A Phoenix Burning

Rant of Mass Proportion

Teachers are payed well.

Teachers have excellent health benefits.

Teachers get summers off…and weekends…and snow days.

Teachers are represented by strong Unions.

Teachers cannot be fired on the whim of an adminstrator, or because they have climbed too high on the payscale.

All true.  Also true:

Teachers have to earn and pay for a Masters Degree in order to earn permanent certification.

Teachers cannot earn promotions.

Teachers are not paid for their summers off.

Teachers cannot earn more pay for better quality of teaching.

Teachers do not earn bonuses.

Teachers cannot take a sick day without preparing and delivering plans for the full day of work even if they are on their deathbed.

Teachers pay out of pocket for classroom supplies to the tune of hundreds of dollars which is unrecognized by most.

Teachers spend hours and hours of time outside of school business hours preparing lessons, doing research, writing reports, correcting papers, recording grades, tracking progress notes, making phone calls, answering e-mails and notes from parents, attending meetings, writing curriculum, and developing methods…nevermind that the public *thinks* (I use that term loosely) that we only work seven hour days.  If you are a Special Education teacher, add about 40 hours a year that goes to writing IEP’s (Individualized Education Plans) during your “time off.”

Teachers manage to teach children, all children, irregardless of race, socioeconomic status, mental and emotional health, ability, and parental involvement (or lack thereof.)

Teachers manage to bend to the whim of State Ed which passes unfunded mandates and then three years later retracts them once we’ve revised our entire methodology to suit the initial mandate.

A teacher’s mission everyday is to instill an interest and love of learning in a classroom of 25 or so students made up of the willing and the unwilling, the smart and the challenged, the healthy and the emotionally unstable, the well cared for and the neglected, the loved and the abused, the motivated and the unmotivated, the content and the angry, the calm and the overactive, the sweet and the nasty, the well-behaved and the aggressive, the serious and the jokers. And that’s the easy part of the job.

I am SO SICK of schools being blamed for every societal crisis, from suicides, violent acts, societal apathy, teen pregnancy, to overprescribing of ADHD medications, to the inability of Americans to compete in the world market…and I am SO SICK of teachers being torn apart as overpayed and underworked leeches of Federal and State resources.  Is the school system perfect?  Of course not!  Is every teacher worthy of their position and salary?  Of course not!  But I  find it maddening to have my profession lambasted time and again by people who don’t know the first thing about what it means to be an Educator.

<Rant Over>

And now we return to our regularly scheduled non-controversial programming.  🙂


7 responses

  1. Wow… I’m glad you’re not my teacher… lol… 😉

    I jest of course… as I have to agree it’s a valid rant… I’m an (unpaid) governor at my daughters school, and as such am heavily involved in a lot schooling / teaching issues.. so I know where you’re coming from…

    One thing I DO know very well though, is that there’s NO WAY I’d have have the patience or understanding to become a teacher, so hats off to you for that… 🙂

    January 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm

  2. You go girl!!! And thank you! Unfortunately, I have the feeling your rant will never be read by the people who need to see it most!

    January 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm

  3. Well said!

    Feel free to rant anytime! I do hope you feel better getting that all out. Though, I’m sure it was followed by a few good primal screams, eh? 😉

    Teachers SHOULD be the highest paid beings on earth. Well, them and nurses. 🙂

    January 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm

  4. It’s a valid rant, KD. Just as the federal and state governments push costs down to the towns and villages. Education suffers.

    Syracuse, NY will have to lay off 500 employees with many being teachers this budget year for lack of funding from NY state. This does not bode well for our future. We need people who can live in the new high-tech world as creators not just users.

    January 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm

  5. Maya

    I thank you soooo much for this. We are beginning a fight here in Florida that could possibly change the face of our educational system. I may use this and of course give you all due credit for putting it so eloquently:)

    January 12, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    • Yikes! And here I thought I was just blowing off steam! LOL

      January 12, 2011 at 8:54 pm

  6. I’m sorry…you all know this is an atypical post for me.

    I love teaching, and miss it terribly. It is the best career in the world in my humble opinion. And, yes, the benefits are lovely.
    But it is always Open Season on schools and teachers. I am all for constructive criticism, but so much of the criticism is from the uninformed, the unenlightened, and the close minded.
    I have read so much bashing recently, I just got riled. The latest was a comment, from a friend no less, to the effect that, “Bet you teachers wouldn’t want snow days if you didn’t get PAID for them!” Ugh! No other profession is as denigrated in the media and by public opinion…

    I always wonder why, if we are so well paid for so little work, and so well protected, why oh why don’t all these people who have so much to say in terms of unconstructive bashing, run right out and get a degree and teach? Really, if they are that envious of our “Gold rimmed retirements” and our “Silver plated health plans” then by all means they should join us over here on Easy Street. Ugh ugh ugh!

    Okay…I am done…”for reals” as my teenager would say.

    January 12, 2011 at 8:53 pm

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