Monday, February 21, 2011

Demonizing Educators.

"What are you, some kinda edumacated lady?"

This is the second post in a row about the ongoing assault on teachers.  Some of you are probably thinking that I am taking this personally because I am currently in school to be a teacher, and you are all right.  Of course I'm pissed.  I don't appreciate people saying that "it's not hard to be a teacher" or "teachers make too much money", particularly since neither statements are correct.  I've shadowed teachers as an educator-in-training, not as a student.  Trust me, it's different when you are seeing things from the other side.  Sitting in the English department's teacher lounge at a local high school, I can remember them talking about how the administration doesn't back them up on anything, and how some of them worked another job just to get by.  

But how can that be if they make too much money?  

As far as I'm concerned, this fight has gone beyond the union.  It's not about the union anymore.  Reading through some comments on the CNN article, you get choice phrases like: 

1.) If these folks were in manufacturing they would have already lost their job or taken a serious pay cut. Why are teachers so much loftier than manufacturers that they deserve steady pay and secure jobs?

- Teachers are not manufacturers, you're right.  But they do deserve steady pay and secure jobs because they are responsible for educating your children.  Oh, don't have children?  Too bad.  You're still paying taxes, which pays teachers.  Oh yeah, and teachers pay taxes too so... technically they are paying themselves.  The reason teachers are getting pissed is because their pay is already cut.  They really don't make much.  How could they possibly be motivated to teach well if they are making as much money as someone without a college degree?  Oh yeah, by the way, manufacturers don't have to watch your kids all day.

2.) A .....sense of entitlement of health insurance at no cost to them, teaching position regarless of how their students learn.....
  B....bratty, bothersome, and consistently wanting to break the backs of the taxpayers for THEIR greedy wants
  C.....childish, cranky and completely unreasonablel when it comes to realizing they only work 9 months of the year, get paid for 12, have more holidays than any other profession, arent held to any real standard of job performance, arent required to be involved with continuing education for updated techniques for their profession....

- Hey, congratulations!  You know the beginning of the alphabet.  You smart sonofabitch, you.  I kid, of course, seeing as you think you can call teachers "greedy" and not sound like a giant moron.  Calling a teacher greedy makes absolutely no sense.  How is someone that decided they want to educate our youth greedy?  And another thing- they can choose to be paid twelve months of the year, but it's less money.  For example, let's say Mr. Jones makes $40,000 a year.  If he decides he only wants to get paid during the 9.5-10 months he is actively teaching, then he will make about $4,000 a month.  If, however, he decides to get paid year round, even during summer vacation, he'll make $3,333 a month.  He is only getting paid for the months he's teaching, it's just a matter if he wants to allocate some of that money to the summer months or not.  Oh, and let's try and remember that teachers are constantly updating lesson plans, acquiring materials, grading papers, reading and rereading books (for the English-inclined), brushing up on History, etc.  Sure, they work ~40 hours a week, but they probably work another 40 without pay.  So how about you work 80 hours a week, only to get told that your job isn't difficult, and that you should be making shit for a salary.  How would you feel then, smart ass?  I can't completely disagree with you, though.  True, teachers aren't required to be involved with classes that update education techniques and the like... but the teachers that take their job seriously and care will be involved without being required to.  One other thing- just because students have the day off, doesn't mean the teachers do.  Sure, federal holidays are one matter.  But on most vacations, teachers come in to school to get work done.  P.S. You're a fucking idiot.

Alright, who is the asshole teacher that dressed the kid up like that
and let him walk around the park with a neo-nazi skinhead?  Wait...
that's his father.  Oh.  Well, I'm sure he's going to grow up to be a fine... eater of shirts.

3.) Here is my solution for the Wisconsin teachers /unions protest: 
1. Fire every teacher that showed up to protest.
2. Strip them of their pensions after firing them. They can go work at McDonalds.
3. Issue arrest warrants for every elected Democrat that fled the state and refuse to live up to their duties as elected leaders and vote for the bill presented by the Governor of Wisconsin.
4. After arresting all the Democrats, parade them around the Capital in chains in front of the media.
5. Hold the Democrats in contempt and remove them from office.
6. Abolish all Unions in the state of Wisconsin.

7. Balance the budget with the money saved from firing all the Union workers and stripping them of their pensions.  

- Holy shit.  I want to pretend this guy was joking, but I know from other comments he posted that he probably wasn't.  He sounds like a dictator, and really isn't worth responding to.  I do, however, have to wonder... why does everyone think it's so easy to just replace teachers?  Am I really the only one that knows that teachers have to go through 4-6 years of college?  And let's face it- there aren't many people that want to go into the teaching profession and invest that much time in college with this bullshit going on.  After all, why would anyone want to be demonized?  It's like walking around with a giant, gold star of David stapled to your chest in 1930's Germany.  I strongly recommend this individual seeks some serious anger management classes, and avoids running for any political office.

The overall theme that needs to be addressed here can be summed up quite easily.  Stop blaming teachers for your children's lack of intelligence.  Yes, teachers are there to educate them, but they can't do it alone.  As a parent, it is your responsibility to teach your kids manners, time management, and how to at least act as though they give a fuck about school.  And don't get all uppity at the teachers when your kid comes home doing something you don't approve of.  Chances are, he or she learned it from their dick friends.  If you have issues with what the teachers are teaching (like evolution, for example, although if you have issues with that, you probably shouldn't be breeding), then pull them out of school and teach them yourself.  I can almost guarantee that spending six hours with your kid and trying to get them to learn isn't as fun or as easy as you might think it is.  Now imagine inviting all of their little friends over and teaching them too.  Good luck.

Now that is honesty.

A teacher would never say that to a parent, which is to some degree unfortunate.  While parents do need to hear things like that, I can't think of a single mother or father that would simply nod their head and say, "Okay, what can we do about it?"  If anything, it would go down like this:

T- "Your daughter is a pain in the ass."
M- "Excuse me?"
F- "What did you just say?"
T- "I said your daughter is a pain in the ass.  She is constantly interrupting class, she throws balls of paper at my back when I'm writing on the chalkboard, she writes on her desk, and she never stops talking to her friends, even when I separate them."
M- "How dare you.  She would never do anything like that.  I see her for three hours every night, and for the few she's home on weekends, and she's never acted like that."
F- "I'm going straight to the principal's office."
T- "Now hold on a second..."
F- "I've had it with this school.  My daughter is a precious angel-princess, and would never do such things.  You, ma'am, are a liar."
M- "And probably a bitch, too."
F- "Oh, I wouldn't doubt it, honey."
T- "You can't talk to me like that."
F- "Like hell I can't.  You're just a teacher.  I, on the other hand, am a prominent artist."
T- "Did you go to school for that?"
F- "You bet I did.  Two years of community college."
T- "Oh, my.  I guess I am a bitchy liar."
M- "Damn right you are.  Now who do we see about getting you canned and replaced with an incompetent substitute for the remainder of the school year?"
T- "Definitely start with the principal, like your scholarly husband suggested.  I am going to go home and rethink my life."
M- "That's a good idea, bitch.  Now get your lying ass out of here before I claw your eyes out."

As you can see, teachers are placed in a shitty position from the get-go.  Parents want them to be honest about their kids, but when they do tell them the truth, they become demonized by the school board and the parents that demanded the honesty.  It used to be that teachers were respected, and in some countries they still are.  But now students, parents, and politicians talk to them like they are sub-human.  In reality, they sacrifice a lot to educate your kids and deserve to be shown an equal amount of appreciation for that.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: Teachers do not get paid enough to do what they do.  To take away more money and benefits from them is criminal at best.      


Hannah Kramer said...

"A sense of entitlement" "bratty, bothersome," "childish, cranky and completely unreasonable."

Who the hell is this person?? What kinds of words are these to describe teachers...educators of our children?? Unbelievable...Such a disregard and lack of respect for the amount of work that it takes to become and teacher and to be a teacher!! Teachers ARE entitled to be discontent with their current situation. They deserve better!!!

A Sane Break said...

THANK YOU, Hannah. It is unbelievable that people think this way. Teachers aren't making nearly as much money as they deserve to, and for some individuals to think that they make TOO MUCH is frightening.

Dominic said...

The standard of teaching, having been exposed to the public school system on both ends all my life, DOES need to be raised. In the end, there are the people in their jobs that are there for themselves, and such a crucial, under-appreciated job like public teaching reeks of these people.
So our solution is stripping away the position's integrity because the person filling it isn't working out? What about raising the level of education required to teach? what about more efficient pre-education courses that will effectively weed out the dispassionate or wrongly-motivated?

Or we can just knock these teachers down a notch. Maybe they needa be learned a lesson once in a while! because unjustified punishment and coercion just works so well in 2011...

A Sane Break said...

Yes, raising the level of education required to teach is a fantastic idea. Or, at the very least, require a 4-year degree to start, and then have the teacher go back to school for their masters while they are teaching (be it night or summer classes).

Unfortunately, the States decide the standard that they set their teachers at- while some require a Masters degree, some only require a Bachelors. Let's also not forget that there are little nuances here and there in the college programs themselves. A degree at my state university could make me under qualified in one state, and over qualified in another.

But those things are neither here nor there. My biggest issue with this whole debate is how to effectively figure out who the "bad" teachers are. One group of people suggest testing the students for this, but I think that's ridiculous. Some kids have learning disabilities, and other kids just plain don't give a shit about school. How is that fair to the teacher?