Teaching is a lifestyle requiring complete dedication and long work hours. We are on the front lines, facing some of the toughest problems and the most critical assets of our future with love and care. Our top priority is our students.
I do believe that most administrators care about our students, however, they need to face the upper echelons and politicians that deal with education. They have the pressure to satisfy the public and yet find the budget to pay for teachers, support staff, services and supplies.
There is a program called “Undercover Boss” on the OWN network. The idea behind this program is to send CEOs into the fields where s/he visits the workforce to find out what some of the challenges are and what they can do to make the workers’ jobs easier.
In education, they send an administrator into the classroom. They are not there to find out what some of the challenges are or how they can help the teacher do a better job. They are there to pass judgement on the teacher to find out if that teacher should be the first or the last to loose their job.
Do you think this is in the best interest of our students? Does it sound like our administrators and politicians are doing what they can to make the job of the teacher easier so they can better serve the student?
Everybody seems to have there ideas about why the quality of our education in this country is so poor. I cannot list here all of the reasons, but as an educator myself, I can tell you about one very solid reason. Of course it is all about money, but let’s take a closer look.
This week, due to lack of funds and low enrollment, our school had to lay off several teachers. The members of the school board tell the high school principals which “position numbers” need to be eliminated. These are the newest teachers who don’t have tenure and have the lowest seniority. They are fresh, motivated and dedicated. They are excellent teachers, and everybody knows it. They are not jaded or faded in routines just waiting to retire. These young teachers are among our absolute best educators, and yet, these are the teachers we are loosing. We watch them go while we keep on these teachers that cause students to loose precious time every day.
We do have many seasoned teachers who are also very motivated and dedicated and they are great teachers. Sadly, however, we have some tenured teachers who are, simply put, just bad teachers. Over time, you really get to know who these teachers are without any teacher testing, or student score reviews or any other “accountability” program. It is quite clear to the teachers around them who really needs to get out of teaching.
It is so, so frustrating to watch these great teachers loose their jobs, while teachers that are completely incapable of providing a good education just stay on, and on, and on.
Does this promote quality in education? Clearly not!