Saturday, September 25, 2010

Reflecting on the demoralization of an entire profession

Paul Bogush offers a sad and very honest view into a teacher's psyche, yet most teachers have felt this way at one point or another.  I know I have.  Teaching is by-far the hardest job you'll ever love.  Teachers are being blamed for ills that can be directly attributed to the system. We can not afford to further demoralize an already over-burdened profession.  We need more teachers to "step out of the corner", as Paul says, and speak out on what should really be done in the classrooms.  I believe most teachers know how to reach kids.  That may (and should) look different depending upon the teacher and the students in a given class.  But, teachers are being forced to conform to a system of uniformity, high stakes testing, and fear.  I wonder how many teachers struggle with shame because they follow the directives rather than do what they know is best for kids, or worse, hide in the corner with fear because they ARE doing what is best for their students.

3 comments:

skbteacher said...

Yes I totally agree....if teachers are paid or hired/fired based on the students' performance how fair is that? We have no choice about who is enrolled in our class, we can not remove a student because the student would lower our class average, and we can not control prior education and the student's home life!!!!

rachelscrib said...

"I wonder how many teachers struggle with shame because they follow the directives rather than do what they know is best for kids, or worse, hide in the corner with fear because they ARE doing what is best for their students."

As a preservice teacher, I hope that my ideas and theories are not discouraged to the point in which I feel this way. I hope to be able to create a classroom in which students are engaged and enthralled in the information presented to them, able to find information through tools online. Am I being a hopeless romantic or is this possible?

Wendy DG said...

Rachel - You are not a hopeless romantic. You are like every good teacher with a passion for learning and educating students. I definitely believe it is possible. But, you must strive to become a teacher-leader and take control of your career. Be selective about the school(s) in which you decide to teach. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, do whatever is necessary to change it. Put your students first and focus there. It's definitely possible to create that engaging classroom, but it may take work and searching to find a school and leadership that is the right fit for you. You may also be fortunate enough to find that right away. Just don't give up.