" that get to stick around because they do other things well (ie coaching or spiritual guidance). Are you going to be the one to fire them? All of us need evaluation, but not all of us deserve such a hard look.
We get summers off (jealous much?) but I also make 2/3 the salary of most other professionals I know. My salary is $38k a year, and that's with an M.A. in the subject I teach. I have to supplement my income with private tutoring during the school year and summer that goes well into the evening. On average, I'm working 11 hours a day, and I am utterly exhausted at the end of it. My lifestyle is very modest, and it can be frustrating when I see a kid driving out of our parking lot in a brand new Ferrari (yes that happened).
As many teachers on here have written, I do not just teach children a subject. I teach them to respect others' opinions, control their emotions, develop into responsible adults and contribute to society in a thoughtful manner. It takes an INCREDIBLE amount of patience to teach teenagers (who have limited attention spans) all of these things. Most teachers are not equipped to handle the stress, patience, and endurance it requires to stop on top of these things for five classes every day.
We put up with a lot more than just downward pressure from the school board, administration and parents, but little things like: noisy teenagers, smelly teenagers, asinine and disruptive comments, nagging, bragging, fighting, whining and negotiating. These can further be exacerbated by over-indulgent or absent parents. It is a CONSTANT stress on the mind. Some of us just shut down.
Can you really blame the teachers who are angry and fed up? And how do you just start another career when all of your experience is from teaching?
Most well-thought response I have read for this story. I also teach at a private school, and have an M.A. I could not have said it better myself. However, I also have experience in public schools and still agree with all you say.
I will say this. Yes we all have stress of that nature in our jobs. I manage a section 8 apartment complex and make 36k a year have to work 52 weeks a year, put up with people and their children who fight, tear up our property, deal drugs, steal from whomever they can, and lie about everything. It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it. If it's not me then it will be one of the millions of other people in this world. I have to be on call 24 hours a day and 7 days a week in case something goes wrong at my property. I do not get to have the piece of mind that I will have a retirement fund to help me when I am too old or sick to work, I have to pay for 25% of my health insurance and I do not have a union to negotiate my raises for me I have to do that on my own. Teacher's many benefits that others simply do not have. I think you would be stupid to give up a great gig like that just because it makes you stressed and the work is hard. I say if you can't take it there are many skills that you have aquired along the way that would open other opportunities to you. I say you could find other employment but then again where would you find other employment with benefits that could compare to those that our teachers are given. It's not that you can't find other work with your skills it 's that no where is going to match those benefits in the public sector.
Geez, Marie. If it's so great, why didn't you become a teacher? In fact, why didn't all of the people complaining about the state of education become teachers? It's a profession that's open to anybody with a college degree and certificate/license (which you can often earn WHILE you're teaching).
Lots of people who are never in a classroom have lots to say and I don't see ANY of them standing in line to pick up the chalk (or dry erase marker) and start teaching other people's bratty kids AND actually care about them at the same time. I couldn't do it and I choose not to complain about it in broad, sweeping strokes.
You know – I could talk about apartment complex managers being trashy people who aren't smart enough to do anything else and who don't know how to manage their money so they can buy a real house and go on and on and on... But I don't because I know that's not true forthe vast majority. I don't because I know that they are people who are doing the best they can to make a nice life for themselves – most likely including yourself. I trust that you do all the things you say you do.
So why do you and others think it's OK to generalize about all educators? Some are paid too much for what they do – but most are underpaid. Some have decent benefits – but most don't because school districts have been impacted by the recession as well. You have a problem with a teacher? Talk to the teacher or the teacher's principal... Don't spout off about educators in general like you know what you're talking about – when you obviously don't to anybody who knows any facts.
Yes, the blame on teachers at K-6 even more hard to Believe. Parents see the F and are yelling before they sit down. That is a Response that you don't have a reason for.
Angry parent...my hours this week are as follows. 6-5, 615-730, 6-probably 5 (i have students coming in for help and work to do). Kids still fail because they CHOOSE not to come in during these times. Ill post u on thurs & friday for those hours. 190 student contact days times at least 9 hours those days. Doesnt include saturdays or sundays i work too like many professions.
To summarize the article:
"We have nothing new to offer. We'll continue to blame bad parents. If you're a good parent, put your kid in private school"
I've seen a few posts/articles like this. As a high school teacher, I found the best course of action for letting parents know something was to tell them forthrightly. I never had a parent disagree with me as long as I presented my points professionally, courteously, warmly, and personably. Sometimes, going the "passive" route yields resentment–of course, not always. However, most of my parents were rather grateful that I took the time to discuss things with them assertively. : )
What teachers want everyone to know: 1) We need MORE days off. Every freakin' holiday on earth plus three months plus sick days isn't enough. 2) We need more pay and benefits. Sure, the average salary works out to nearly 80k per year when you figure the actual number of days worked, but we are underpaid. 3) It is not fair to judge us by our performance (as every other employee of every other job is judged). 4) If we just throw more money at the education system, it will improve, despite spending more per student than every other developed country. Just spend more and it will work better. 5) Support the unions, who make this wonderful situation possible. Making teachers unaccountable and impossible to fire is a great strategy, all of the while sending some of taxpayers money to union thugs (organized crime).
Cool fake stats bro/gal.
Median salary 53k (http://www1.salary.com/high-school-teacher-Salary.html)
53 hours/wk. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/survey-teachers-work-53-hours-per-week-on-average/2012/03/16/gIQAqGxYGS_blog.html)
~40 weeks out of the year (google searching)
53*40/52 = wait for it..... 40! OMG THEY AVERAGE 40 hrs a week like many other professions. Not sure where the 80k comes into play here. But keep o exaggerating to support your own beliefs.
53 hours....PUKE....try meeting with a teacher at 4 or 5 PM some time....watch them stare with amazement and a blank look at the thought of actually taking extra time to do their job....cutting into THEIR precious off time.
And by the way, salary employees are EXPECTED to work whatever hours the job takes. To figure pay, take the total salary per week, and divide by the number of WEEKS WORKED....lose the hours figure. They are NOT hourly employees.
Are you kidding me? I work right next to a Middle School. The parking lot starts filling up at about 7:45. By 3:30, it's 90% empty. They hold classes for 180 days a year. Do the math: 180 / 5 = 36. Not counting Lunch and breaks, these are barely 7-1/2 hr days. The teachers get sick days just like everyone else and use them liberally. Assume 10 sick days a year and now you're talking 34 weeks at $75,000/yr (Massachusetts with Masters Plus in early childhood education... Wow! This person will cure cancer!). So, $75,000 / 34 weeks / 40 hours (I'm being generous) = $ 55.15 PER HOUR. Stop complaining and get back to work.....
And, by the way. I'm here long before the "Education Professionals" next door and I'm here long after they've gone home to their families and I make nowhere near $75,000 a year!
As a teacher I am completely offended and repulsed by the ridiculous comments made about teachers by people who have NO idea what they are talking about. I have a Masters degree and I only make $32,000. REALLY???? I love my students and I will do anything to help them learn but it is absurd that I...more often than not... have to personally buy supplies for my students so that they can participate. Take right now for instance. We are well into the school year and I still have one third of my students without their supplies. You really want to blame me for that???? I probably spend hundreds of my own money buying supplies and paying for food on field trips just so my students can eat. I have waited HOURS after returning back to school on a bus waiting on parents to pick up their child. I have called parents about students skipping and the response I get is "so....what do you want me to do about it??". The reality is you probably care about your child and whether or not your child learns but unfortunately the percentage of parents who do not...and expect us to raise their child, teach them manners, etc is overwhelming. They come in the door after probably staying up all night, sharing a room with 5 brothers and sisters, and watching filth on TV. I admit that there are bad teachers but the majority of us are doing the best we can. I had a 7th grader tell me last week that he expected to die in jail before he was 30. REALLY???? I try to make a great impact on my students but I find myself having to be there mother too. I do it because I care and I want them to be successful but it is NOT my job to raise them. I challenge you to visit a regular everyday inner city public school. I promise if you walk those halls all day you will understand and then you can stop running your ignorant mouths.
Depends on the grade level, but you want them to stay 2 hours or more after the end of the school day to suit your schedule? You certainly are angry, but you are focusing on the wrong side as a problem.
Wes, now check your math. Three months off for the summer.....a week off for Christmas.....a week off for spring......"in service" days every few weeks.....sick days......EVERY holiday ever invented...your 40 weeks number is completely and utterly bogus.....53 hours a week? In your dreams pal......have some kids, put them through this wrecked system, then come back to talk to me and the other parents who are stuck with the saddest excuse for an education system in the developed world. Why is it this way? Simple, unions, and the lack of performance based outcome (like EVERY OTHER job has).
You do realize that a teacher doesn't clock in and out....they work all day and then go home to do (ironically) homework...stop being "angry". Nobody cares....
Schuler...they are SALARIED....as am I in my profession. That means you work the hours needed to get the job done, period. If you don't like the career, get a new one. Period.
Secondly, I have carefully watched teachers for years, and don't buy the "up all night grading homework" BS for a moment. Student aides, teachers aides, computers, etc. grade a lot of it.....and much of it could be graded in an hour at the kitchen table....so what? If you don't like the profession, SHUT UP and go do something else, and leave the job to someone who sees it as the CALLING that it is, not as a paycheck. Teachers are the most spoiled bunch of whiners I have ever seen. I would like to see most of them go out and do a REAL hard days work, like paving a road, putting up a tar roof, framing a house in the Arizona Sun....pouring concrete.....or even working in an emergency room. Their job is FAR from the hardest, and pays pretty well. And it is a CALLING, not just a paycheck. If that is all it is to them, they need to find another line of work.
Ok, so if I have done at least one of those "real" jobs but I am a teacher and say that teaching is harder, am I a "whiner" still? Also, can I get one of those teacher aides or computers that grade all my work too? I would love to have something like that.
Hey Angry Parent, you need to check your facts before you speak. My daughter & her husband are both teachers & believe me they DO NOT get all that time off that you think they do. During their "So Called" vacations they still continue to work. They have workshops, conferences, meetings among other things that they have to do & attend. Guess what? Last summer my mother passed away, she lived in another State. Well, my daughter only had a few days to fly up to see my mother before she passed away & then had to get back home for a mandatory work shop. A couple weeks later my mother passed away & my daughter was unable to attend her funeral. THAT WAS DURING ONE OF THE SO CALLED SUMMER VACATIONS. People like you make me sooooo mad. Maybe you should try teaching for a year, then you can see what teachers really go through. Shame on you for being so judgmental without having any facts.
You really should talk to a teacher, because you have no idea what you are talking about, and could use a little education. If teaching were a job with huge amounts of time off, and generous pay as you describe, I'd go do it. You neglect to mention the part where after the school day, the teacher has to grade papers and prepare lesson plans. You left off the part where many of those holidays for the students are work days for the teachers. Your bizarro math that tries to make it seem like a big paycheck doesn't mean anything in the real world, where the teacher usually has the option to not get paid in the summer, or recieve their pay over the entire year, with smaller paychecks. You also leave out the cost of required ongoing training for teachers. And you comfortably neglect to mention the classroom supplies teachers have to purchase out of pocket. Not to mention the ongoing joy of being exposed directly to every cold, flu, and other illness that school kids get.
Sounds like your third grade teacher damaged your self esteem, and you never quite bounced back. Tell your mommy you need a hug.
First off, I "talk to teachers" all the time, and am always shocked at how LAZY they are. If I did my job at their level, I wouldn't have a job. Second, I judge ANY employee, including teachers, but THE END RESULT. Our education system is a DISGRACE and below every other developed country, DESPITE spending more per student than every other developed country. Yet the teachers stand back and wash their hands of responsibility and cry about the idea of PERFORMANCE BASED OUTCOME, as every other type of employee faces. Only in teaching, is the amount of time on the job more important than performance. Sickening, disgusting, inexcusable!
GOOD LORD....every argument you just made is delusional. YOU are why the education system is broken....Your kids (God help them) have to listen to that crap you spew every night...guess what? THEY take it to school with them and blame the schools when they don't study or do the work. Grow up.
I must have missed the part where teachers demanded more money, benefits, and holidays in this.
TO Angry Parent: YOU are not ALONE in your opinion. You just speak TOO MUCH TRUTH to the general apathetic public. Lots of folks feel and think what you stated. Sadly, nobody likes the Mean ol' bad guys...that spill the ugly truth. Most folks can't handle that in our society today. Tolerance for a critical opinion....no line forming. You will stand alone as you have done on this posting.
I too share All your comments of relevance with teachers employee rights. Since when did NOT FIRING them ever get invented? Why do they have SPECIAL STATUS? Really? The Protected, Tenure employee all got started at IVY LEAGUE schools to retain and keep the BEST TEACHERS from leaving. It was never an incentive to keep ALL teachers, regardless of PERFORMANCE. Teachers are "given" a lot of lee way with regard to benefits, time off, etc....the great Myth that teachers are forever unpaid, over worked, misunderstood, etc... is a joke. 20/20 with John Stossell did a complete report on this very topic. WAKE UP PEOPLE....Teachers are not the protected class they think they are.
Hey Angry ... don't you know teachers are the only ones who work hard, work extra hours, work for less than what they are worth and are under stress? They don't have it nice and cozy, or are compensated fiarly, like us schlumps.
When we take unpaid day off to make it to another "important" school meeting to hear about how you as a parent should be doing more at home (four for me now, even though my child has all A's and one B), then we must not be doing enough - because the teachers say so.
Hey Jay....If you got called in 4 times.....something is wrong....Your child may have A's and B's, but there is obviously issues....I have 4 kids and haven't been called in once.
@Get We've never been asked to the school for a disciplinary problem - I'm talking about school meetings where all parents are asked to show up in the auditorium for important information. They send out letters to everyone saying parents should attend an important school meeting only to hear the same dribble you see in this article about how we're not supporting teachers enough, and to buy the PTA calendar so they can get more money for whatever.
So when we get these letters, my wife and I dutifully take the time to go to them. Now which group of parents do they think are going to take the time to show up at these all school meetings?
Its is Your kid, if you didn't want to be involved in their education you shouldn't have had kids. Parents are the ones who are primarily responsible for their kids success or failure.
@Dave .. We're very involved with our son and yet you give me the line about how if I don't want to be involved and blah blah blah. Because you have problem students, EVERY parent is not involved and EVERYONE must do more for you.
One of the first things we want you to know is that we're on the same team. Your students' success is also important to us. The vast majority of teachers I've associated with will do everything in their power to help your children achieve academically, socially, artistically, and athletically, . . . even if you're angry at us.
I am a teacher in New Brunswick, Canada. I am not completely sure how much our systems are alike yet there are many issues the same. I am paid for 195 days of work. I am not paid for holidays or Christmas and summer breaks. If I need to take a day off without pay I will loose 1/195 of my yearly salary. I do believe that my salary is fine. If I were to work in another job where I worked Monday to Friday I would have 261 days of work. Then subtract 3 weeks vacation and I would be at 246 days. Take away the other holidays (8) for argument sake, and now I am at 238 days. I personally arrive at work at about 7:45 am and usually leave shortly after 4:00 p.m. I do not get morning coffee break and very fortuate to this year and a 40 minute lunch break. Many years it has been much shorter. I do spend several hours a week marking at home. I have been teaching for 32 years and have loved almost of of the time. I do believe that teaching is a calling especially these days when the challenges facing teachers to be a parent, social worker, counsellor, mentor, and an educator are almost over whelming. I would invite you to volunteer in your local school to get a true feeling of what the job is really all about.
I have 143 students and last parent teacher conference day I saw 12 parents. The year before that I had roughly the same number of students and saw 9 parents. If I assign homework, I get less than half of the assignments back on time. This is a predominantly middle class school.
I'm sick and tired of "Angry Parents" telling me that I am solely responsible for their kids education or lack thereof. A majority of parents in this country need to get off their butts and start taking an interest in their kids education or things will never improve. You can give all the tests you want and fire all of the teachers you want, but nothing will improve until that happens.
Then pull your kids out of school. Raise them to be an angry ignorant bumpkin just like you. Or you can move to a country like Somalia where there is no free education for everyone.
Teachers don't make good money. They might not stay at school until 5 pm, but that doesn't mean they aren't still working. A lot of teachers do something called "taking your work home with you". Assuming 25 to 30 kids in a class and 6 classes a day, that could easily leave a teacher with 180 tests or papers to grade on top of regular homework assignments and lesson plans. Then there is the fact that they have to pay for supplies out of their own pockets because of lazy cheapskate parents who won't even buy their kids pencils and paper.
Do you know what most teachers do over their summer vacation? They get a part time job because their pay is so lousy that it is honestly not enough to survive on alone. Some teachers might make better money in certain cities, but most of that can be attributed to something called the "cost of living index".
I get so sick and tired of listening to these lazy ignorant "experts" go on and on about what a racket teaching is, based solely on what could be described as an 8 year old's perception of what it means to be a teacher.
I might be missing something here, but aren't teachers paid to be experts in learning, transfer and application?
Isn't it their job?
The collaborative measured success of our individual educational outcomes is dismal and as we continue to measure individual student learning outcomes we will see more of the same
Let's quit the unproductive, divisive blame game and rise to the occasion of lndividiual, long term, deep learning, transfer and application.
We know what to do, we have the tools to do it, but we choose not to (huh?)
Lets start being student and learner centric.
You will find its lots more productive, consistent with your employers and societies objectives, and is lots and lots less divisive
We need to read read out employers mission and vision and remember why we come to class each day and focus on each students advanced deep learning outcomes (the reason for employment)
You sir are an Idiot!
My daughter is a kindergarten teacher, some of the stories she has breaks my heart. Second week of school and one little boy's family member (Mom? Dad?) still hasn't looked in his take home folder yet! That is where all important notices, his school work, etc. are sent home. He was so upset because for over a week no one at home would read his library book to him, so my daughter read it in class. Seriously, that is how a child is starting out his education? What kind of stage does that set for the rest of his life? Of course he acts up/out in class, he is looking for attention. Come on parents (some) if you are going to have children be a constructive part of their lives! I see how much time and effort and money she puts into her work, please do not put all teachers down because of the few "bad apples", there are those in EVERY profession!
You are exactly right. My wife is a 6th grade teacher and weekly comes home with stories that tug at the heart strings. Yesterday, she told me a story about a student who came to her crying because she was embarassed about wearing the same clothes to school for 3 straight days because their water and electricity had been turned off at home and they couldn't get their clothes cleaned. Her school has a "community closet" where people can bring clothes in for students who would otherwise go without. I can't count the number of clothing items and personal hygiene items we've purchased for students over the years. And we live in an area that would normally be considered far from "poor."
People want education to improve. So do I. So do educators. But when schools are required to provide free and reduced price lunches and breakfasts, clothing closets, and when teachers are put in a situation where they have to purchase clothing, school supplies, deoderant, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products for students who don't get it from home – you will never see education improve. Kids who worry about the basics of life (food, clothing, etc) aren't focusing on learning and homework – despite all the most valiant efforts of a great teacher.
Education needs improvement, yes. But many parents need to improve more than education does. We should never lose sight of the fact that not everybody can teach – and, for the most part, only those that are truly dedicated to the profession continue to do it. Nearly any combination of male and female can make a baby – but it takes a "parent" to make a person. Our society has altogether too many babymakers and not enough "parents" and that has never been more evident than it is now in American classrooms.
These are the exact same stories I saw 50 years ago as a 10 year old in 5th grade in middle small town America during the reign of the "Greatest Generation". Some of those kids still break my heart. The social/cultural experience of my kids is not that different from mine (other than my Mom was able to stay home and I walked to and from school twice a day where as my kids are bussed). However there are big changes in education. Much has changed in education. As a parent I had to spend hours a week on my childrens school work. My parents spent virtually none. I had virtually no homework k-6, and light work in 7-8). My kids had tons. My kids teachers would send home notes demanding that we grade that night whole portfolios with no criteria for 25% of my kids grade or my child would be given detention. My parents would have been mortified at such treatment. My parents NEVER heard a disparaging word about their parenting or that of their neighbors. That has been a constant theme of publication during my kids years at school. When I brought a report card home it was an accurate measurement/indicator of my progress/knowledge/skills. I have seen cases in which my kids were not functioning at grade expectation but were getting A's and B's. I regularly (each year) was given a standardized test. Today teachers fuss and whine at the thought. My class had no ed-techs and 24 to 26 kids. The teacher had individualized reading program for each student. We wrote journals daily. Today's classroom will have one if not two ed-techs and 20 kids.
While I understand your point, what if the parents are illiterate? You DO understand don't you, that up until the last 50 years or so, it was COMMON for the teacher to be 100% responsible for teaching the child (what a concept!)? I have noticed a trend towards much of the work that should be done at school, being pushed off on the parents. Parents are working all day, sometimes (like myself) 12 hours a day. Teachers are RESPONSIBLE for teaching, ultimately. If the parents can't go through the homework for whatever reason, YOU as the teacher need to DO YOUR JOB and take care of the education process. Again, it's YOUR JOB to teach the kids.
You are a sad sad person. You are making this sound more like your child is an inconvenience to YOUR life. That was YOUR choice to have children, Your choice to find a profession that involves working 12 hour days and although it is the teachers job to teach it is your job to ensure they are responsible in completing homework. If your child has a homework question do you ignore that too because it's not in your "job description"? Parents like you make me hug my kids a little tighter and happy that we were blessed with such amazing little people. You make me sad.
You DO understand, don't you, angry parent, that just because YOUR teachers failed to give you YOUR education because you HAVE NO IDEA how to type without sounding like a complete IMBECILE and there is a reason you are not in charge of anyone's CHILDREN because GOD FORBID you teach anymore humans how to CAPITALIZE any word you want to put EMPHASIS on. God, reading your comments was worse than reading any essay I ever graded that a seventh grader wrote. Get a grip.
And what do you suppose is the actual illiteracy rate of parents in America? You choose THIS as your battle cry? Pathetic!
I have no problem teaching them 100%. What I do have a problem with is teaching them how to act, how to dress, and how to behave. THAT IS THE JOB OF A PARENT!
You are not worthy of being a parent. Any decent parent would know that no matter what, all responsibility for their child essentially falls on them. You are responsible for making sure your child gets a decent education. If you feel that the school they go to doesn't provide the education you want, then find a school that does and send them there. Simply complaining that people aren't living up to your expectations doesn't do anything for your kid.
Even if the parents are illiterate they can still take an interest in their child's education. No one suggested that parents need to teach the subject matter, that is the teachers job. It is the parents job to make sure their kids are ready to learn and to support education. They need to make sure their kids are well behaved, they need to make sure they do their homework, they need to help them get the help they need, parents have a lot of responsibility for their child's education.
One of my best kids has a mother who is not only illiterate, but she also doesn't speak the language. She is there at every parent teacher conference with a translator and she always wants to know what she can do to help. Now that is a real parent.
Has she (the kindergarten teacher) called the parents? Oh no I guess not. If she really is upset about the take-home folder, then she should call the parents. She won't call the parents because she doesn't want to find what she will find.
Parents need to know and accept that THEY are ultimately responsible for their children until they come of legal age, even when they are at school, or for that matter, anywhere else.
The problem as I see it is the teachers are the educators as far school not the parent. There are a lot of parents that would not have a clue about how to teach a particular subject and especially today don't have time. I remember my son having a problem with math. I have a lot of math from college and so I showed him how to work the problems and get the correct answer. The teacher failed his homework assignment because he did not do the problem the way she said to do it. As a parent I don't have the time in my day to learn the teachers NEW process on how to teach and therefore I put that responsibility back onto the teacher. Students should not have homework so that all learning is done in school. Because the kids who have parents that are good at teaching all subjects will excel and therefore the teacher in the class will tend teach to those kids leaving the rest behind. There should not be money spent on advanse classes in 1 to 12 grade becuase of the amount of students that are not doing well. If a student is exceling then move them up a grade to challenge them but don't open a non required advanse class when so many students are failing
Thank you, DM, for saying exactly what I was going to say!
And this is why we educate our children ourselves. The arrogance of some teachers is unbelievable, and the leadership, for the most part, at public schools is severely lacking. We went to a pre-enrollment meeting with our son in a Florida school, and the principal could not speak proper English! "Bowf the teachers and parents are parts of the same teams." Seriously? GTF away from my child.
When are you guys going to learn. EVERYTHING STARTS AT HOME. Kids generally succeed or fail based on the values and importance and examples AT HOME. All this article is saying is that very thing. Help with homework, get your kids to exercise/play outside, eat right, healthy MND and BODY. Don't jump in and save your kids b/c Jr. said it didn't happen that way. Kids lie, especially to parents. Stop blaming the teachers for you kid failing. They are only in school X hours 5 days a week for some 40-something weeks.. the REST of the time is in the parents company. I personally thing 2 working parents who don't spend time or single parent who doesn't have the time, are why statistically kids overall fail. That is a generalization and not correct for every person, but learning is work and families who don't do the work at home, fall behind the kids who's family DOES do the work, put the homework effort and learning/teaching effort in AT HOME. I know, my parents had 8 kids, we were in the lower class economically but they pushed us to do homework and study and EXPECTED A's and B's, C's were failing to them. We all graduated from college with multiple degrees. WHY? Because my parents were there and valued education and teaching good work and moral habits DAILY. I thank my lucky stars to have had them as my parents. We are nothing special, but we were instilled AT HOME to value education by parents who valued teaching us and making sure we learned. Stop blaming teachers and Unions and tenure. These people are professionals, not baby sitters. Too many have to deal with parents who drop them off with the mindet "He's/She's your problem for the next X hours, I got to go to work". See a teacher, thank them for their hard work, I know I benefited greatly by their willingness to be teachers.
"These people are professionals...." Professionals do not call a kid a racist because they support (OMG!) the white dude running for president. Professionals have common sense, and do not freak out because a kid makes a "gun" out of his index finger and thumb. Professionals do not push an agenda that is outside the scope of their teaching duties. And professionals don't rape their underage students.
And that's why your kids will never make normal friends or be normal at all. I graduated last year and I can tell you %100 that i have never met a normal home school kid. I laugh at home school because in most cases its just stupid over protective parents ruining there childrens future. Do you understand how much kids learn from just being around other kids at school?
That is a load of BS. My kids interact with other children, just not at public school. Their social skills are just fine. "Do you understand how much kids learn from just being around other kids at school?" What an asinine statement! I went to public school… yeah, I know what kids learn from other kids. Many kids with low or no morals, bullies, drug users, kids that dress like s-luts, etc. They do not have a liberal agenda shoved down their throats. Their teacher is not going to call them a racist if they wear a Romney shirt. They won’t be expelled for having Tylenol in their pocket. And Michelle Obama does not dictate what my children have for lunch. So, yeah, I understand perfectly what they are “missing”. And this myth that homeschooled children are somehow ill-prepared for the “world” is just that – a myth. It amazes me how many of you public school geniuses out there know “a lot” of homeschooled children and almost always say “and they are all a bunch of misfits”. Never met a “normal” homeschooled kid? Define “normal”? If you mean kids with good morals, polite, curious, respectful, able to interact with others … then my kids are perfectly normal. If you mean they don’t worship some pop star who grinds her body on TV, or they’re not some depressed Emo kid, or they haven’t tried drugs – then, yeah, my kids are pretty screwed up. Enjoy wallowing in your normalcy, kid. When you grow up and become a big boy like me maybe you’ll have some perspective.
1. Tenure. Unqualified or just bad teachers get the job for life if they can keep breathing for three years or so. It's next to impossible to fire a teacher for anything that isn't criminal.
2, Unions. Unions demand higher and higher salaries and pensions and are next to bankrupting a number of states. They keep bad teachers in and have no sense of pride. Good teachers cannot be distinguished from bad teachers, who shouldn't be kept anyway.
3. Excessive standardized testing. There are SALT surveys and NECAPs for New England, along with the national SAT's, not to mention statewide and regionwide "proficiency" tests and useless senior projects / high stakes testing. Nobody likes taking these because they don't test anything that's close to useful or interesting.
The general impression is that teachers have a high likelihood of being lazy, incompetent, or both (although it's certainly not all of them), and the student's success is based on his or her own drive coupled with the effort of the parent.
How do you find the "bad" teachers? Standardized test score for the year? Two years? Five?
Do you grade on a curve for the school where 10% of the students are ESL (English as a Second Language)?
Make another curve for the students that have parents that don't care about their kid's education.
Another for the school that has a gifted program.
Maybe we should do the same thing with doctors. Give all their patients a fitness test, and fire them if the average is too low. Just ignore the fact that some of the patients are fat and lazy, some smoke, some are alcoholics and some have cancer.
In order to have a fair way to grade a teacher, you need a way to put all the students on level ground; and that's next to impossible. Not every student is the same, and they never will be.
I can't speak for all states, but in the state I am in, Tenure means nothing anymore. A teacher that is not up to par can be completely gone in a period of about 90 days. The days of not being able to touch a bad teacher are gone.
As far as the unions demanding higher salaries and huge pensions....we can demand all we want, but that does not mean we are going to get it. In addition, maybe if the politicians making all the education decisions quit robbing the teacher pension fund to pay for other things that they have overspent on, teachers would not be concerned about what their pensions will look like in 20 years! Job number one for the federal government.....STAY OUT OF EDUCATION! Let it be a state concern.
Your complaint is the cause and the effect. If you think teachers get paid too much, then teaching as a career will not attract the best employees. If teaching only attracts people who can't work in more demanding, better compensated, environments, the union ends up in the role of having to represent teachers in employment disputes. The whole process becomes adversarial. Lowering teacher pay, restricting the power of the union, just makes the situation worse. You get less qualified people in the jobs, and the union has less that they can do, so they do what they can that much more.
The countries with better school systems and better educational outcomes also have unions. All of them. The difference is that they aren't arguing over what actually happened, who was at fault, what the letter of the law means, in some employment squabble, because the teachers are top shelf professionals.
There are many great teachers in the system here. I have no idea why. The great teachers could all walk out tomorrow and go do education work in other areas for more money with shorter hours and more respect. But there are also some, less great, teachers in the system, who are there because it was the best job they could get, the best career choice they could come up with. Especially the ones who majored in education without any real intent of staying in a teaching career for any lenth of time because they didn't expect to be in a two income family. Before some of the great teachers take offense, I am related to two examples, they both were seeking an MRS degree, but ended up having to use the degrees they did get and go teach elementary schools. Fortunately for tomorrow, that didn't last long.
My mother has been a teacher for 20 years, and she is a great teacher. From all the years of her coming home stressed out over the frustrations of dealing with kids and parents that just don't cooperate or work hard, I think it's the kids who are the real problem. Kids today have such low attention spans it's ridiculous. They just aren't interested in learning or understand responsibility.
As a parent and educator I believe that we both sides need to put our egos aside and work together to help our kids succeed. We're too busy blaming one another for our kids failures and not getting after our students. They sit back and play teacher against parent and parent against teacher and do what they want.
Every parent should be required to spend a week in the classroom to see what it's really like.
Many parent-voulunteers have said to me, "I don't know how you can do it."
The public does not realize what responsibilities the teachers have and under what conditions they must work.
I taught in a school with no air conditioning, tiny budget, and a school board made up of uneducated, politically ambitious individuals. Most would find these conditions a difficult environment in which to learn.
Teaching is one tough job. I have spent 44 years at it, from preschool to graduate school, and love the idea of helping a child develop emotionally, intellectually and physically.
There is no hidden teacher agenda. I have only met a tiny percentage of individuals in the profession who weren't dedicated.
The very least you will get to see where the reflection of the child comes from.
I have asked to spend a week going to classes with my child. The school won't let you. Put up or shux up.
Totally depends on the school. Some charter schools now use parents attending classes with students as a restorative action for breaking the rules. It sends a strong message. Your experience is not 100% the case with all schools and/or districts.
There are 50 states and hundreds of school districts with different rules. Just because your school district doesn't allow it, doesn't make that a common problem. My school district allows it.
Maybe you aren't asking correctly. Do you want to come monitor the classroom, or are you volunteering to actually help? If you just want to come in and correct the teacher, that's probably not well received.
"...teachers aren’t always responsible for the pace or the material. What they are responsible for: teaching the material itself and the test scores that result."
This reality is ruining the public school system. We are watching it unfold with our children right now. No matter how good the teacher might be, they are not teaching with ours or anyone else's children's best interests in mind. They are teaching to a scoring standard, and they only have to get through one year with each student so it isn't about that student's long term future. It's about getting the little monsters to perform on those tests for just one more year...
[sarcasm] That's the best part of merit pay! The teachers will create little robots that can spit out the answer when you ask a question! If they teach anything else they could have their pay cut or be fired! It doesn't matter if a student is just now learning English, they better know (in English) all the planetary bodies and the parts of a cell! [/sarcasm]
Would it kill the Department of Education to have some teachers come up with the curriculum and standard and not some politicians?
The problem as I see it is the teachers are the educators as far school not the parent. There are a lot of parents that would not have a clue about how to teach a particular subject and especially today don't have time. I remember my son having a problem with math. I have a lot of math from college and so I showed him how to work the problems and get the correct answer. The teacher failed his homework assignment because he did not do the problem the way she said to do it. As a parent I don't have the time in my day to learn the teachers NEW process on how to teach and therefore I put that responsibility back onto the teacher. Students should not have homework so that all learning is done in school. Because the kids who have parents that are good at teaching all subjects will excel and therefore the teacher in the class will tend teach to those kids leaving the rest behind. There should not be money spent on advanse classes in 1 to 12 grade becuase of the amount of students that are not doing well. If a student is exceling then move them up a grade to challenge them but don't open a non required advanse class when so many students are failing
As a father of two, it is MY responsibility to RAISE my children. It is MY responsibility to make sure they go to school and are prepared for it each day. It is MY responsibility to TEACH them the difference between RIGHT and WRONG. It is MY responsibility to educate them on how to behave in a public or private classroom. It is MY responsibility to make sure that what they are learning at school, they remember at the end of the day. It is MY responsibility to push them to WANT to be the best that they can be.
It is NOT the teachers responsibility to teach my child how to behave, treat other people, wipe their nose, wipe their butt, wear their clothes, comb their hair, brush their teeth, bathe them, or discipline my child. These also fall under MY responsibilities as a parent.
The teachers of my children have one main job with two parts: To provide my children with the very best education that is possible is the main job. To alert me to ANY problems in the classroom that my child creates is the second part. It then becomes MY job to make absolutely certain that whatever the problem is, is corrected so that the teacher can continue to do his or her job to the best of their ability.
I don't blame every teacher in the country for our educational issues. I blame the average parent that doesn't want to raise their child to be the best he or she can be. Monday night football and American Idol always seem to hold precedence over their children, and that's truly sad.
As a 21 year teacher, the biggest problem with education today is that teachers spend the least amount of time doing what they are paid to do in the first place, and that is actually teaching! Teachers spend way too much time dealing with the many problems kids face as a result of broken homes, abuse, tough economic times, etc...Other problems such as violence, gangs, drugs in schools, and police in the halls don't really make schools a great place for learning. In addition to that, teachers are held to certain standards based on standardized test scores, all because some politicians think it is the way to get results. This creates an environment where teachers simply "teach to the tests" and instead of kids learning something, they simply learn how to take those tests. The "no child left behind" is a classic example of a failed political attempt to make it look like education was being improved. Since we "were not leaving any child behind", we simply lowered all of our standards and brought them with us! The new common core standards are the new thing in education now, and they too will go by the wayside in the future when some other politician decides to try and make themselves look like they care in order to get votes.
Political aspects aside, you've effectively expanded on the results of the average parent failure of raising children. Gangs, drugs, violence, abuse, et cetera. By far and large, this is a failure of the parents of these children. I won't bother with false statistics, but it should suffice to say that if more parents would raise their children from day one, every student in the public schools would benefit.
Right on Doug! Good teaching will never overcome poor parenting. All those people gripping about that they have "to help their kid with homework", what next, you have to teach your kids manners and how to use the bathroom too, come on! can't we try to pass that responsibility to someone else too?
You are absolutely correct. Parents are supposed to be responsible for their little ones lives.
Dam straight... I can read comments like this all day; nice articulation!
WELL SAID DOUG! Now we need more parents to get their heads outta their asses and do the same.
Amen Amen Amen Doug. EVERYTHING STARTS AT HOME. In say it time and time again. Being a parent is work, period. A lot of times it is fun, a lot of the time it is hard work. In the end, the result of your effort (your work product per se) is how your children turn out. Everyschool has a Valedictorian, why is that kid getting a National Merit scholarship or other award/reward, he/she went to the IDENTICAL school that your kid goes to and is failing. Why is your kid failing and that kid succeeding? A HUGE reason, is what is happening at home PERIOD. Stop blaming the teacher if your kid is failiing, socially disruptive and suspended or disciplined. If parents would put in the work as Doug has described, many teachers would not be wasting daylight babysitting some parents problem child because they don't want to put the necessary parental work in at home to teach their kids how to respect, behave, work, and play in public.
After reading some of the comments on here I find some of what I see interesting. I do find it humorous when the teachers say the parents should help kids with their homework (or in some cases reteaching the subject if there is a lack of understanding). That seems funny for a couple of reasons. First if it was taught properly in the first place there would be no need for parents "helping" with the students homework since it should be an extension of what was "learned" in the classroom. So, teachers are right in expecting parents to ensure their children do their homework. I also realize that teachers have their hands tied way too much by the school boards and various government agencies that oversee the different facets of schooling. So, I am not necessarily blaming the teachers themselves, but rather the education system. It is the educational systems job to teach the children and ensure they have mastered a subject not the parents. Like some of the parents on here have said if they wanted to do that they would home school their children.On another note my sister is a teacher and if a child struggles on their homework my sister encourages parents to email write a note or call her so that she can address the issue either before school starts (normally only takes her 30 mins) or after school. Which I know teachers might say is beyond their job, but it really isn't. If I can't do something in the time frame at work I often stay over and finish up something or come in early the next day to finish it up. In the end teachers and parents both need to take responsibility for their own respective "jobs". Parents need to ensure their child is putting forth the right effort sleeping etc etc as the article said, but it is ultimately the job of the educational system to educate our children not parents.
I was taught not to argue with stupid people because onlookers might not know the difference; so I'm not going to try to convince you that you're stupid. With that said, they are your children, and you should be just as involved with their school work as they are. Parenting isn't for the lazy, and you are being lazy. Case closed
Of course it is the parents' job to work with their children outside of school! You say "if it was taught properly in the first place there would be no need for parents "helping" with the students homework since it should be an extension of what was "learned" in the classroom". That is a very ignorant statement and I feel sorry for the teachers you interact with and for your child. I went to top private schools for elementary, middle and high school and it was always expected that parents be involved with homework outside the classroom. My dad spend many hours helping me with math homework all growing up because that was a harder subject for me. Of course the teachers always worked with me as well, but it must be a joint effort if your child needs help. I don't think that public school parents should be help to any less standard than private school parents.
So Derek, so long as a teenager reads a manual on how to drive ONCE. He will know everything to drive, be able to drive AND drive perfectly... sheeesh surprising there are ever ANY teenage accidents. Why do I say this, because your argument is serious dumb. You are taught by instruction, and you retains and learn by DOING. Doctors don't just read a book and viola they are world class surgeons, they learn by doing it, practicing it. Ever heard the saying "Practice makes perfect"? Man, where did that saying come from, oh yeah, sports. Same goes for learning academically. Teachers are the coaches telling you what to do, homework is the practice they do everyday afterschool, the games are the exams. Homework is practice. Did you go to college? Did you have homework and projects? Man I did EVERYDAY. Practice makes perfect. Man your logic is going to cripple your kids academically if you truly believe what you typed. I pray you don't truly believe it.
Not to rant, but when spending cuts hit the education system it's your own management that decides to layoff teachers instead of management. Why? Because that makes for better headlines...laid off teachers keep the public mad at politicians...we never hear about those poor underpaid, laid off education management positions. Again, your own system knows how to work the media, the public and the politicians. Thanks to greater transparency through technology these tactics are being exposed.
What teachers should know about parents:
1. Don't try to control us with bad parent anecdotes.
The only good parent is one that agrees with you and leaves you alone? I refer to these as preemptive parent strikes.
2. We are NOT NECESSARILY on the same team.
I told our school committee that they should hand out E.D. Hirsch's Core Knowledge series of books and tell parents that this is NOT the education your child will receive.
When I told my son's first grade teacher that he loves geography and could find any country in the world, the teacher said: "Yes, he has a lot of superficial knowledge". She then proceeded to talk about the wonders of "voice" and "invented spelling". Later that year, our son had to show the student teacher where Kuwait was.
3. Full inclusion might be a nice idea, but don't try to tell us that it's somehow better academically.
My more able son is not a teacher helper for struggling students. Don't tell me that mixed-ability group enrichment work is better than common-ability group acceleration.
4. Don't use the excuse that you have to teach "ALL" kids. They all don't have to be in the same classroom.
5. Don't invite science, engineering, and mathematics parents to an open house and talk to them about the wonders of having little Suzie write about her favorite number. Don't tell me that this curriculum is forced on you.
6. Don't complain that the low expectations of CCSS somehow give you no time left over for "meaningful" learning. Don't take the more able kids for granted. Don't claim that increasing the percentage of kids who get over a trivially low proficiency cutoff means that you provide a quality education.
7. Ask the parents of your best students exactly what they do at home.
I don't just turn off the TV, model an interest in education, and go to trivial 15 minute parent/teacher conferences twice a year. I reteach and ENSURE mastery of basic skills. I do your job. Don't send home notes telling me to work on basic math facts. Don't tell me that you won't have enough time left over for enrichment.
8. Don't hide everything away in portfolios where I have to make separate appointments with each teacher after school (and take time off from work) to review.
9. Don't tell me that 25 rubric grades on a report card gives me more information than weighted letter or percent grades on specific homework and tests that have been sent home in a timely fashion.
10. Don't talk about different learning styles and then offer only one or two choices, which usually involve art and group work. My son's learning style is "fast". Don't waste his time coloring (and grading) science terms in sixth grade.
11. Finally, don't use my child's work (supported by my teaching and reteaching at home) to showcase how wonderful a job you are doing. Figure out exactly why your best students are your best students. Ask us.
Supportive parents like you keep teachers in the classroom, I'm sure. :( Your expertise as a parent surely qualifies you to prescribe for teachers. So relieved to know you have all the answers and looking forward to reading your book, Battle Hymn of Hubris Dad.
You have a lot of hostility toward teachers. Spare yourself the trouble and remove your child from public schools. Obviously, you do a much better job.
Why is it when someone is speaking the truth does the person getting the axx-whooping start saying oh you are so hostile, just leave, etc. Get it straight folks, this guy is right! Quit whining about getting your feelings hurt when you hear the truth. He has a right to have his kids educated in the public schools, he PAYS your salary, pays for the building and everything in it. You work for the parent! Do your job and quit saying "oh he's so mean, just go away....wah wah wah...."
First of all, I'm a parent, not a teacher. My local small business employer pays my salary, thank you.
Second, he makes some valid points, but not all are based in reality. The teacher is there to educate children. ALL children. There are not enough teachers to teach every single child to their exact level. Some baselines must be set.
It IS, however, his responsibility, and any parents responsibility for that matter, to ensure that their child is being challenged and pushed to their best. The public school system is there to provide the baseline. You or a secondary school have to do the more intensive work. Some teachers can exceed the baseline, others cannot. If you want to see why it's hard to go beyond, hang out in the average class and watch the average student walk all over the teacher with their poor behavior. The teacher is extremely limited in how they can respond because of parents who won't raise their children or even raise a hand to their children(not to imply striking a child, but to at least discipline for poor behavior).
Teachers must achieve the baseline, parents must push for the next level.
Which is as much as to say, since he has a problem with the way the school is teaching his child, it's his job to fix it by either finding a new school or finding another option. Yelling at the teacher isn't going to fix his problem. The teacher has more than just his child to educate.
#12 Don't beat us over the head with your over the top arrogance and general ignorance of federal and state education policy.
Well, I am a little more sympathetic to teachers. I have seen what they need to deal with in the classroom. But, you definitely have a point. Of course my child does well in school. First, he has two parents with PhDs so obviously education is important to us. Second, we do not allow video games or TV during the week. Third, they play sports but they know that if their grades fall- that's the end of soccer. 4th- all of us spend time reading- newspapers, magazines, fiction, nonfiction. 5th- we challenge them when they are not challenged at school- they are bilingual, they knew how to read before kindergarten, they were doing multiplication when they were still learning "basic math facts addition and subtraction" at school, and we have begun to teach them geography and history at home because they do such a poor job at school in these areas.
It sure looks like you have it all figured out...I am sure the Department of Education will be calling you any day. What I am even more sure of is that every teacher your kid has had can not stand you. You are reponsible for your child, not 30-150 per day. Its easy for you to cater to one learning style, try doing your job 30 different ways for 9 months and let us know how that works out for you.
I studied to be a teacher; this rant is exactly why I opted for another route at the last moment. Not because SteveH is wrong, it's because he's absolutely right. Teachers do not have enough core intelligence to do their job. I sat in a GRADUATE LEVEL ENGLISH CLASS only to hear a current teacher tell my professor, "I really liked this (indiciating a few pages) section of the book because, I don't know, it was like, really deep and stuff." That's verbatim. That's an example of who is teaching our children. The children most prepared for adult life are those who come from parents who recognize the general incompetance of teachers.
@ James, Way to go dude! Broad stroke paint everything your life much? It will serve you really well in life to consider one bad apple to be indicative of all. Are all people in your chosen profession excellent at their jobs? Must be good to be on mount olympus with all those productive and intelligent beings.
James, you thought about teaching, but after considering all the ramifications of a teaching career, you went elsewhere for a living. Now you look down on those who chose to stay in the field. Would you agree that we've made the teaching profession an unpleasant place to work? If so, perhaps our current state and national policies regarding the teaching profession have become a screen of sorts, weeding out the ones who can make a better living in some other career, and keeping the rest.
As a teacher, I'm inclined to agree with you on several of your points. Students of differing ability should not be placed in the same classroom. "A" students and "C" or "D" students have vastly different educational needs. Unfortunately, bureaucrats somewhere in days gone by, heavily prodded by parents who felt their child was receiving a substandard education because of their special needs, changed the rules and schools can no long ability group. Our hands are tied.
Geography is no long regularly taught in the public school. Social sciences aren't tested in most places so there is no real push for students to be able to find anything on a map or know the capital of a country. Sad but true.
I had a student teacher who didn't know the vocabulary in a 6th grade magazine. She hadn't read a news paper in years and she had the morals of an alley cat and shared her exploits regularly with the classes she taught, yet I was the bad guy when I told her college supervisor about her short comings and shut her down from her sharing. The response: "But she's an honor student!" She was allowed to graduate and receive a teaching certificate. Be afraid.
Actually all students do have to be in the classroom. In most states they have to mainstream any student that the parent declines to have moved to SPED. My friend is math and science director at a local HS and some years has 15 IEPs in his class of supposedly normal students, all with relentless pressure from the district to promote them to the next grade regardless of ability. He has given up and is trying to take early retirement.
Wow, this is one of the most arrogant, self centered posts I've ever read. You obviously know more than everyone else, just home school your kid. Then you won't have to put up with all of these ignorant, horrible, useless teachers.
Well Steve, sounds like you've got one screwed up school district qith teachers who need to retire. As a teacher, I am a shamed by the teachers who do all in that you just explained. PLEASE understand, NOT all teachers are like that. It's embarrassing to know that there are teachers out there who are what you said. I hope you find trust somewhere in the education system.
He pays your salary???? Seriously.....that's the lamest thing that can be said. Does that mean that we have to deal with his pompous, idiotic views? Because I guarantee I don't get paid enough to deal with elitist arrogance. He needs to homeschool his gifted and talented children....because obviously they can't learn anything being mixed up with the dregs of public school society. Us public school teachers will continue to teach ALL children in our classrooms, not just those whose parents have ridiculous honor roll bumper stickers on their SUVs.
He (and all taxpayers) pay your salary. If you don't like the demands of the job....then YOU leave. The school is there for the children of the people in America. Not the other way around. Every person who has a kid at the school is your boss. If you don't get paid enough, then leave. (That is what was said about the parent, if he doesn't like the way the school is handling it, then he should go to a different school). It is funny how when the same argument is turned to you that you humphf away.
Sounds to me like an elitist argument for why my tax dollars should support greater educational resources for your "exceptional" child so he won't have to be thrown in with all the riff raff. What's that you say? Separate can still be equal? Well we've known for a long time that tracking/ability grouping more often results in poor kids getting warehoused in the the "special" classes with less competent teachers while the rich kids get the fast track. That's why states have largely done away with the practice. If you insist on approaching your son's education as a zero sum game and teaching him to see it that was as well, please do us all a favor and pull him out of public schooling.
It's interesting how few responded to the specific issues I raised. And, by the way, many educators in our state fight school choice tooth and nail. They have the answers. It's their turf. They want control. If you don't like it, use your own money (on top of your property taxes) and go away. Too bad for those not rich enough to do that. You end up with what happened in our state. Educators fighting against urban parents who are desperate to get their kids into charter schools.
I've also noticed that many teachers have a teacher centric view. They define the problems of education only by what they see walking into their classroom. As a parent, I see the problem as a longitudinal process that consists of many teachers, continuity and rigor of curriculum, and teaching methods.
My son's fifth grade teacher did a good job when she no longer trusted the Everyday Math sprial and took extra time to ensure that bright students mastered basic math skills. She had kids who were still adding 7+8 on their fingers. Good for her. But did she try to fix the systemic problem? No. Perhaps she couldn't. As a parent, I really don't want to hear that. It may be awful that teachers are expected to get everyone who walks into their classrooms ready for simple state tests, but don't blame the test messenger. Don't expect parents to side with teachers against administrations. The key fallacy of this article is that we are on the same team.
1. Don’t assume I’m trying to control you when all I’m doing is trying to show you what can go wrong if we don’t work together. When parents spend hours teaching children the names of every country in the world and its location on the map and give no thought to the kinds of people who live there, the kinds of products they provide to the world, the deeply held belief systems of those countries, the social and political systems of those countries – they are not teaching their children geography, they are teaching their children how to perform for guests and demonstrate their parent’s exceptional teaching skills.
2. Don’t just tell your school’s committee not to teach Hirsch. Point out to them exactly what elements of Hirsch you don’t want taught. Is it certain literature or poetry, human civilization, works of art, culture, music, meteorology, human anatomy, grammar? Or do you not want any of it taught? Be specific. Otherwise, you are telling us that all religion is bad when what you don’t like is Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. Or perhaps what you do like is Fred Phelps and all other religion is bad. Either way, don’t throw out the bathwater until you’ve finished bathing the baby.
3. Full inclusion wasn’t designed to make us a better nation academically. If used correctly it has no effect on us academically at all. I’ve had full inclusion in my classroom since in 1976 and I’ve produced students with perfect scores on the ACT, the SAT, National Merit Scholars and graduates of most major colleges and universities, students who’ve written major research tomes in everything from dance to medicine, students who’ve graduated from every military academy and served in many national and state political offices, and they’ve been in the classroom with students who could not speak. Full inclusion was designed to make us a better nation socially. It was designed to prevent those with prejudices, phobias and hatred for those who are different from passing those conditions on to their children. If you believe that such associations will diminish your child, then I suggest you place your child in a classroom with students who are all superior to him – see if that, in truth, makes him superior. If you believe that such association diminishes your child’s capacity to learn – perhaps you and your child need to visit about whether or not his goal is to be the best in his class or to do his very best.
4. Don’t tell me who or what has to be in my classroom. I have no choice as to who or what I teach and you have no right to even include such a statement in this tirade. All it proves is a basic ignorance on your part as to the education system. Students are assigned to me by administrators and a computer and, occasionally, a guidance counselor. Unlike a lawyer or a physician or a mechanic, I can’t pick or choose my clientele. Frankly, I don’t want to.
5. Where do you think invitations to open house come from? They come from my class roll. The invitation is to everyone who has a child in my room. I talk to them all. If you feel the conversation is not aimed at you, by all means ask questions. Don’t sit in silence and then assume you are being ignored. I suggest you are dealing with some deep-seated personal feelings of animosity toward scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Perhaps they, too, fail to see the value of your child’s mastery of map-building skills.
6. Take up that trivially low proficiency score with congress, mister, I don’t set it. I also don’t publicize my student’s scores. Regardless of what you’d like to believe, I don’t set my goals for D’s or even C’s. I teach for A’s. Unfortunately, while I’m trying to teach the history, function, and organization of the United Nations, some parents tell their children that’s unimportant and insist their children learn to name the member nations and be able to identify their location on the map.
7. I teach enrichment. My students leave my classroom with a better knowledge of the humanities than they get in most college humanities classrooms. But, if I send a note home asking you to spend some time with your child on basics, it’s for a reason. Your child is having trouble with that concept. There’s nothing abnormal about that. At one time or another all children need a little extra time on something simple. Sometimes, believe it or not, they simply need to hear another voice say the same thing in order to recognize its importance or its relevance. I’m sorry that concept doesn’t communicate to you. Could it be that the only things important or relevant to you are the things you say yourself? You might give that some thought. So far, you don’t like anything the teacher says, the administrator says, other parents say, or the government says.
8. I teach English. What better way than to prepare a compilation of your child’s work and then to discuss it with you is there to let you know your child’s progress? Yes, I send home graded work. I also post those grades in a timely fashion on the computer as percentages and as letter grades for you to inspect. But let me warn you about something: nothing offends me more than a parent who sees a single ‘low’ grade and enters panic mode about a child’s progress or, worse, attacks child and teacher over something as trivial as a ten point homework assignment which didn’t make it to school. Patterns are what are important. If your child consistently fails to hand in homework or consistently fails spelling tests or consistently has low scores in reading comprehension, then we have a problem. We need to talk. We need to do some work. Whether you want to be or not, you are on a team and you need to be a part of it. I don’t know what your child does at home and I can’t always depend on your child telling me the truth.
9. Those 25 rubrics give a detailed picture of what your child is doing. 90% or A- does not. I’m sorry you don’t have time to consider the entire report card. If all you care about is the final grade – you are looking at the forest and some of your trees may be falling soundlessly in the distance.
10. If I could stand over your child with the ability to send him to bed without supper, to take away his television, to discipline him in any way I chose, to refuse him any privileges – your child’s learning speed for me might always be ‘fast,’ too. I have certain restraints, thank God, and sometimes behavior at school and behavior at home are different. Especially, when every word spoken at home begins with ‘what a waste of time your school is!” Sometimes ‘fast’ children want to color because it’s the only time they get to express themselves because they are denied that privilege at home. Sometimes ‘fast’ children are just tired of education because it’s been turned into such a hassle.
11. I don’t have to ask you anything – you are too willing to tell me what I’m doing wrong and what you’re doing right. Perhaps what you do is so easy because all the basics have been done at school and all you have to do is ice the cake. Don’t tell me you don’t have time to come to conference because you would have to take time off from work when you obviously have time to teach an entire day’s work when you get home. Take some time off from teaching and do it.
12. I’ll tell you who earns my respect in this case: it’s your son. He’s caught between a rock and a hard place. He’s trying to learn two curricula. He’s trying desperately to please you and still to be a part of a classroom. If he’s not, then you’ve created a very unhappy child. You’re frustration with life, you’re unhappiness with your position, you’re insecurities are making a lot of people miserable. What happened? Did you throw away your opportunity for an education and now you are desperately trying to pre-prevent such an occurrence for you son? Whatever the motivation for this attack – you need to back off and get on a team, any team.
What a trivial and predictable reply. Ad hominem attacks don't bolster your position. Is that a writing technique you teach your students?
In some cases, you interpreted my position backwards. And I am an engineer, by the way. My son loves learning in spite of the low expectations and bad teaching pedagogy foisted on him by his K-6 schools. They probably think he is a success case for Everyday Math. They would be wrong. Clearly we are not on the same team, but I have no choice.
I do have to make the distinction that I like the high school my son is in. Apparently it's NOT OK to separate kids by ability in K-6, but it's OK to do so in high school. His high school actually teaches content and emphasizes skills. The teachers grade homework and tests with percent grades and hand them back. They don't hide them away in portfolios. We parents often see grades online before our kids get the results in class. The high school has a curriculum that is driven by the needs of colleges, not dreamy ed school pedagogy. Kids can do well in high school if they can survive the nonlinear change in effort and expectations that occur in middle school, especially 7th and 8th grades. This academic transition is often greatly supported by families who have the time and resources.
I once taught a SSAT prep class for 7th and 8th graders. After 6 years of low expectation spiraling, they were confronted with the meme of becoming life-long learners who had to take control and responsibility of their own learning. They were overwhelmed after their experience in K-6, and it comes at a time when social and peer pressures are greatest. Teachers liked to give out zeros (or rather a one out of 5 on the rubric scale) just to get their attention. Often, people look at how high school can be fixed, but they really should look at the early grades. You can't just pump kids along because when they get to the big filter, there is little that can be done.
So many problems in K-8 could be solved by grouping by ability instead of age. If they are going to mainstream every single kid, then they have to lower expectations. All mainstreaming does (as it is practiced in Michigan, anyway) is short-change the normal kids and leave the IEP'ed kids in the dust. It's not working at all. It does, however, save money, and that's the only reason it came about. Special Ed is expensive, and we all know that when the needs of the kid comes up against the needs of the organization (politicians, not schools) the kid ALWAYS loses.
two comments about your rant:
1. you're correct; there can be more than one classroom but I highly doubt that is up to the teacher of your son's first grade classroom
2. This list which is obviously tailored to your child or children and really isn't useful for anyone (likely not even them once you have smothered and smashed all the talent and scholastic interest out of their poor little hearts) makes you sound like a complete psychopath. You're crazy. the other poster is right, take your children out of school immediately. The day you find out they're not longer the smartest person in their own class, I think you're going to rupture an aneurysm in your tiny brain. I'm scared for you.
OMG THANK YOU!!! Absolutely the most eloquent post all day. Wish I had said it.
Your child doesnt come prepared or do the work. Hasnt for 10 years. Probability aside, my kid mustve had the worst teachers possible for those 10 years. I bet not one said,"wheres your pencil? Go get it!" Well, one did, but the tone was condescending so I complained that my son needs to be moved because the teacher expects perfection from students.
So it's the teachers fault that the student doesn't come to school prepared for 10 years? I guess you expect the teacher to come home with the student and make him/her do homework, and then be there in the morning to make sure they eat breakfast and go to school on time? There are certain expectations students are required to meet; bringing a pencil to school is one of them. But no, it's the teachers fault that the student doesn't have a pencil. Pull your head out of the ground.
I now sense you might have been sarcastic? If so, I take my reply back, if not, I stand by it.
We homeschool, and I think any family that has the capability to do so should consider it. My kids take a ton of classes (granted, I live near a big city so these options might not be available everywhere) and we chose to homeschool for purely academic and SOCIAL reasons. The kids that are homeschooled have involved parents and haven't had their love of learning crushed out of them. This lets my kids have terrific friends and a community where we all know one another to at least a degree. No, we don't homeschool for religious reasons. We homeschool not because we are "angry" at the public schools... we do so because we are abandoning schools that have no hope of providing a healthy learning environment for our kids (no matter how great the teacher happens to be). This way, I've been able to provide my children with a number of fantastic teachers, at a fraction of the price that I would have had to pay at a private school. I understand that homeschooling is only an option above a certain income level (we have to live off of only my husband's income – as my job is caring for the kids; we live much more frugally than most Americans because of this choice). I do wish I could do more to help public education, but I can't sacrifice my children's education and emotional stability just to put my "good" children in the schools to somehow peer pressure the others into behaving better. I don't know what the solution is for the public schools, but we've jumped ship. We belong to a once a week cooperative that currently has over 100 kids and rents an entire building (it used to be a school). If parents get involved, REALLY INVOLVED, they can create something that works so much better than public schools. My kids sometime asks me "what do they do all day in school – they don't seem to know anything!". I don't know what to tell them...
My week with my kids will be: attending the 7 hours of individualized classes EACH school aged child is enrolled in (with different teachers), boy scouts/girl scouts, music lessons, a charity walk, a nature day at a local state park, taking my 11 year old to a 3 hour gaming club (he's into Dungeons and Dragons) and my 8 year old to an extra outing with her scouts, and a birthday party. If we get bored we'll swing by the zoo or museum etc. There is so much to DO out in the real world, and your kids don't have to all turn into obnoxious teenagers. If you have a parent that can leave the work force, YOU can raise your children yourself!
That's great when you can afford to stay home like that. Stop trying to guilt working moms. We don't care that you homeschool. Personally the homeschooled kids I see seem to not get it that the rest of the world isn't going to be as precious with them as mommy/teacher. They think the whole world revolves around them and it's a shock when they learn it does not.
I work in a public library and I can spot the home schooled kids a mile away, They always have some sort of emotional deficit.
Home Schooling--your an advocate, seems like your in Great Spirits. Someday we may have Enough People to Study and Chart Facts.
ANyone who goes into teaching today is a sucker. No respect, low pay and the politicians blame it all on teachers. Why drop 100,000 grand to be treated like crap. In Ohio, if your school performs poorly, EVERY teacher has to retake the teacher exams. Even if your students do great. It is the Kasich way. What an embarrassment.
Vote yes on Issue 2!
My doctor told me to quit smoking and lose weight. He even gave me websites and articles to help me. In fact, he said "heres my email & number, call me any time." I didnt do many of those things but I am suing my doctor cause he makes like $200k per year and didnt help me enough. He didnt follow up every day to see how I was doing. Incompetence!
Incompetent????? That would be you, not your doctor. Do you think that you are his only patient???? If you really want to quit smoking & loose weight then you will. A doctor can not be by your side 24/7. You are a very selfish person. I quit smoking, cold turkey, over 28 years ago without anybodies help. I did it because I wanted to . Get a life!!!
I think Hmmmm was being sarcastic. Which leads me to believe that his/ her post that I replied to was sarcasm. If so, i take it back.
I'm pretty sure the analogy is that if you aren't willing to take personal responsibility for your own personal education, then you must also blame your doctor if you can't quit smoking.
...but thanks for falling into that one.
Um, that was pointed sarcasm.
Hmmm was giving you an example of how ridiculous it is for the student not to take responsibility.
He was joking. See how it relates to teachers doing everything in THEIR power (giving lessons, additional help, e-mail and phone numbers, etc.) and when a student fails the parents/community is in an uproar at the educational system (like the poor doctor in the example).
I teach and hear students talk about how their parents are letting them go to the midnight sale for the next big video game (I'm looking at you, Call of Duty) ON A SCHOOL NIGHT, and then they are called in as "sick" the next day so they can sleep/play more. Parents regularly go on weeklong vacations and miss school RIGHT AFTER we had a long break. Sorry, but if parents don't stress the value of school and learning then things will never change.
And for those who DO parent their kids (properly), we thank you. We know who the "good guys" are.
sueg, Do you not recognize sarcasm? Get an education.
He agrees with you just trying to get attention
As a parent, it is my responsibility to team with the teacher and help teach my kids whatever I can to help them improve. If that means helping them with their homework each night, so be it. I am amazed at the parents that think school is their free daycare and simply dump off their kids a reasonable distance from the school. How many parents are involved with PTSA? Or school fundraisers to help get extra school supplies? Or school events when the kids do a great job? How many parents even know what is happening with their kids on a daily basis?
Step up parents.
I'm very involved with my child, helping with homework, providing opportunities for extra practice, supplementing the school curriculum with "real life" learning, as well as volunteering in the classroom as my schedule allows. I don't think that being part of the PTA and fundraisers is the same as being involved. At my child's school, the PTA is a group of incredibly judgmental women that want to tell everyone else how they should be raising their children, and the school fundraisers are exploitive of the kids that want to work real hard selling imported junk for a company that takes 50% off the top. Don't confuse true involvement in education with the appearance of involvement.
If that's your PTA, then that's a shame. A good PTA/PTO can organize fun, educational events for students and their families and help provide necessary supplies for the school, and not just be about fundraising. And it does make a difference for your child to know you have a relationship with the teacher and the school regularly, not just back-to-school night and teacher conferences. It reinforces the fact that school and education are a priority.
Amen. Our school sends out a monthly newsletter with a calendar of events, articles, etc. I cannot count how many phone calls we receive asking about things that were covered thoroughly in that newsletter.
Parents: BE INVOLVED!
First, if we paid people for a teacher's value to society, then teachers should have better salaries. I think the problem some of us have are not teachers themselves, but teacher unions–they protect tenure and, therefore, the bad teachers. Secondarily, with a decent wage and a defined contribution plan, the problem of unfunded pension liability will diminish. Then maybe some states will have an opportunity to rethink how education is actually funded.
Well then... how much money should a teacher earn? what should the scale be and what is your basis for the scale?
IF you could get rid of tenure and require continued education, I'd pay teachers a lot more. Top pay around us is $90,000, but teachers pay for their health benefits (a bit of a herring because most teachers have health coverage through spouses and keep the money). A superintendent suggested teachers should have contracts–three years? five years?–with annual reviews. I think a beginning teacher should earn at least $60,000 coming out of college. Then that should increase with various measures, including the success of the students. I think the best teachers should be making more than their principals. Basis–what pay would you expect if your performance depended on the success of 30 or more other people?
Kat, first of all, teachers don't have tenure, they have due process protections. It protects them from being fired for arbitrary reasons that have nothing to do with their ability as teachers. Those protections are there to protect good teachers, not bad ones.
Second, teachers are required to do continuing education to maintain their licenses. It would be much more effective if this was teacher driven rather than driven by constant changes from the top. teachers spent too much time learning new procedures to accomplish the same thing rather than actually working to improve their practice.
Third, the issue with rating a teacher on the success of his or her students is that the teacher is not the only (or largest) variable that contributes to a student's success. In addition, there has not been a suitable means to measure "student success." And unlike a manager who is responsible for 30 people (in high school that number is closer to 160 and teachers see those students for a far shorter period of time) a teacher can't fire a student for refusing to participate, or finish an assignment, or who disrupts their and other student's learning.
Fourth, while I agree that teachers probably should make more, we can't pay for the meager salaries teachers make today, and most teachers don't expect to become wealthy, we just expect to be paid what we were promised when we entered the profession.
David, It takes years and, at last count, about $100,000 to get rid of a bad teacher. Years that are a loss for hundreds of students. That's tenure, not due process protection. What arbitrary reasons? Why wouldn't a three-five year contract work?
I think a teacher should be able to pursue a variety of relevant classes beyond staff development days and get credit for it.
I said including, not solely. Teachers should participate to define what that measure is rather than balking at the idea.
No other professions get the guarantees teachers have. Maybe teachers don't expect more in salary because they can retire at 55 with 80% of their top pay. Nobody getting that either; it's not sustainable; it's not reasonable. I'd rather pay more and make teachers responsible for their savings and retirement.
To be honest, there is variation from state to state and most teachers agree the process needs to be streamlined in many cases, but to do away with due process would do far more harm than good.
I have seen teachers fired for wearing sandals to work, because the principal didn't like them, for refusing to work every Saturday during the year, for wearing a shirt for the "wrong" NFL team, for refusing to say good things about a particular political candidate, for refusing to pass the student of a prominent local businessman. All were overturned when due process kicked in and a case had to be made against the teacher's ability to teach.
A short term contract (which is what 3-5 years is when trying to buy a home or create long term stability for a family) still allow a teacher to be fired for arbitrary reasons that don't reflect his or her ability to teach.
There is no good reason why test scores should be included in a teacher's evaluation (in fact, they should not be used putatively at all, that includes for students. Interestingly, test publishing companies say the same thing as do virtually all testing experts. In any case, teachers have not balked at a discussion of how to measure good teaching, they have been cut out of the conversation by politicians and businessmen who don't like the answer.
Teachers would rather be paid more and invest themselves also.
Don't forget, the pensions and insurance teachers receive are part of deferred compensation. It was often much cheaper to pay a small portion into a pension fund and let it grow via sound investment rather than pay a decent salary up front. So, yes, teachers were willing to work for less with the promise of a good pension. The issue right now is that people want to take away the benefits without increasing salaries.
As for sustainable, if states would stop borrowing from pension funds to run the state the funds would be fine.
There certainly needs to be changes to make schools better, and how teachers are paid, trained, evaluated etc. are all part of that conversation, and most teachers would love to be a part of the conversation. Unfortunately, their voices (as well as most moderate voices outside of the profession) are being silenced by those with agendas that don't have student's best interests in mind.
Thanks for your thoughtful comments.
Problem is teachers work 142 days a year after holidays conf. days and the like. if you figure out the pay based on an hourly rate for days worked you will be very surprised at that rate. about 48 dollars and hour. I agree they should be paid more but they should work a full year as well 142days out of 365 not bad. 1420 minus spring break holidays Christmas and appx 10 other no work days
I agree the school year should be longer, but if we are going to ask teachers to do more than maintain credentials, they need time to do it. And trust me, parents want their summers. Again, if people were paid based on their value to society–not just the length of their work year–the best teachers deserve more. We are a little skewed when a professional athlete or entertainer can make millions without question, but we question why a teacher should get more.
Teachers work 190± days.
A longer school year has been shown to provide little improvement in student outcomes and at times is detrimental.
In any case, more of what we are doing isn't going to do much to move the needle.
Sorry, I forgot to remove one of your comments- I agree with what you said so I skipped over it and didn't realize it.
Working every Saturday; are you talking about college? No teacher gets fired for wearing sandals or t-shirts at a K-12 level where I live–it's practically standard issue.
I have had one three-year contract in my working career and never had a problem buying a home. By the way, I worked in K-12 education in the small group called "non-represented employees."
If data is disaggregated, you can see if there is a deficit in an area for all students or whether there are particular students who do no thrive for their own reasons. Ways can be found to make this part of the overall, and by no means the biggest part. You can't claim to have the ability to teach without some measure of the actual outcomes for students.
Some states wouldn't be fine because the pension funds are unrealistic about yields on their investments (claims of 7.5% and outcomes of 1%). Clearly there is more than one side of the equation needing to be fixed.
I would love to see teachers step out from behind the unions to have real conversations about solutions. If they don't, something less palatable is likely to be forced on them. I don't see that as a good day. Thank you as well. I always learn from conversations like this.
To be honest, I'm terrified to think of what the education system would be like in a world without tenure or other protection of teachers. It is impossible to please everybody, and there will surely be students or parents or both who are unhappy with something, whether it be the way something is explained in class or a result on a test, final exam, or state test. Maybe a teacher wouldn't write a college recommendation for a lackluster student. Maybe the teacher brushed over a point in class that the student was interested in. Maybe the student didn't like the teacher's style. Maybe the student wanted to have the other teacher, and spent the year complaining about the teacher he got, misbehaving and not doing any work for the class, leading to a poor grade. Maybe the student didn't like a book that the teacher chose for English class. Maybe a math teacher tried to get a student to figure out a problem by herself in extra help before reviewing and explaining the real solution, and the student just wanted him to solve the problem for her. Maybe the administration didn't like the songs that were chosen for the spring concert.
Out of 100 students, there is assuredly one (or several) who just don't do well in that subject and will blame the teacher. "He didn't teach us this." "She never explained that." Things are absolutes to kids. The other 29 kids in the classroom might not say that, but when the one (who also probably hasn't gone for extra help, even if scheduled to do so) does poorly on a test, the parents will get the "We never learned that in class" explanation. The administration will indubitably receive a complaint against said teacher, and depending on the influence of the family and the relationship with the teacher, take action. The removal of tenure will make teachers tense and on edge about everything they say and do because of the fear that they might anger the wrong person.
I know this because it happened to me at a school without tenure. I may not have been the best teacher and I hope that I wasn't the worst, but I certainly never heard any complaints until I learned that my evaluation was based on 'what the students have been saying about your class.' I never heard what was said, no process of any sort was followed, nobody worked with me to address the purported problems, and all I knew was that my contract renewal was in jeopardy for reasons unknown to me. (Needless to say, I am not teaching anymore and am looking for jobs to return to the corporate world.)
While this environment hopefully couldn't exist in most schools, it does exist in some. Without tenure, it could happen in more. And I think that any concerns teachers have about a lack of protection are extremely valid, because it only takes one mean-spirited family who feels that the teacher has wronged their child to start gossiping about how awful that teacher is to get others scrutinizing him/her as well.
I'm not saying that all teachers are great and always deserve to have their jobs in one place forever and always. I know of many cases where good teachers with excellent results are out of jobs because teachers with lesser results have the tenure track positions, or have tenure. The system certainly needs some degree of change. But I would hate to see protection of teachers disappear because some kids will manipulate the truth if it makes their situation better. And teachers aren't, and shouldn't be, universally popular. It really comes down to an overall conflict of interests – teachers require students to do things that students really don't want to do. When teachers lose degrees of protection, it decreases their ability to make students do things that they don't want to do.
Overall, the system needs reform. But whatever that reform entails, teachers still need protection because otherwise they are limited in their ability to do their jobs well.
I'm sorry your experiences were so difficult. While I would advocate for getting rid of tenure, I still believe a contract should be in place and it should include evaluations where the teacher is part of the process. I also believe interventions and mentoring are important to training teachers to be their best.
My examples and situation were extreme, and I know that I sound bitter and jaded, but I have real concerns about a system where there are only short-term contracts and no protection. I agree that it needs to be easier to get rid of ineffective teachers, but I think that even with a contract system with a set evaluation process in place, there is not enough protection of teachers.
As a parent, I agree with you.
What? Are they supposed to teach in school? I thought modern schooling was all about:
– transporting kids
– feeding kids
– making sure kids feel good about themselves (everything has to be politically correct and all kids have to win everything)
– keeping the kids out of the parent's hair for a few hours a day (or as one commenter on another site said – "breeding couples")
– writing a different curriculum for every student because they are all "special" now (no such thing as a "normal" kid anymore)
– social engineering, nobody is different (this conflicts with all the kids being special, no wonder the kids are confused)
– constantly increasing taxes and less educated kids
We need the billion of dollars to help corrupted governments around the World. Our teachers how teach our kids are in their own.
If you spent as much effort helping your children with school assignments and working with their teachers instead of coming up with your "cute" bashing points, you would have NO REASON to bash teachers!... Education starts at HOME!
This is what the WHOLE thing comes down too, COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR KIDS FREAKIN' TEACHERS. We LOVE to hear feed back, as long as it's not yelling at us. Come talk to your kids teachers about what you're observing. STOP TAKING ONLY, YES ONLY YOUR KIDS SIDE. There are two sides to EVERY story, come talk to your kids teachers. I will tell you an obvious thing... your kid IS going to say, "It's not my fault, my teacher..." And if you pay any attention to your kids at home, they say a very similar thing there too. "I didn't do it, so and so did." Just TALK to your kids teacher(s). STOP LISTENING TO WHAT EVERY OTHER TOM, DICK, AND HARRY SAYS, AND FORM YOUR OWN OPINION.
Many teachers don't wish to communicate at the level some children require. Get a parent with a child who has ADHD. It's exhausting for both sides, but our experience already this year is the child is being put outside the class door, missing that learning time, no solutions are offered, and help is not welcomed. Good luck trying to move a child to a more understanding teacher or getting the principal to back the parent.
America does not give it's teachers the respect they deserve. These are people who help to shape the next generation, but are treated as second teir workers. They should be treated with the sort of respect that goes to movie stars, instead of the often snide 'couldn't you find a real job?'
Part of the problem every time this issue comes up is that the public just has to touch on any complaints about the public school system and BAM we get bombarded with the same old response from the teachers and politicians, "You don't care about teachers, kids and education". It's textbook. Its your system teachers. America has backed the education system, kids and teachers for generations. Only religion gets more money than education in this country. It's not the money, it's not the teachers, it's not all the excuses about bad parents...it's the system. The money that goes into it is sapped up by an over bloated, exhaustive, outdated, obese administrative and management system that in corporate America could not even begin to succeed. I illustrated many times the St. Louis public school system for example...552 administrative and management positions verses the Archdiocese of St. Louis with nearly the same number of kids only 12 administrative/management positions and they get better results! Thats why dollars don't reach the teachers or classrooms. Look, stop saying we don't care about education, stop saying we don't care about our kids and teachers....stop telling us it's a money issue. START looking at your union, your administrative positions, your management and fix YOUR SYSTEM before America does it for you. No system in America has had more support than education. It's time the education system trashes the template of media fault and get down to fixing itself. And thats why America is upset at education, because we have NO faith that the education system will do that.
Do you mean Education System is like Government in America? Money goes to administration and just a bit to students? Well, stop complaining and generating all these paperwork for every one of thousands of new laws we get every year! Someone pushed the kid in the playground, 20 adults and a bunch of paperwork to be filled out. Just don't let the kid to learn by himself!
Although there is much to be said against a bloated government system, I can't help but wonder how much time you have actually spent in the classroom? I am not a teacher but have spent a lot of time in the classroom as an unpaid aide. I had to come to the conclusion that elements outside the classroom had a far greater affect than anything any teacher or admin could do. Sad but true...
And money spent on the system...have u ever looked at the military budgets..? And I'm retired military..
RayD, Your full of s**t. Teachers need to accept the fact that every profession no matter what requires people to understand and take on unexpected and difficult task. For some reason, when teachers are asked to do this they wine and cry and act like the world revolves around them. So just go out and look in the real world. 80% of our tax dollars goes to education, so where in the hell do you want the money to come from. And how does more money for the teacher result in better education for the kids. If the teacher is all about better education for the kids then they shall teach them no matter what the pay is. I know of a kindergarden teacher that makes 70K for teaching kids how to tie their shoe. What the F**k is wrong with this and when are we going to do something about it. Here in Indiana we already have and thats why Indiana is doing so far much better than other states financially.
After reading the article and the comments, which by the way made laugh because there are a lot of ignorant and misinformed people in this country. I mean really how can some of you make negative comments if you have not been in our shoes. I've been doing this for 13 years and I can honestly say that out of the 13 years, the last 2 have been difficult for a few reasons:
1. We have an average of 35 students in a classroom. These students are English Language Learners (please refrain from racist comments, majority of teachers aren't racist), Learning Disabled students and then there are the students who do not do anything.
2. We are being blamed if a child does not pass, or do not meet the standards. Like the article states, if we all work together we can help the child become successful. (By the way I have kids of my own, so before you start saying how would you, well I'm a parent).
3. The red tape is getting out of control. We are being told what to do and unfortunately the people telling us what to do, either do not have a clue what goes on in the classroom, or have forgotten we are working with kids, who are not always going to have a great day. Especially, if they come from foster homes, a one income family, or are living in hotels because their parents have lost their jobs (please do not blame Obama, because this has been going on for many years).
There are many other points, but I wanted to just give you just a few. Also, no matter what people say about us teachers, we care about students becoming successful in life even the ones who are disruptive. Why? Because we believe in every single one of those kids and we give them hope. There are not too many of us who can do what we do.
I am furious reading the comments from KNOW IT ALLS on this article. I bet most of you know who know that the problem is Teachers have not stepped one day in a classroom, or have any experience in teaching. Yet, like monday morning quarterbacks, you have a simple solution to a very complex and multi-faceted problem, right? Because you without ever having to deal with Parent who don't care, or provide the right environment for learning, seem to think it's a Teacher's responsibility to Raise your kid. IT ISN'T. It's your responsibility to raise a well rounded and productive human being. The teachers job is just to teach his/her subject. If that's all teachers would be doing, the students would learn. But all too often teachers have to teach kids manners, how to listen, get them help with issues at home, problems amongst their peers, maybe psychological help.
And all of you who think teachers are being paid too much or have too much time off. Teachers are NOT glorified babysitters. It's your job as a parent to feed, clothe and teach your kids manners to still quietly and learn. Don't place responsibility to raise your kids on the teachers. They are not their to pick up your part of the parenting. So, trying to make teachers more responsible is like telling the Police to be more vigilant for crime while letting the criminals walk around freely and no consequences, because "it can't be that My Johnny is to be blamed", Right? It must be nice to live in your land of delusion. Personal responsibility, try it sometimes!
Right on! I have always said that if all I had to do was teach my subject, then my job would be a piece of cake, but I have to teach so much more.
You are correct. Parents that are unwilling to participate in their kids childhood at school or at home should never have had kids. I'd bet 98% of those griping have no clue what their kids are doing in class or how they are doing period. As a parent of two small kids in elementary school I find it amazing to watch them, help them, and team with their teacher to make my kids better people.
How can you do this? Please tell us working moms out there. When we come back from work, we need to make nutritious meals, clean our children's environment, clean our kids, pay bills, and check their needs and homework. All in what, 2 hours that is left for the day? I forgot that we need to be not only good mothers, but good wives, daughters, friends, neighbors. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
@ Aliana, So, you can't do all this for your kids in 2 hours, yet a teacher is supposed to do all this and more in 40 mins. Double standards. And we are, as many on this board are probably, in both working parent households, yet we seem to be able to do it for our toddler. We sacrifice our alone time and sleep in order to TEACH our kid. We limit his TV to only channels with no commercials and only shows with learning built in. No Spongebob square pants in this household, it's not appropriate for kids anyway. I guess something has to give right to raise a productive kid. Can't expect others to do it for you. Also,this is why having a kid is a big responsibility, you need to spend a lot of time with them, in order to raise them. If you are not upto the responsibility, don't blame it on people who are only there for 40 mins a day with 35 other kids who need attention too.
Take that Format back to Youtube and Post "I Hate this Song" to a Taylor Swift Music Video. That will be as Close to a Date as your going to Get, Dude. I Promise Things Will get Getter, Dude.
Fantastic!!!!!!! I love what you wrote. You are so right. I am not a teacher, but I DID work with my children's teachers when they were growing up. First & foremost, I AM THEIR PARENT, NOT the teachers. I also feel like it my responsibility to teach my children. My daughter is now a high school teacher & I have seen first hand what she goes through. Do teachers have summers off? Not really. They still have meetings to go to, the next year's curriculum to put together & on & on. They may get at the most 2 to 3 weeks off during the summer, but, that is about it. So, for all of you who think that teachers are over paid & incompetent, try being a teacher for a full year & then, give your opinions. Shame on all of you who speak without really knowing
I agree in part but what you said goes both ways. Teachers need to take responsibility for their teaching as well. Funny how everytime a process to verify teachers abilities and tie itto their pay makes them crazy. teachers work appx. 1200 hours a year. Almost 1/2 of what the avg person does . That equates to about 48 dollars and hour Not bad that is the same as my Engineers make.
@ Harry! Though you agree with me, you are still mistaken if you think what the school hours are, is all that is required of teachers. So, by your logic since in a salaried job you only get paid for 40 hrs, I guess you only work 9-5 with 1 hour for lunch each day, every day. You don't bring any work home. You don't even think about work once you clock out at 5 pm. Well if that is your reality, maybe you can believe that's what a Teacher does. And then you are welcome to your own delusional worldview. But in ther real world the Teachers come in early or stay late for Extra help for students who are failing, that is on their own time. They come home with instructions from administration for how to teach, that requires time. They have to make a lesson plan for the next day, it doesn't materialize out of thin air. And don't give me the logic, once you have been doing it 2 yrs you can do it for the rest of your life. Things change in the world on a daily basis and Teachers have to incorporate those things in their teachings. Let's not forget about all the homeworks and tests that are given your kid have to be checked and graded by someone, there is no fairy that does that at night for teachers. Also, you have 1 maybe 2 kids at home, a teacher has 150 kids a day, so one homework or test turns into 150 papers to read and check. That's just one day. Now count all the other days i.e. 5 days a week. So 150 X 5 = 750 pages/answers to read, grade and enter in each kids Grade report along with other issues that the kid is having. That is just one week. This is if all the children behave, come into the class, sit down and open books and do as the teacher says. And we all know how realistic that is with 35 kids with colds, throwing up, hormones razing, family issue. Still think they only work part-time? Do you have 150 things to read through on a daily basis from work and come up with the ideas for the next day, once you get home?
I cant get my kid to do chores. But, as a teacher, you should be able to get him to learn, along with 25-40 other students. You took this job now get my kid motivated because I sure cant! Youre supposed to know how! My favorite is when kids come back from treatment and reports say they regressed. A psychologist cant help but a public school can work the magic!
You are failing your kid if you can't reach him/her. Teenagers hate listening to their parents but do you really think it's the school's job to motivate them? NO! It's YOURS. You are the parent. Stop expecting the school system to parent your kids for you.
Then kick him to the curb.
disdain for teenagers? how did you get that idea from that post? so if he had stated kindergarten would have considered that disdain as well?
The idea that teachers are to blame or parents are to blame is riduculous. Everyone is to blame. Sometimes equally, sometimes not. The "teachers need to be better" drives good teachers out because they work their butts off more for the same pay. Many teachers are not "low perforning" that I see. Teachers do fine financially after a few years. I tried "no homework" once and got in trouble for being "behind". I get complaints for having homework parents cant help with now. How do you win?
When you work with public, you will hear complains one way or the other. Sometimes people are just not happy in general and they pass it to everyone they can. You are a teacher or not.
Your students' parents even try to help with their homework? Is your school hiring? ;-)
When I was teaching secondary math, I would have liked to have been able to tell the parents that school didn't end at 3:30 PM for me nor did it end at that time for the students. If your child never has homework he/she is lying. If there is no homework on a particular night, there's this thing called studying that each student should be doing. Children should not be overwhelmed, but if teachers don't assign homework and if parents don't get progress report, which most of them ignore, then the student's academic day ends when that last bell rings. Just ask Mom & Dad.
You need to tell the parents! Most of parents like me are the first time parents with kids to school and we don't know much. I told my kid's teacher to let me know any concern, or any info I need for my child but I have heard nothing. Sometimes, we parents just need to be told.
I have to say that I've been amazed by the war on teachers which has occurred over the past few years. I'm a therapist and I work with a lot of children and families. Over the years I have been shocked by the shift in responsibility which has occurred. Looking back at my childhood I can't remember a time in which my parents spoke poorly about my teachers while in my presence, but now it is common place. We have to remember that what kids see and hear affects how they perceive the world and right now a lot of them see a world in which their faults are always due to the failings of someone else. Politicians blame schools for low test scores, because blaming parents would be political suicide. Unfortunately, this prevents the wake up call that many parents sorely need. Consider this, imagine you are a violin instructor. Every week you see pupil X for an hour and you provide them with instruction. At the end of the lesson you ask your pupil to practice for two hours a day, everyday until the next lesson and your pupil agrees. A week goes by and the student returns, but admits that they did not practice at all. Tell me, is it your fault the student isn't making progress. Should you be fired, paid less, or asked to refund the price of the previous lesson?
I agree with this assessment. I volunteer with youth outside of school, and in both environments am shocked to hear what the kids say about their teachers. When I was in school, we just didn't badmouth teachers. It wasn't in the culture of my school because we were expected to respect their authority. And I certainly didn't sit around with my friends and talk about my teachers over the weekend. We might have talked about schoolwork or worked together on assignments, but we didn't sit around complaining about individual teachers. I don't know what has caused this cultural shift, but it really does highlight the conflict of interest in the teacher/student relationship. When I was in school, I might not have wanted to do homework, but I had to, and I knew that nothing I said would change that. We had to do things we didn't want to do. Now, kids still have to do things that they don't want to do, but many seem to complain more about it. It seems like families second-guess their teachers more often now.
They then Should do something about the parents that let the kids go to school looking awful with the pants hanging down to the knees.
Let me tell you what this parent wants you teachers to know. I am tired of teachers complaining about what they have to do. YOU ARE THE TEACHER TEACH!. I send my child to school so that you can teach them. If I wanted to teach them then I would homeschool. Not all kids are the same, and they are not all going to be perfect little angels. I know some adults who don't know how to behave but that is your job to teach them. You knew what you were getting into when you decided to be a teacher so stop complaining. Thank you Arlingtonteacher, you said everything I wanted to say.
I don't complain about what I have to do...I only complain when idiots like you complain about what I have to do. Thanks.
I agree with you cookie cookie monster. First, teachers complain way to much about what they get paid when 80% of our tax dollars goes to education. Where in the hell do they want the money to come from? Second, Teachers have to accept the fact that there is a real world out there and many other types of professions have to take on roles and responsibilities that they were unexpected to do. For some reason when teachers are asked a to do a little extra they throw a fit and act like a bunch of f***ing liberals that deserve to be treated like Gods.
80% of tax dollars go to education? LOL!
You're an idiot.
Cookiecookiemonster- Yes we're here to teach, but what I think you're missing is YOU ARE A TEACHER TOO!!!! I teach them academic things, ie: reading writing, math, SS, science. YOU TEACH THEM HOW TO BEHAVE, GIVE REPSECT, DO AS THEY ARE TOLD, etc. My question for you is, do you even know the beginning of what we have to do to prepare to teach your child? The hours and details of preparation, materials (mist times WE have to pay for b/c schools are broke), the limited time we have with them in classroom, and the issues we have to deal with (ie: students being abused in some way, shape, or form @ home. Homelessness or child and/or family.) Students bring their problems to school with them. Yes, we know what we're getting into when we choose this profession, but the bagage and impact of the students bagage is sometimes astronomical. Just like politicians, you spend a month in our shoes and then you tell me if I'm complaining too much. And you must remember what the story said, 80-85% of all teachers are also parents themselves. WE HAVE LIVES TOO. And we'd like to enjoy them.
I am a parent, not a teacher. A teacher's job is to teach math, english, social studies, etc. It is not a teacher's job to teach your child how to be responsible, compassionate, discerning, friendly, hard-working, etc. It is not a teacher's job to teach your child the value of hard work or the idea that "you reap what you sow". These are the things that you, as a parent, should be teaching to your child. And these things are as important to your child's academic success and success in life as what they learn in the classroom.
Benjamin hit the nail on the head. Cookie, you can't just DUMP your kids on the school system and say "here they are teach them". It takes effort on your part as well and it begins at home. I help my kids with their homework every night. Do YOU? Maybe you should have had second thoughts before you had kids. Parenting doesn't stop when the kids get to school. Benjamin is absolutely correct.
I see too many negative comments against teachers. As parents, we are responsible for our kids outside school which includes seeing to it that they do their schoolwork, dress properly, behave properly, learn manners, etc.
The parents have absolutely NO RIGHT blaming teachers for the job the parents did not do at home. Don't forget that the child reflects on the parents. I have seen parents simply dumping their kids in school and coming by to pick them up hoping that the teachers will do everything else. NO!
As stated by several, it is a joint effort. I see too many excuses from parents – working, no time, come home late, three jobs, blah, blah, blah. Well, when you had kids – you took up a responsibility. Now don't shove it on others.
As for the teachers, there are several bad apples – well, they need to be sent out. They have no right to be in a classroom.
The bottom line is, it all starts at home.
Exactly. Let parents be responsible for their choices and fire the teachers that are not doing their jobs. It's really not complicated.
The problem, What, is that only one of those two things is being pushed by politicians. In fact, the responsibility for the first is being pushed off and passed off as more of the second than is really the case.
I am a parent of a child that it took both my wife and I to help the school system with him so he could graduate from HS. If we would not have been engaged in his education he would have ended up quitting school and going nowhere. It is not the teacher's job to make your child learn. you and the teacher have to help your child or find another way that can help them learn. There are many options out there to help children learn but if the parents only us the school system for a way to get away from their children then this child is going to suffer. Teachers work hard and so do most parents but we as parents accepted the responsibility of raising our children when we decided to have them. The other problem I see is that parents do not have the skills to help their child with the homework and are embarrassed to admit they have not clue how to work a math problem or write a term paper. If parents come to the teacher and say I do not understand the homework can you explain it to me so I can help my child most will be happy to help. as has been stated many times in the posts it is a partnership between teacher and parent that will help the child succeed. Parents stop trying to blame or have others do your job of parenting.
um guys, arguing between parents and teachers has been going on for centuries... when are we going to start entertaining the idea that all children are inderviduals who learn at different speeds, and will take out of education what their maturity level will allow. PERIOD. You can place a child in a classroom and teach them. You can place a child at the dinning room table and make them do their homework. BUT they will only learn what they themselves are ready to take in.
I see that you are an idealist. I am coming from a parent's point of view, but if a parent does not do their job in teaching a child to be respectful and responsible then they can not get the full benefits from teaching no matter how good the teacher is. In fact, it not only hurts the individual child but lowers the effectiveness of the teacher towards the whole classroom.
yes, Im an idealist, but an idealist with a degree in education and a stay at home Mom... An idealist with two children who are individuals going through our educational system, and I can only comment on what I see; I think that as parents my husband and I work very hard to promote a loving and learning enviroment, and at school they have teachers who work very hard to promote the same thing... BUT I see two children taking two seperate paths in their journeys.
I have 4 children- and I don't disagree with you that children will learn in their own way and at their own pace. Believe me- my older two children couldn't be more different. But they both have had to adapt to a certain extent to be successful and it has been a struggle at times. It is hard work as a parent to help them adapt and still let them know that you understand and love their individuality. But they do have to adapt to a certain extent to societal rules. If I had known when they both started junior high and high school what I know now, it would have been alot easier.
My daughter is in Kindergarten and I appreciate this article. It shows me the teacher's perspective. I am an involved parent. I read to my child every night. I assist her with her homework. I know that a lot of parents don't and that makes it difficult for teachers to do their jobs. Thank you, teachers, for all that you do.
Val – this is the first year EITHER has had any problems with assignments missing. The 12 year old has been a straigth A student until this year. If either of you bothered reading, she has actually shown me the assignments that are showing missing WITH grades on them. Also, if either of you bothered to read, it shows she is missing an IN CLASS TEST, in which she was present for. How can you miss and in class test if you are in class that day? The 12 year old is having this issue ONLY in Math. I am pretty good in the math department, and I have helped her with her assignments. The school told every parent the online system is where we need to go to find missing assignments and grades. I use that tool daily to make sure they are doing their homework. I go thru their binders to make sure they don't have it stashed somewhere. I have found at least three assignments that were graded that showed as missing. She has gone back to the class with those assignments, shown them to the teacher with the grade on it, and 10 days later, still no change in the online grade. If they are going to direct parents that this is their primary source for grades and homework, then they need to make sure its being updated in some sort of timely fashion.
Also, I have emailed this teacher twice and called and left a message once. NOTHING. First contact was over a month ago (Email). 2nd contact was 2 weeks later (phone call). Last contact was Monday (2 days ago) and still nothing.
There are multiple parents who are complaining about the lack of communication with the teachers in these two schools.
This is boring. Articles like this have been written and published for a quarter of a century and our public education is still failing our kids to a large degree.
From a teacher's stand point, I understand what you're saying– trust me! I am an elementary school teacher in North Carolina. This state in particular has changed it's curriculum numerous times in the past few years. It hasn't left teachers much time to really embrace the new teaching styles that the state is constantly pushing on us. I do feel like all of these changes are doing an injustice to our students. However, there isn't much that a teacher can do about that. Our schools really preach data and numbers, so teachers cannot do fun things in the classroom that we used to have the abilities to do. Everything is dictated to us– what to teach, how to teach it, when to teach it. It even encourages us to move on even if students are struggling. It's truly NOT FAIR to our children at all. I think the "Common Core" is a great idea, but it was implemented in an awful way. I teach at a year round school where we had to begin implementing Common Core in July. At this point, the school system has only given teachers two of the five trainings on how to teach it. I feel that the "failure" you refer to is caused by the lack of consistency and communication to the teachers from the school system, and that has a trickle down effect to parents and students.
What do you do in the 3 months you have off?
How are schools failing to a large degree? Based upon what?
Schools fail because of parents not willing to participate and administrators making cuts in the wrong places.
Parents are failing their children more than the public school system.
Can I please hear from some of the teachers who are now or have been in charter schools or private schools who accept vouchers? I only know of a few teacher who taught privately. The one that I was housemates with was making minimum wage with zero benefits, but she wanted to be a teacher, and had spent four years putting herself through school to get there. She thought it might position her better if she were teaching rather than bartending, though bartending paid better. For her, getting a public school job meant a living wage, even though it was a rather low wage, so that's what she was aiming for. I don't want my kid in a school where the teachers are just trying to get out. For other teachers out there, what is your experience with public or private teaching? Are my friends' positions with private schools unusual or somewhat common?
In my opinion, the smaller classes offered by private schools are a HUGE advantage. When I taught public school (8th grade) I saw between 150 and 200 kids per day, with about 25% ESL, 33% special ed or 504 disabled, and 42% "normal". Even though my special populations numbers required many of my classes to have an aide, I was denied an aide due to the fact that 98% of my kids passed the state exams, and I therefore "didn't need help". I left after 4 years, physically and emotionally EXHAUSTED, and joined a small private school. BIG DIFFERENCE! With classes of only 12 or less, we finished our curriculum in half the time and had FUN doing it! I would strongly recommend private education if for no other reason than the kids get so much more individual attention from teachers who aren't so stretched and worn out!
I'm sitting in class right now. My teacher is at the front of the room sleeping. Any Advice?
Take a picture with your phone and email it to the school administration.
Ill end up getting suspended for having my phone out in class lol.
So, Durzan, if you are indeed a student, it seems as though both you and the teacher are wrong. If you are a student, put the phone away, get up go to the principles office and report the problem. How old are you that you have a smart phone in the classroom?
Im in a computer class right now. All ready got my work done. Were just laughing at the teacher who is snoring at his desk.
Durzan–you should take a photo of the teacher and report him.
I'd still take a picture. That's unacceptable and then fight the suspension if it comes up
I'd still take a picture. That's unacceptable and then fight the suspension if it comes up.
The right thing to do is to politely wake up the teacher and ask them for extra homework so you can learn on your own the benefits of working hard and enthusiastically when you grow up.
Education is a responsibility of the States, not the Federal Government. Ditch the Education Department and help save our country ...
This comment is ridiculous Republican ideology spurred by a thinly veiled impetus to slash education budgets There are obvious cases (NCLB) where federal regulations did not achieve a positive effect, but in those cases it means we need reform to improve the situation for all students. Your comment is equivalent to a company finding an oversight in their code of conduct and then instead of correcting it saying all employees should determine their own code of conduct.
Homeless people dress Better than most kids in public schools. Need to Push dress code! No more on boxers showing! And wear a belt the right way!
Crystal – in this case, THAT is the parents fault. Last time I checked, most kids don't buy their own clothes. I have two daughters, and no short skirts, no booty shorts, or shirts that show off their navel. In this scenario, I believe it is on the parents to determine what is ok to wear to school. The thing I don't like about the school uniforms is it does not allow the child to be themselves. Some kids like the flowery/tie dye look, etc. I have a middle schooler and they state the shorts have to be a certain length, shirts (if they are skinny straps) have to be 3 fingers thick. No hats etc.
Totally the parent's fault.
Can I ask the teachers something? Don't get me wrong, I am all for supporting my children with their school work. I work full -time, have two elementary aged kids, and I am pregnant with my third child. When I get home from work, usually around 8pm, I make sure I check their homework, pack their lunches for the next day, and make sure they have clean clothes in the morning. Then I try to pick up my house and go to bed. I would LOVE to be a stay at home mom and support my kids in their education 100% but I honestly can't! We've got bills to pay and I need to work. How does teachers expect us to help our kids do math, reading, spelling etc within one night? Especially when we have multiple children, as most American families do. I just don't have the time! My kids should be showered, fed, and ready for bed when I get home. I do believe they should also have some down-time after school. This would be fine if my children were both academically advanced but they do struggle, especially with reading. This is by no fault of the teachers, they are probably genetically disposed to reading disorders on their father's side. Therefore, homework takes double the time. I just find it extremely hard to manage work, housework, chores, doctor's appointments, spending time with my kids, AND homework. Maybe it's just me, but I don't believe so. I believe as parents, we all want what is good for our children. We all try to be supportive, but it's so hard finding the time when you have two working full-time parents. That is what I want our teachers to know. By the way, as far as looking at situations objectively, teachers need to look at our children objectively also. There's plenty of teachers that criticize and accuse children of things they *thought* a child did based on what another child said that may not be necessarily true.
It would be hard to say without knowing your child. My first question would be what is your child doing from 3 (or whatever time your child gets out of school) to 8? I would assume staying with someone. Have that person help them with homework. In most schools they have after school care at the school for a few hours, they can always go to that and do their homework. Have them sit down and do their homework befor eyou get home. Then you can just check it and go over what they missed.
It is YOUR child, you chose to have them and you do it because you have to. Teachers do all they can, but in the end your child is your responsibility. And if things are so tough and you have so little time, why are you having another child? It seems horribly irresponsible to me.
Maybe if you took a moment to organize your thoughts, rather than just spouting out a sea of jibberish, you would not have to work until 8:00...because your would be more organized. What exactly is your point?
you are a nut
I agree with you 100% I was just talking about this the other day. I get home from work and just like everyone else, make dinner clean up do homework which has lately turned into a 2-3 hour project. I just don't understand why they cannot get this work done at school and by no means am I a teacher especially the way things are taught these days! One other problem I have is that our children are grading each others work I don't agree with that at all and have expressed my concern but it never gets me anywhere other than I am a complaining parent. So sometimes I feel that my hands are tied. So I can totally relate to what you are saying it gets very frustrating.
Sandy- As an ex-teacher; high school science. I can tell you why children can't get their HW done at school. There is no time. A teacher has roughly 42 min. of class time for each class and schools demand active instruction during that time and I had a curriculum with absolutely no wiggle room (NY state regents). Everyone had to be absolutely organized and use every minute possible to finish the curriculum. After school was used for helping students and contacting parents. During the day science teachers had 1 (42 min) prep period which was often for setting up labs and non-science teachers had an additional free period; which wasn't free at all because they usually had a duty (lunch, study hall etc.). I saw an average of 120 students per day. Thats 120 HW papers, 120 Labs, essays, tests, quizzes etc. So, yes; if I was strapped for time I occasionally would have students grade each others 3/4 question MC quiz. But at the end of the day their was still HW, Tests, essays and labs to grade AT HOME. Teachers also have children, cooking, cleaning etc and stil find time to GRADE HOMEWORK.
Most homework is practice for what they have been working on in school. In math class, if they have been working on adding fractions, their homework should be more practice on adding fractions. As a parent who is coming home later at night, then checking homework is a big help. If your child is stuck, or does not understand it and needs added help, then a note to the teacher should be written. I certainly don't expect a parent to "teach" new concepts to their children, but may have to "re-explain" something to them. Certainly, being involved in your child's school career is what is expected of you.
To Parent: You say you are pregnant and currently have 2 elementary-aged children and that you just don't have the time to do all that you should to help them. Then WHY are you having yet another child? If you do not have sufficient time to do what you should to help them you will have less time with a 3rd child in the picture. Do you have a husband? Is he there to help the children? I'm really not trying to judge you, but it seems like your priorities are out of whack. Is it your lifestyle that requires you to work long hours? Could you get along with less, work fewer hours, and give more time and attention to your children?
Someone has to keep the population high in this country.
Yes, teachers expect you to parent/raise your child outside of school and that includes homework. I hear what you are saying – but that was your choice to have 2.5 children. You can't expect the teachers to make sure your children do their homework and get afterschool help. Sorry, that is your responsibility. It's not easy being a parent. What do you want – no homework – no studying after school? You get what you put into it most of the time. You don't have to be a stay-at-home mom to raise your children – they're in school much of the day. If you can't work with them after school as you might want, then you need to find someone who can help out. It's not the teacher's fault!
If you are already too busy to help your two children, my first question would be "why are you having a third?"
...and what about their father? is he helping?
Replies blaming the parent for having a third child when she is strapped for time already make me sick. First of all, her point is clearly stated: teachers expect a lot of parents today. When I was a student my parents did exactly what this woman does and no more, and I was at the top of my class. Today learning by rote is considered passe, so teachers introduce concepts and expect the actual learning to take place at home. Considering that most families have two wage earners, this is an absurd strategy that sets students up for failure. Saying it's the parent's fault because they chose to have children is an easy answer, but it conveniently ignores reality. Be glad people go against common sense and have families, because if only those who could afford to raise their child in a perfect environment reproduced, Social Security would collapse tomorrow and your future nursing home and hospital would be woefully understaffed.
Where is their dad in all of this?
Dad heard that Obama will increase taxes if elected and is making sure to save before the sh*** hits the ceiling!
please tell me why you want children if you don't have time for them. where are your priorities?
Obviously you're a parent who care and tries incredibly hard to make sure you children succeed. And I want to commend you!!!! Unfortunately, our Public Education Dept. (PED) put a tremendous amount of stress on us to give the students work/homework. The only thing I can think to do is give them a little break and then have them get right to work on their homework after school. I'm sorry our PED does this, AND I'm sorry for the insensative comments made by these other people. Good luck!
Parents who value education will leave the system and put their kids in private schools.
This is the same opinion we've been seeing for at least 20 years. and nothing seems to change.
I have my own feelings regarding this article. From my personal opinion (I have a 12 year old and a 9 year old in the Colorado school system), the teachers do a LOUSY job of communicating. For one, they are relying on a 9 year old to write down all their homework in a planner, and THAT'S my only way of having any idea of what she has to do for homework. In most cases, she admits she isn't sure if this is all of her homework. Teacher writes it up on the board, then erases it and moves to the next subject. There is no back up system in place. No site for the parents to check on the homework either. I have emailed the teacher, and I will generally not hear back from her for 7-10 days. Their quarter is about to end at the end of October, and I have not seen one progess report, nor have they had any parent/teacher conferences as of yet. I just learned last week that the 9 year old is failing Math.. this I heard from the 9 year olds mouth. The 12 year old is in 7th grade and they have an online system to check grades and homework, but in some cases, it shows she is missing assignments which are effecting her grades. Yet, I can go thru her binder and find the missing assignment and it has a grade on it! it also shows she is missing a test. Yet, she was in class that day. I am not sure how you can miss a test when you were actually in class the entire period. I emailed the teacher and counselor and 3 days later, still nothing. Communication is a two way street. If the parent reaches out to you, the teacher MUST contact the parent back. It should not be the parents responsibility to continue to try to reach the teacher. I work in the IT industry and when a customer calls in and asks for me or leaves a message for me, it is MY JOB to contact them back.
This just sounds like your kid is lazy. Yeah, the missing assignments are an issue, but it could just be that they aren't imputed. I'm a college student and I have to deal with assignments not being up online 2 to 3 weeks after they have been graded. Not to mention most teachers have grade books. The need for an online grading system is irrelevant. And you don't know how busy a teacher could be. My father is a teacher and he's busy all the time. He doesn't have time to respond to every e-mail he receives. I feel that you're being way too hard on the teachers because your kid is doing poorly. Which is the kid's fault most of the time.
Has this happened before in your children's lives? I have a feeling that if this is happening with both of your children, in different schools, in multiple school years, you need to look at the common denominator – you. You're obviously not making a bad situation any better by pointing fingers and saying "poor us."
Me and my wife took an active interest in my 2 kid's education. End result is that we did far and beyond what was being done in school. My daughter has a Master in Architecture and she did it through Scholarships. My son is doing the same. It has cost me little out of pocket money but with massive effort. Society will benefit massively by their input, which is the main reason for doing this in the first place. EVERY ONE benefits when we educate all. Leave politics out of Education.
ding ding ding...we have a winner. A Teacher can only do so much. If a parent is actively invovled in the education of their children, the child WILL succeed. I applaud you. I wish there were more parents like you.
This is the typical liberal crap. Look at my great (self-reported) parenting skills. And not only am I great, I did it for all the right reasons. I don't care if my child does well, I did it for the good of society. And if you only let me run the country, everything will be better (ie the way I like it) because I am better than you in every way.
And by agreeing with this person, I show that I also am a great person who obviously also does a great job of parenting (as evaluated by me). Give me a break. EVALUATE TEACHERS OBJECTIVELY. Of what are you so scared? That you actually aren't that great and not doing that great a job.
Parent. For some reason it won't let me reply to your comment, so here goes. I'm about as republican as one can get. I think the left has gone so left we won't be able to correct it. However, when a parent does a great job raising their kids (and since I'm talking, yes I'm the one judging) I will compliment them no matter what affiliation they are with. Parenting doesn't have political lines.
"parent" is so twisted by political propaganda they don't understand the actual difference between so-called liberal and so-called conservative politics. Conservative politicians says you earn your stuff and help society through hard work and not government handouts. Liberal politicians say you earn your stuff and help society by getting a helping hand first. So here's someone who worked hard and their kids are successful without government handouts. But "parent" attacks that??? They must be pro-welfare or something. They are so NOT conservative they can't even recognize their own politics when it's right in front of their noses.
Ok lets start with your grammar, "Me and my wife " should be "My wife and me" . Then there is the "My daughter has a Master in Architecture" this should be "My daughter has a Master's in Architecture". I suspect that it has cost you little out of pocket money simply because you have been getting your 99 weeks unemployment and making you eligible for every government handout available. Don't tell us about how you worked so hard to educate your children, impress me by taking the reigns and starting a tutor program to help many kids. Remember "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country", you liberal whining tard.
Actually, this should read "My wife and I".
@Sith_X – First, if you are going to attempt to correct grammar, it would be ideal if you actually were correct. "My wife and I" is correct. And, second, I am not sure what good parenting has to do with being conservative or liberal. Good parenting and involvement isn't politically affiliated. I hope that you are not a parent.
If you're going to nitpick grammar, at least have the intelligence to get it correct. There is no difference grammatically between "me and my wife" and "my wife and me". In this case both are incorrect. "My wife and I" would be the proper phrasing.
You know, for a lot of you out there who do not want to support the teachers, you have the option to home school your children. No one is keeping you from doing so.
Can I please have a check from the government for the amount of money that I have paid in taxes to pay for their public education? If my child is not in the classroom, can I please have the money so I can use it when I homeschool my child or send them to private school?
Here come all the "blame union" people.
God forbid we have professionals making a living wage with healthcare.
We can't have people living comfortably in this world. It's just not fair. Only the hard working 1% deserve it.
here comes the protect union people. Is it wrong for taxpayers to understand where their money is going? Democrats for years have shoveled money to unions hidden away in benefits so the taxpayers don't realize what is going on and still vote for Democrats. Is it wrong for taxpayers to demand results from their money. Evaluate teachers.
Once you pay a teacher it isn't taxpayer's money anymore. Or do you believe that your employer has aright to tell you where to spend your money?
I would be interested to know where these "benefits" are hidden since Iam still waiting for my "hidden" benefits to kick in.
Teachers are evaluated. The evaluations used to be based on a teacher's ability to actually teach. Legislators and non-educators have morphed evaluations into something else entirely in many places. How would you suggest teachers be evaluated?
Here is what I read from that poorly written article
1) "We're on the same team" really means, "It's not all my fault"
2) "Curriculum isn't always up to us" really means, "It's administration's fault"
3) "Share the responsibility" really means " It's your fault"
4) " A track record doesn't guarantee a track star" really means "It's the students fault"
5) "We know where you're coming from" I have no idea what that really means.
Teachers have a tough job. So do I. So do you.
In Missouri, teachers get to keep all health benefits for life.
Not counting weekends, they get approx 100 days off per year.
At retirement, they are paid over 60% of salary for life, with spousal benefits.
Please stop whining and do your job....or do something else.
I rest my case with the above reply.
This is part of the problem with many issues in our country; anecdotal responses. Many states don't have unions, so there is that issue. Some states have unions that only play a role in law suits. The truth is, failing students can be for many reasons. It may indeed be a teachers fault, but if your child fails year after year, then perhaps the problem isn't the teacher. There are bad teachers, there are bad administrators, and their are bad parents. The point is to work together to fix the problem and quit spending so much time labeling everyone and pointing fingers. One size does not fit all.
Pure ignorance. Teachers get paid only for their teaching time not the summer. Some adjust their take home pay to cover an income through that time.
Pure truth. You get paid what you get paid, for what you do. Taxpayers are simply looking at what was paid for what was done, and in how many days worked. The point, that you missed, is that teachers get their salary but only work 9 months for that salary (while we work 12 for ours).
Not many jobs have homework assignments to grade or getting emails on weekends about the homework, grading tests. So stop the whining about "how many days off teachers get" it is not as many as you say. Meaning a day off means free from your job and its responsibilities. Teachers don't have many "days off" Do you go on vacations in Oct, early Niv and Dec. What about Feb March April etc... Teachers don't.
My mom is a teaacer and I have been on vacation throughout my life in March, April, November, and December. Teachers work hard but those three months in the summer should would be nice at my job.
Every adult has the responsibility to help any child grow up and into their own best personality and talents. Through no fault of the child, the parent or the teachers, that doesn't always happen. The educational decision makers seldom let the teachers have input. (And I sure have seen that in other professions.)
And though teaching runs in the family, and I do like to do one-on-one education, I am forever thankful for the teachers that can handle today's pressures as I am forever thankful for the teachers in my past who helped me achieve what I have.
If the situation is not to your liking, take another honest look and then help correct the problem.
We are only payed for the days we work. Our retirement fund is deducted from our pay, much in the same way any savings/retirement fund at a bank can be automatically taken from your account. During all my "days off" in the summer, I work. I've also used my "days off" to get two more degrees. Let's read up on topics before sounding off on them and talking out your you-know-what.
There are many teachers who truly want to help the kids the best they can, and are awesome at what they do. Even if the kids don't achieve high grades these teachers still benefit the kids in the long run. That being said, I know the vast majority of teachers get into teaching for the 6 hour work days, summers off and good benefits. That does not make them bad people though..... However, once they get in to the job they realize it is not easy at all, and are probably disillusioned, and find it hard to do a good job day after day after day....
Anyway ...Bad parents = bad students plain and simple.
Oh, I found a really cool article it show the signs your child might be struggling in School
Well, you certainly missed out on a cushy profession! Why not get your credentials and join us in the classroom?
The comments after this article are a perfect example of the polarized feelings most Americans have about education and teachers. Until we as a country truly value education and the work that needs to be done to teach our young people, we will always fall behind other nations in education.
Let us always take to heart the words of JFK at his inaugural address, "Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country."
The real threat here (to good education) is the teacher's unions, who treat the teachers themselves as a labor force – not as the professionals they are. Why do we treat teacher at the K – 12 level differently than a professor at a university? They have essentially the same job. The unions only serve to hobble progress in education, and don't involve themselves in the educational process as much as they should.
I beg do differ. Though there are some aspects of teacher's unions that I might not agree with (i.e. tenure for non-performers), but in this day and age where the teaching profession is constantly under attack, their union is their only advocate. My wife is in special education and she gets little or no support from her school district in the presence of sometimes vicious attacks by parents. Indeed, it's her union that has implemented pay cuts in order to avoid layoffs and keep the student/teacher ratios as low as possible. Teaching is a tough profession (and, contrary to what the haters say, most of them work more hours/year than most full-time workers even with breaks) that tests even the most dedicated. I'm a six figure engineer and I wouldn't go through what my wife goes through for twice my salary.
Did you go to college? How in a K-12 Teacher essentially the same as a College Professor? Other than the fact that classroom is involved (although for professor "lecture hall" might me more appropriate) I can think of no other similarities.
Why they aren't treated like professors I don't know. I have started teaching at the university level and I must say that a lot of these problems that they mention here that arise in K-12 I haven't seen as much if at all at the University level. Maybe because there are no parents and it is truly on the student to complete the work. I also get to set the curriculum of my class, which is something I know a lot of K-12 teachers do not get to do. Having guest taught at highschools, I've seen the curriculum handbooks they are given and they above and beyond huge. I can't believe they have to teach that much material in a year.
First, in many states, college professors are unionized. Second, in many states, no teachers are unionized. Unions really aren't the issue.
@Dave since you are such a great teacher why don't you become a math teacher and add context to the formulas. Oh wait that would actually mean making a difference in the world and that you can't do. It's better to sit on your fat diabetic butt and bash teachers who are trying to educate our future with very little resources. Most American make me sick they want all the glory and none of the pain.
"very little resources" uumm well here in St. Louis there are so many resources the public school system can support the salaries and pensions of 552 management and administrative positions...while the Archdiocese of St. Louis who handle just about the same number of kids can manage those kids with only 12 management and administrative positions AND get better results. Address your own system before telling America we don't support you.
Hey Chris the Genius.....I can make any school work if I pick and choose my students. Public schools must educate EVERYONE! When a kid assaults your son/daughter in school....guess what? They get tossed for 180 days but THEY STILL NEED TO BE EDUCATED..WHY? because schools can't afford to go through proceedings for formal expulsions b/c of all the funding cuts. Schools offer a waiver of expulsion and educate the student in an alternative school or cyber school...That means that they are included in public school data. So many people think they know it all b/c their property taxes go to schools. Learn the facts. STOP BASHING EDUCATION....I have found that those who bash the system never really utilized it to their advantage in the first place.
I didn't bash anything. I stated facts about a city which are well known and illustrate very well how the public school system at least in this city soaks up 90% of the dollars put into it through bloated administrative and management positions. Asking the public to continue to send more dollars when it's unlikely those dollars will reach the teachers and classrooms is nuts. You illustrate another problem so fix it..deal with your own system that designed that problem and fix it. Stop telling America it's our fault and that we don't support you. Only religion gets more support than the education system...maybe thats why schools want to get rid of religion so they can have those dollars too. There...thats my smart alec remark.
Can you provide evidence of better results?
Private schools are not required to take every student who shows up at the door – including those who are more costly to educate.
As for your comment about the number of administrators, I tend to agree – although to be fair state and federal mandates have increased the management overhead in public schools to almost unmanageable levels, while, again, private schools are free of much of the red tape.
Chris, I see you have made those claims several times (about the archdiocese).
Got any evidence to support those claims?
The "BLOATED" administration is due to the number of discipline referrals (behavioral....which, a majority of the time stems from lack of discipline at home) and state guidelines put on schools from the Dept. of Education. Schools are required to provide more data with less resources. If you take issue with it, know this....our local district needed to hire a full time administrator to deal with data reporting.....she works 9 hours per day and weekends to upload data. Mandates continue to be piled on districts without adequate funding to cover them. Those mandates are not placed on charter or Catholic schools....It mimics the argument that China does better than us....well....if you are not "chosen" to go to 9th grade in China, you go into the work force....guess what? U.S. test scores would be through the roof if we could do that here.....HOW can the system be fixed without the support of the community? Everybody complains that teachers have more than them....how about fighting for what you don't have instead of acting like a 4 year old who doesn't have the same toy as another kid?
I wonder what our kids would say to all these comments....... As a mom to my 12 year old daughter, it is my responsibility to help her grow up to be the most wonderful, smart, confident, kind, generous and compassionate young lady that she can be. I gave birth to her. Teachers are in her life to help with educating her. I also owe it to my daughter to help with her education. , to ask her about her homework, her school day, what can we improve on and together how can we get the results –which means to get involved with her education, her teachers, her school, her sports, her bake sales, ect. I am grateful that she can go to school. I am grateful for the teachers and their work they do for our children. This article is just asking parents to get involved. Good behavior = respect, kindness, achievement. Teachers and parents are partners in this. Parents– just get involved.
We need less support for the public school system and more support for the growing industry of private teachers who can support home schooled kids. These teachers are responsible for 3-8 kids, teach in the home, take kids to museums, zoos, historic places and focus on teaching and getting kids to think. Its a growing industry in Iowa and Missouri. I've heard of it in other places too. Great salaries. I know a couple teachers here in St. Louis doing very well and love it.
do you think teachers are educated to be public or private school teachers ? all teachers get the same training, essentially...no teacher says " hey , i'm gonna go to private teacher school... ?
The God Damned GOP/republicans/Teabaggers have picked teachers as punching bags for political rhetoric.Yes there are bad teachers too and its nearly impossible to get rid of them. There is also massive thuggery in administration but I can tell you that 99.9% of the teachers love to teach the kids. But the GOP wants to privatize education so they can give the ultra-rich more money. Government exists to service us not us to service the ultra-rich. Teachers are the real American Heroes and they do it every day one kid at a time. I see it everyday, my wife is one.
Private school is not the enemy of the public school teacher. If students transfer into private schools, then those private schools will have to hire teachers. If the student to teach ratio is lower in private, then they will have to hire MORE teachers (with higher pay).
So long as there are kids who need education, there will be a need for teachers to educate them. Private might not have the same benefits as public, but will likely come with greater pay, more flexability in teaching, and greater input into school ciriculum and policies (things most public teachers wish that they had).
Private schools in most states are not required to hire certified teachers nor do they pay them as well. In addition, private schools by and large do not provide a better education than their public school peers.
In a perfect world, private schools would have nothing to do with public schools and would certainly not be the "enemy." However, current policy and proposed changes by opportunistic politicians and businessmen seek to dismantle public education in favor of privatized systems, to the detriment of students and teachers. That kind of makes them the "enemy."
If you can read this thank a teacher
If you can't, blame the union for protecting bad teachers.
I guess you should use pictures for your hate filled statement since the audience your comment is directed toward can't read. Obviously a teacher has failed to help you think logically. You could be the poster boy for our terrible education system.
Unions don't protect bad teachers, they protect good teachers from arbitrary dismissal and provide due process protection. If bad teachers remain in the system it is because an administrator is unable, or unwilling, to articulate a reason the teacher should be fired.
Think education is bad now? Wait until the GOP privatises all education and see how many people really get educated? All poorly educated masses are easily controlled and manipulated.
Teachers might not have control over the curriculum but they definitely have control over the extent in which the subject matter is taught and the pace of the class. From my experience teachers are satisfying the minimum requirements which in turn are lowering the standards. It's amazing that low level in which everything is being taught. I definitely think teachers can satisfy the curriculum and still challenge the children. It appears that teachers don't want to upset each other and go above and beyond the status quo.
That isn't true. Teachers are told not only what to teach but in most of the country how to teach it. With so many IEP kids in regular classrooms a teacher has to teach to the modifications that are presented to them. This means limiting what they can actually do. I was once told about a teacher who on their evaluation was instructed to teach at every student’s level; not too high or too low. I'm a parent and want my child challenged but when she can only learn at someone else’s pace, because of laws and regulations on teachers, I'm troubled. States are taking creativity out of the classroom and focusing on standard tests; which to me creates a standard and not exceptional student.
I work in a school with kids every day (after school program). I see parents who are very concerned and want their children do well, to do their homework (while with us) and to be in school every day. I also see parents who pull their children out regularly for unnecessary trips, to be at home because they are home that day or who generally appear to not value education. Teachers are stressed out because parents have removed their ability to have consequences for behavior issue or lack or productivity. If one student in the classroom is misbehaving, the entire class loses and the teacher has very little recourse. Schools are also being required to provide "day care" for special needs children who are never going to be productive in society (as in a child who wears diapers, cannot speak or function but requires one on one 24 hour care – 8 hours a day in school). Gifted children lose out because much of the money is spent on children who cannot be educated at all, but just require day care. Curriculum is chosen by the school board but teachers are required to implement it – little creativity is permitted as these things have to be uniform. Since everyone thinks that judging a teacher mostly on the success of the curriculum, of course teachers are teaching to the tests. Their jobs may depend on it. Fortunately, my kids are grown and gone so I don't have to see the dumbing down, crazy way of managing affect them.
Thanks to GW Bush and no child left behind, teachers are required to teach to the struggling child in the classroom and can not cater to the smartest child unless it is an AP class. Additionally, if a child has an IEP in the classroom, he/she has to slow the entire class down for that one child and potentially give them accommodations that can take away from the rest of the class. I understand it is easier to blame the teacher for going too slow or not teaching what you want but keep in mind that for the most part their hands are very much tied. Lasty, most teachers have Master degrees and teach for almost nothing (less than 35K a year in CO) because they love children and want to see them succeed.
Is this for K-6 or High School.
False. In many districts, teachers are told which page of the textbook they are supposed to cover for the day.
drk assumes that the teacher actually has a text book to teach from. Here in Michigan, many urban districts are so poor they don't have any books for the kids to read, let alone telling them what page to teach.
concerned or CLUELESS...
Do you realize that I knew my students were failng, FAILING... but was told to keep on PACE... no remediation?
Take it and shove it.
You're one of the clueless. If a math teacher writes formulas then he/she is a secondary school teacher and they were math/engineering/economics majors not education majors, Einstein. And what makes you an expert on education? Just going to school doesn't make you an expert. I go to doctors and watched ER. I guess that qualifies me as an expert in medicine.
And where and from whom did those other people learned the math and science?
Whatever way you look at it, schools need to up the ante on math and science. US is far behind in these areas. Let's face it, you can't blame everything on students "not learning". Our math and science programs are antiquated or lacking in many areas. There is quite a disparity among states achieving in their public school systems and those that are slipping lower each year. I wish states, counties and cities would help each other and try some new solutions to old problems. Why are some public schools fantastic and others in the sewer? Learn from each other, quit complaining and pointing fingers and let's get some solutions working.
There are a lot of moving parts to this discussion. I am all for accountability however it has to be fair and parents have to accept they are just as important to the learning process if not more so than the teachers. Try and relate to this on your personal level. Whether your a nurse, a CEO, or a laborer. In your profession you have 1 maybe 2 bosses setting a standard, holding you accountable. There are rules and expectations that you must meet. These are clear goals and there are generally no questions about how you performed at the end of the year. With teachers, they have 1 boss, the principal, and 20-40 different people each year trying to be their boss (parents), having different opinions, and bringing different expectations to the table. In my opinion the education problem does not START with the teachers. It starts with setting appropriate learning standards, figuring out how to measure childrens progress (factoring in all socioeconomic factors & learning capabilities), finding a fair way to measure teachers affect, and then using all of this to weed out teachers that don't do a good job. I don't believe the current system has this capability. I honestly believe that there are GREAT teachers out there that are working very hard to try to overcome the problems with the education system. There are exceptionally talented teachers, but there are bad ones too. Why wouldn't there be, name one profession where don't have this scenario. Unfortunately you cannot recognize the good teachers or the ones that don't do a good job because the system does not allow for it. I wish that the attacks on the teachers stopped for just a little bit so that we could focus on getting the system fixed. Attacking the teachers doesn't accomplish anything....if you believe it does i'd really like to hear how it has done anything to help your own situation. Once the system is fixed there will be plenty of time to go after the teachers not doing their jobs bust MOST importantly reward the ones doing a GREAT job.. Heck, maybe if the system is fixed a lot more people will want to become teachers, they will compete for the jobs more, and the kids will be benefit.
The one that started all of this, George Fracking W Bush, is an idiot that no amount of schooling can ever help. The Village Idiot making decisions about Education, If you look at his track record. He has messed up EVERYTHING he has ever tried to do because he's a nitwit. He was put there by his Daddy's men to control easily. But the only thing the Republicans don't hate is the 1% overlords like Romney. I can tell you are one of them. Politics do not belong in Education. How many good jobs have been lost in the last few years? Who did it benefit? Right...
You need to see someone about that angry obsession of yours. Do you blame the GOP when you get a cavity? Oh, right...
I used to be conservative republican until W came into the scene stealing his first election with help from his Daddy's Men. He was handed a thriving Economy but he handed off one in a steep dive. Obama has pulled back the stick and saved the crash. People get cavities for many reasons. Did you know there is a vaccine available that prevents cavities? Are you aware there are low cost cancer treatments that actually cost? Are you aware there are technologies to get free energy already available> No didn't think so. Who is behind the repression of all this stuff to the people? None of this stuff comes about through uneducated people.
You were never a republican, liar.
I was a hard core conservative republican Reagan Type and Bush Sr type. Then I was a Clinton opposer and Bush W just broke it all. But by then it wasn't the GOP THAT I KNEW AND CARED FOR and actually cared for normal Americans. It was taken over by the Neo-cons and Right Wing Nuts that hate all but the top 1%. I would gladly take Socialism over this kind of Right Wing Cr ap they are passing as Republicanism. You know, God is not a Conservative Republican and Jesus NEVER said a thing about Abortion or Gays. So why are they trying to shove a republican religion and god down my throat? I will never ever vote anything republican again.
If you go back and read the article it is saying that parents and schools need to work together. I stopped reading the comments after about the fifth one. Parents want to blame teachers, and teachers want to blame parents. It IS the job of the parents to raise their children and it IS the job of teachers to educate the child, but without joint effort neither will happen. There are parents and teachers on both ends of the pendulum and some are great and some are inadequate(not fit to raise a child or never should have become a teachers). Schools should be posting curriculum on line and if not every single state has a website that indicates what students should be doing at what grade level in the school system so if your teacher is not telling you, don't just throw up your hands as a parent, do some research. As a middle school teacher and a parent of five children, I do not expect teachers to teach my children everything, that is my job. The summers are a great time to teach children what they fell behind on or to move them ahead. Even if you are working there are great FREE websites and tons of workbooks out there. As a teacher I only ask that you don't tell your child how wrong I am and how awful I am as that only creates distention in the classroom. If you do not approve of what I do or have questions, be an adult and have a conversation with me. If you have questions about what your child is doing, call me. I have 100 students I can not call you every week and give you an update, but if you are a concerned parent, call me, I would love to talk to you. Again, the article said we must all learn to support each other and work together in order for the betterment of the child.
@Nicole, THANK YOU!!! I absolutely agree with everything you said. I also want to thank you, for not only stating the perspective of the parents side, but also as a teacher. I wish we had more teachers like you. Thank you for all you do.
"I have 100 students I can not call you every week and give you an update"
Many teachers see up to 200 students a DAY. The public wants concierge service, but doesn't want to pay for it.
My daughter goes to Pre-K in a public school and her teacher didn't seem to want parental input at all. My daughter taught herself to read over the course of her toddler years and at just shy of four, she was reading rather well. I thought it was important for her teacher to know this, so when we talked on the phone before school started, she completely blew me off on the subject. Then when we showed up for a conference before school started and my child read for her, she acted like she was in complete disbelief. She told me straight up that she hadn't believed what I said on the phone. This has been my uniform experience with public school teachers throughout my life. They believe that parents are only there to make their lives harder and have no interest in working as a team for the best of the kid. My daughter's teacher was reassigned and now she has a new teacher. That teacher is on week 2 with my child and she still has no clue that she can read. I wonder how long it will take her to figure it out on her own.
Everything you said, agree. Teachers don't want an involved parent. They want to dictate everything and don't treat students as individuals. After having children in school 12 years and counting, even in private school, teachers want to lessen the amount of face to face contact with the parents. Parents hold teachers accountable and the teacher has to talk to them on an adult basis. Teachers like to be the controllers of a conversation so they like to communicate to parents through the child. That way they don't take any heat and don't have to answer questions. Teachers are liberal dictators in their own classroom empire, they will listen to the parents and students imput and then they do what they were planned in the first place. P.S. I'm glad your daughter is bright and a good learner and you have seen it so early on. You will be taken aback when you go to a conference for your daughter and the teacher says "she should smile more". How exactly is "smiling more" related to her grades? How will smiling more get her into an engineering college? Gender stereotyping starts early in the classroom, watch out for it. I went to dozens of conferences for my son over the years and no teacher ever advised that he should "smile more."
Gender bais starts with pink and blue at birth!
What teachers want parents to know?
I try to teach your self-absorbed, bratty, smart mouthed, spoiled rotten, soon-to-be-felon child basic math all day long but the truth is, he/she doesn't give a rip because......................YOU don't!!
iis there a "like" button around here? where is the "like" button...
I like, too!
This is a great article! Very well written. Thank you for sharing this and helping us all to better understand teachers, their viewpoint, and how to discuss issues with them.
We spend more money on education than any other country in the world.
ASK YOUR UNION, and DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS, WHERE ALL THE MONEY GO?
We also teach EVERY student who shows up at the door including those with emotional, learning and other hurdles to overcome.
In addition, we have been reasonably successful with that money, having provided the opportunity that virtually all professionals have taken advantage of and who have created the majority of the innovations of the 20th and early 21st century.
"not all of the teachers we spoke to wished to be named" Because they are all liars and should not be teachers, do what you got paid for.
Well said MORON
I am a teacher/parent. As with most education articles this one is mis-guided and off the mark.
Here's what teachers should know
1 you are one in a long line of teachers that my child has had. Some of those people were incompetent, inconsiderate, and even abusive. How do I know you are different.
2 I care about my child. I do not care about your fragile ego
3. You are the adult in the classroom, managing the relationship and fostering a positive environment is your responsibility.
4. You might know alot about children, but you do not know my child.
5. Be realistic about what you understand about the "real world".
6. Your job is to provide children with learning opportunities in a safe and supportive environment, you do not need to teach them that life is filled with dissappointments and difficult people.
7. If you want children to take intellectual risks, reward them for it instead of punishing them.
8. Trying something difficult and "failing" is more palatable when it doesnt result in a grade that will be difficult or impossible to overcome. Failing at a diificult task should actually be rewarding in some way.
9. Dont't communicate to my child that bad grades are ok and that Cs are average. You are communicating that you believe they are not capable of better work.
10. On some level, all grades are arbitrary. No matter how long you have been doing it, you cannot ever be sure that the grade you assign is truly reflective of performance, effort, or true learning.
wow..............it must be hard being perfect and having a perfect child.
Your comment is off the mark. I am not perfect, and neither is any other teacher.
Arlingtonteacher, what you need to learn/know is how to spell 'a lot'.
Misspelling? Who cares... Think about what I wrote. If you disagree, tell me the precise points. I wrote it quickly so I would be willing to explain or reconsider any that you communicate.
#1, #2, #4... Really??
29% of my students are in foster care. Another 10% should be.
You're a teacher?? How many of your students fail because they took an "intellectual risk"? Sorry, but I do not believe you're a teacher.
The fact that you are estimating how many of your students should be in foster care belies your ignorance. I am a veteran teacher of over 20 years. I do not really care if you believe I am a teacher or not. As a profession we have a long way to go to earn the respect that we desire. The comments posted here are not helpful toward that end.
...or that misguided is not hyphenated.
Mis-guided must have been a slip of the finger on the iPad.
However, I would also direct you to my comment above. Who cares? If you have something of substance let me know.
Thank you Aelingtonteacher, I couldn't have stated this better myself
Amen...... Not all teachers are good, and not all parents are bad.... once both sides of the educational blame game can understand that concept kids will have a much better chance to thrive educationally.
I was told by my son's teacher upon his graduation from 5th grade in an excellcent public school system, he would never be able to read. She was very very wrong, in the end he graduated from an honors college. The fact that this particular school saw parents as adversaries and not part of team is the first issue that needs to be resolved – and the amazing thing is that giving someone respect, whether they are the parent, or the teacher ...COSTS NOTHING.
Math grades are pretty objective, and....
regardless of how these ten commandments of good teaching sound in your head while typing them, you come off sounding like a complete jerk.
I am pretty much a jerk.
I would agree about Math being objective in its nature. However, determining the grade, deciding what things count and how much credit to give to work that is shown. Picking the type and form of questions to use on assessments. All of these things may be carefully and reasonably developed by the teacher, but there is always the possibility that it shows progress where there is none and might mask progress that has actually occurred.
Sometimes it takes a jerk to shake things up a bit. Try grading your math papers using objective based grading or a rubric just to see if it might be possible.
I bet you are a real joy in the classroom. You sound very uptight.
If you were addressing me, I will just point out that the statements I made would indicate that I am a joy in the classroom. I value my students and treat them like human beings. A little empathy goes a long way.
I might be uptight. Doesn't make me a bad person and it doesn't make my points incorrect.
Capitalization is the difference between "helping your Uncle Jack off a horse" and "helping your uncle jack off a horse." Claiming to be a teacher you should certainly pay closer attention to detail in your writing. The fact that you should have known better by now to use proper grammar and punctuation, merits you a failing grade and truly shows your passion for the profession.
In the modern tech world of today, some platforms do not lend themselves to typing quickly and correctly. In these types of comments it really is the point that is important not that it is perfectly constructed.
As I stated to some others. Tell me the specific point you disagree with and I will consider it. If you are just angry and offended and looking for some simple, though inappropriate way to try to discredit me, then I really do not care what you think.
" Things teachers want parents to know. " - They want more pay. Shorter hours. A stronger union.
Most math teachers have no clue what math means... they write formulas ... zero context.
Pathetic. "education majors"... as if they have a clue about their single subject.
Any examples Dave? It appears that both your math and english skills are lacking...maybe take an adult ed class at your local community college.
As a science teacher, who graduated with a Science Education degree, I was required to hold a higher GPA for graduation than the other departments at my Engineering school. I also had to take the highest level science courses and hold at least a B+ average in those. My roommate was a math education major, who also had to take the same math courses as the Math majors. She got to the point that her math didn't include numbers! Crazy to me, but again, she was a math education major, could do more advanced math than most people I know. I don't know what your experiences have been, but mine show the exact opposite of your comment.
My degree was in Math and Secondary Education and I can still "out-math" just about everybody in my social circle. I have engineers and managers asking me for help.
I'm sorry you invested your time to become "someone"... what science do you teach... a storybook piece-mealed curriculum... haha..
keep wasting your life with that.
Wow, what an ignorant comment. In today's teaching world you have to go to college to complete an acreddited program (at least in Iowa, my home state where I currently teach) and then apply for licensure. To stay in the teacher eduction program there is a minimum GPA requirement where I went to school (Wartburg College) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
On top of taking courses in educational psychology, content reading strategies, methods courses, etc., we have to take classes specific to our various endorsements. I'm a U.S. Government and Histroy lisencensed teacher and had to take many 400 level courses to complete the program and I did so at a high level as did many others.
Many decades ago teachers may not have been highly trained and skilled in their individual postions, but that isn't true of the teachers being educated today. Sadly, many of these young people can't find work or get burnout of the field after a few years because it truly is a stressful field, espeically when the teacher has 0 support from the administration and parents.
Well, Dave! From your statement is seems you are an expert and understand Euclid very well. I would Euclid would appreciate you and your level of abstract "thinking?" So, now that you have established yourself as someone of whom understands math would you be so kind as to explain to us what math means with stemming from the Phoenicians through the Arabic formulations to present day mathematics. Thank you for your ability.
Well, Dave! From your statement is seems you are an expert and understand Euclid very well. I am sure Euclid would appreciate you and your level of abstract "thinking?" So, now that you have established yourself as someone of whom understands math would you be so kind as to explain to us what math means stemming from the Phoenicians through the Arabic formulations to present day mathematics. Thank you for your ability, we are looking so forward to hearing from you.
You are obviously an idiot. Click off of this page and go play Mindcraft or whatever you morons do. Oh, guess what? A very highly skilled programmer who excels at mathematics created your video games and programming back end of web sites such as this and other site I suspect you frequent. My mathematics minor has come in handy almost daily. While I do not delve into calculus V, I do a lot of number of problem solving skills in Graphic Design that I would have no idea how to solve without statistics, probability, and some beginning calculus. I always refer to advanced chemistry when I teach my design students. It is not the information, it is the conceptual framework.
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