I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

03 August 2011

Where Are These Eager Replacements?

Gary Rubinstein, a far bigger person than I am, has been writing a series of posts that are a "debate" (by email) with Whitney Tilson.

Having ADHD, I lack the patience and impulse control to deal with such people.  I don't approve of Mr. Tilson's profession, which I believe is morally suspect and bad for public schools.  And I definitely don't like his attitude, his inability to take data seriously, or his utter lack of reflection.

This, though, BEGS a challenge:

My bottom line: deliver results in the classroom for kids, or go find another profession. There is no shortage of college-educated adults who would be grateful for that job, especially in this economy! 

Mr. Tilson.

Get over yourself.

I personally teach at what is, for the third year in a row, an offically-designated "Hard to Staff School".  That's right.  There's something about my school such that people - college-educated adults who are "delivering results in the classroom for kids"* - leave.  Indeed, they leave without the prospect of future job.  They leave even though they're not beholden to a now-ended two year commitment.

I suppose it could be the terrible, child-hating veterans like myself scaring away these eager young educators.  But ancedata suggest otherwise: my Resident Teacher just signed on, so I didn't drive her away.  She'll be joining my long-time classroom volunteer, who moved back to the Bay Area to take a job at our school.

I suspect that it's the annual pink slip, the lack of supply money, the ongoing march of ten-hour days and weekends at school, the endless need to write another grant, attend another IEP or make another home visit, the relentless drain of media and education reformers denigrating your work, and secondary trauma visited by hands-on work with seriously traumatized children, families and communities.

Or it could be the worker's compensation-covered allergic reaction from mold, asthma aggravated by vermin infestations, and the prospect of yet another 15% pay cut if state revenues don't meet projections.

Whatever the case, Mr. Tilson, there aren't a whole lot of eager-beaver unemployed persons - even unemployed teachers - lining up to take the jobs at my school.  The District even chucks a little extra money at us as an enticement to take the job and stay.  It doesn't seem to have had a big impact, since we haven't cleared that list of hard-to-staff schools.

But there sure is a shortage of adults clamoring for my job.  And you're certainly unwilling to take it, no?

*As opposed to delivering results in the classroom for America's DVD producers or something.  I think that at Ed Reform School, they teach you to tack a "for the children" sentiment to every sentence you piously pronounce.

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