Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Let the Teacher Pushback Begin!

This is great.  MSNBC has an article on a teacher in Philly who dares to say what so many teachers feel:"A high school English teacher in suburban Philadelphia who was suspended for a profanity-laced blog in which she called her young charges "disengaged, lazy whiners" is driving a sensation by daring to ask: Why are today's students unmotivated — and what's wrong with calling them out?"

Nothing's wrong with calling them out, and their parents as well. One or more students, none of whom was ever identified by the teacher, had their feelings hurt, so naturally the teacher, Ms. Munroe, was suspended. That is what school administrators do best; cave in to loud and threatening students and their parents. 
That won't change the facts; Munroe's sentiments are shared by thousands of teachers. Their message is my message; far too many students are indeed lazy, unmotivated, rude, and indifferent to education and personal effort. And do they ever have a sense of entitlement.

A lot has changed in a generation. Veteran teachers are struck by the changes in student attitudes; many will not read, will not carry large books (too heavy, uncool, and won't read it anyway), expect a passing grade just for showing up, and spend absolutely minimal time on homework. Teacher authority has been undermined by social attitudes, demanding parents, and a constant stream of more interesting alternatives, such as social media. Video games are more fun than algebra.

Along the way, many parents have adopted an attitude of their own: if my kid is not learning, it must be the teacher's fault. And while many parents remain supportive, Republicans seen an opportunity to chip away at yet another public institution. Their constant hectoring reveals an almost pathological contempt against teachers and especially their unions.

My advice to right-wing loudmouths, pseudo-experts, and other assorted assholes: If you have not taught in a US public school in recent years, you have no idea what teachers have to go through and the blame-teachers-for-everything attitude that eats away at their morale.

Is it any wonder that teacher turnover is so high?

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