I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

18 July 2012

Best Behavior

I went to a screening of "American Teacher" this weekend which included a discussion.  I was on my best behavior, so I generally avoided flipping out or observing actual inaccuracies in the statements of others.  It's no holds barred around here, though!

  1. To the rising second year Teach for American who was recruiting for Students First, the reason that all those veterans aren't working as hard as you isn't that they're lazy.  It's that they've done this before and they've already made the investment in early-career prep you still need.  (I think I inadvertently upset this young person, however, by observing that one of the factors making my job harder was teacher churn: the need to take care of first year teachers at the cost of my own prep, plus how all professional development is geared toward their needs, even though many of those teachers won't stay more than two years.  This person definitely won't and turned red when I said this, but it wasn't directed at anyone.  Really!)
  2. To the charter school owner who explained that we know just how to educate children of color, your state receives muuuuuch more money per pupil than California and has some pretty notorious issues around charter school enrollment and retention. And also?  We may know how to educate all children, but we're sure working hard to fail some of them.
  3. To the new teacher who said teacher salaries are pretty good, I felt that way too my first few years.  Then I got older and started having family financial needs.   And I discovered that the top of the salary scale is just about ten thousand more dollars than I make now, despite all I will learn and all the investments I will make in that time toward improving my practice (and equipping my classroom).  That made me a little frustrated, particularly as I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Fancy Private University X, have advanced degrees, and could make lots more money in the private education sector writing tests or curricula.  Just saying.
  4. To the teacher who claimed that teachers leave because students don't respect them, respect is not one's due simply because one is a teacher.  Families and students at my school respect me because I've been there, I demonstrate respect myself, and I assume we are all doing our best we can.  You'd be surprised.
In other news, I assume that this chilly July means a torrid September and purchased some clothing with a ninety-degree classroom in mind.

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