As a former educator, as a mom, and as a person existing in this society- it really made me think. It was heartbreaking but inspiring at the same time…
Discouraging, because the educational system in this country is not competing with other countries in the way we should and that’s scary for our future. But even more, we are not serving the kids in this country as we should. They are not all receiving the education they are entitled to; and they’re not all getting the great teachers that they should.
There are phenomenal teachers and they are so inspiring to watch! I wish we could clone them! When I used to work in the schools, I loved walking into these classrooms. It was a joy and I wanted to camp out there all day. The teachers were excited, positive, liked their jobs, liked the kids and were willing to try new things in the classroom. The kids are engaged and learning.
The man in my life and one of my best friends are both current high school teachers- and they are both awesome! They don’t need tenure to secure their positions, because they care, they make a difference, they are professionals and are good at what they do. You’ll never hear them say, “that’s not in my contract”. They should be rewarded and they definitely should not be making the same exact salary as the crappy teacher down the way that makes no effort and doesn’t care anymore.
These other teachers I’m referring to… you feel it the second you walk into their classrooms. When I used to visit these classrooms, I wanted to escape as fast as possible. But, the kids sitting at their seats didn’t have that option. There was no learning going on, and if the kids learned, it was despite that teacher.
But, you can’t get rid of these teachers because tenure and the unions protect them. What a huge disservice! In any business, if you do well, you are rewarded and have a great future. If you don’t, you have to improve or you’re out. That’s it. That’s the way society and business is supposed to work, so it makes no sense for that philosophy not to transfer to the educational world. Especially when were’ talking about impacting kids.
It’s easy to place blame on the districts and bureaucracy. While that can be a problem, I’ve worked with school districts that implement the most amazing professional development for their teachers. Do everything possible to mentor and help them. But, as in all areas of life- some people are just not good at their jobs. The same goes for teachers. They may know their content area, but they don’t know how to teach it to kids. Or, they’ve stopped caring. And those teachers should simply not be in the classroom, should not be taking away from the education budget and should not be protected.