Friday, August 28, 2015

To those "above" me, I am inconsequential. To those "below" me, I am indispensable.

Only one of those groups actually matters. And it's not the group that thinks so very highly of themselves. Only one of those groups still has the potential to change our system, to improve education and our society by addressing real and complex issues in immeasurable ways. The other has already given up, and is looking only for numbers from a test or a survey that will help them justify their existence to their own bosses.

I'm uninterested in catering to the desires of those "above;" as uninterested in that as they are in creating real and effective change.

Sent from my iPhone

One of many problems

It is a travesty that the only way to advance your career as a teacher is to leave the classroom. No raises, no more responsibilities, no more prestige, unless you stop doing the thing that, if you're any good at it, needs doing the most. And so talented, hardworking people stay underpaid, and those who don't care so much about student interaction move on up, making double or triple what a classroom teacher does.

And even those who do care, who love the classroom and students and who get it - within 2 or 3 years away from daily teaching, they've forgotten. They've been seduced by fancy looking paperwork and rubrics that no one will ever see; by color copiers and real duty-free lunches, by politicians who don't understand education telling them what good work they're they take the money and create the forms and hold "Professional Development Opportunities" that just showcase how far gone they are from real teaching.

And those who could make change, who really see what the problems are and where change needs to happen, are too busy grading papers and emailing parents and opening milk cartons and adapting homework assignments for 10 different students who need individualized lesson plans in order to reach their potential to do anything about it, except for recognizing that if they leave the classroom for long, their soul will lose its spark and they'll no longer be a part of the solution, but rather a part of the problem.