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Old 02-22-2013, 09:36 AM  
Molitoth Molitoth is offline
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The Exhaustion of the American Teacher

Ran across this article making it's way around facebook.
I thought it was very interesting, especially considering my wife is an elementary teacher. This really hits the nail on the head.
What are your thoughts?

I don't venture into the DC forum too often, sorry if repost.

And the article won't let me Copy/Paste.

http://theeducatorsroom.com/2012/09/...erican-teacher
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:22 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by pr_capone View Post
My wife is a teacher. Most days she is out the door by 6AM and doesn't return until 5PM. That is if there isn't a meeting after class be it a school, grade level, or just a teaming session. On those days I typically see her come home by 7-7:30pm. When she gets home she is either grading papers or working on lesson plans for about an hour or two... I often help her grade. This doesn't include the time she sets aside to call parents and talk to them about their spoiled crotch fruit.

She typically will put in 6 hours on Saturdays. That is when she will typically meet with her student teach her to plan the week as well as teach the student teacher how to be an effective educator (no... she doesn't get paid extra to babysit a n00b teacher). Sundays she reserves for herself.

On a typical work week she is easily putting in 65-70 hours.

As for her 3 month vacation in summer. 2 of those months are taken up with personal development meetings put on by the district or taking additional college classes offered by the district to make her a better teacher. Of the remaining 4 weeks, 2 of them are spent in the classroom getting her room ready for the next school year and meeting with the teachers from the grade level below in order to become aquainted with her new students. The other 2 weeks... she actually takes for herself.

She has been teaching for 15 years and is 12 credit hours away from a Doctorate. She makes substantially less than that 70k number floating around earlier in the thread.
Thank You for the quality response. The couple teachers I know personally, dont work anywhere near those kinds of hours but I wasnt sure if they were "the norm" or just slackers.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:36 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Brock View Post
It is nothing but repetition and rote memorization. Parents should already have this done before kindergarten.
If that is your belief then you are woefully wrong. That is what crappy teachers think, and they are loathed by their peers for those beliefs.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:36 PM   #63
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Here is what is happening in St. Joe.

http://www.newspressnow.com/news/loc...e9a748351.html
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:47 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
That is a gross misrepresentation of what they do. We've all been taught by plenty of teachers who knew their shit and did exactly as you say and they were terrible teachers. And we've all been taught by teachers that change our lives.

I don't know what's so hard about this. We all know the difference between good and bad teaching, yet can't acknowledge that it's talent that sets good and bad ones apart?
A good part of it is the proposals for assessing quality teaching. Currently there are proposals that would "rate" teachers on their students' standardized test scores. At first glance that seems reasonable, however the vast majority of these plans fail to take into account where those students stood when they entered the classroom.

Students in honors courses for example, many of whom may be able to score high at the beginning of the year take a test and by the measure of a standardized test we assume the teacher was great. Another teacher has a kid who can't multiply without using his fingers, he makes huge progress conceptually yet fails the year end test. That teacher is assumed to be a failure.

The kind of assessments to truly evaluate instructional practices are woefully lacking funds. When you can't even classroom needs fulfilled in many districts spending money on those truly performance assessments that can measure growth stand little to no chance of gaining support. It is just easier to rant about the crappy, lazy teachers (and there are some).

Pay for performance, great, if you are truly awarding performance and not fortunate circumstance.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:50 PM   #65
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The demoralizing bullshit of teaching isn't the kids at this point, although that can be frustrating. It's the fact that all of the educational "experts" and "reformers" are mainly misguided idiots who don't have a ****ing clue about education on the ground level, but they're the ones who are controlling policy.

It's interesting in KS, and I assume other states, a lot of tension between smaller districts and mega districts. My aunt and uncle were teachers in a district with 5 employees in the district office, the superintendent would substitute teach if a teacher is sick, and the school board knew what was going on in the district.

I can't imagine teaching in a mega-district where there are more than 15 people making more than $100k (including the head of the public relations department), and a school board president that doesn't understand 'public meeting'


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Old 02-23-2013, 07:51 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Molitoth View Post
Here is what is happening in St. Joe.

http://www.newspressnow.com/news/loc...e9a748351.html
And that right there should tell you why you have to be careful about just rubber-stamping everything. Some of those cuts are deeply disturbing. For example... technology. How are we to raise our kids to be leaders in the digital age when we're drastically cutting back tech resources in the classrooms?

There seem to be much deeper costs that are draining the system. Schools are more dangerous and require security like never before. I imagine liability has gone up which drastically increases insurance costs. And then there's illegal immigrants, who are draining the system by giving some students free education, but also forcing stronger bilingual programs (which sort of ticks me off... my family were immigrants. My parents had to learn to adapt themselves). That and I still have the firm belief that the union is completely draining the quality of education.

I think people are quick to point the finger at teachers, and not at the main symptoms of the problem, which are likely waste, unions, immigration, and security/liability. If only we could use those same dollars to reward good teachers and give them better resources to educate.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:54 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by VAChief View Post
A good part of it is the proposals for assessing quality teaching. Currently there are proposals that would "rate" teachers on their students' standardized test scores. At first glance that seems reasonable, however the vast majority of these plans fail to take into account where those students stood when they entered the classroom.

Students in honors courses for example, many of whom may be able to score high at the beginning of the year take a test and by the measure of a standardized test we assume the teacher was great. Another teacher has a kid who can't multiply without using his fingers, he makes huge progress conceptually yet fails the year end test. That teacher is assumed to be a failure.

The kind of assessments to truly evaluate instructional practices are woefully lacking funds. When you can't even classroom needs fulfilled in many districts spending money on those truly performance assessments that can measure growth stand little to no chance of gaining support. It is just easier to rant about the crappy, lazy teachers (and there are some).

Pay for performance, great, if you are truly awarding performance and not fortunate circumstance.
I agree, the answer is not easy, and some reformers oversimplify how easy it is. More than anything, you've got to start somewhere, and at the very least... it has got to start with trimming the fat. There are plenty of teachers who are just terrible at teaching or have done things that are blatantly fireable, but nobody gets rid of them. And too many teachers are protected by tenure, so we keep around the good, expensive teacher who is terrible and fire the cheap, non-tenured young teachers who might help provide the spark and innovation the system needs.

The solutions aren't easy. I just wish there weren't so many people hell-bent on protecting a broken system instead of being open to listening to solutions.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:05 PM   #68
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I love posts like these. Always fun to understand another person's world. Thanks for sharing.

I will say this... one big perk by a mile is that while they make $70K, they also earn some pretty unbelievable perks. I can tell you that my private sector insurance and retirement plan is unbelievably worse than what teachers get. I also think you could argue that it's a great occupation for a parent -- there are too many private sector jobs that require office hours that I think are totally unreasonable -- in the changing world, not enough companies have embraced the idea that if you have no afternoon meetings, there is no reason why you couldn't just work remote. By the way... I don't mind paying good teachers and I'm in the camp that good ones are underpaid, so I'm not saying it's a bad thing. But it's something to keep in mind when comparing salaries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pr_capone View Post
My wife is a teacher. Most days she is out the door by 6AM and doesn't return until 5PM. That is if there isn't a meeting after class be it a school, grade level, or just a teaming session. On those days I typically see her come home by 7-7:30pm. When she gets home she is either grading papers or working on lesson plans for about an hour or two... I often help her grade. This doesn't include the time she sets aside to call parents and talk to them about their spoiled crotch fruit.

She typically will put in 6 hours on Saturdays. That is when she will typically meet with her student teach her to plan the week as well as teach the student teacher how to be an effective educator (no... she doesn't get paid extra to babysit a n00b teacher). Sundays she reserves for herself.

On a typical work week she is easily putting in 65-70 hours.

As for her 3 month vacation in summer. 2 of those months are taken up with personal development meetings put on by the district or taking additional college classes offered by the district to make her a better teacher. Of the remaining 4 weeks, 2 of them are spent in the classroom getting her room ready for the next school year and meeting with the teachers from the grade level below in order to become aquainted with her new students. The other 2 weeks... she actually takes for herself.

She has been teaching for 15 years and is 12 credit hours away from a Doctorate. She makes substantially less than that 70k number floating around earlier in the thread.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:36 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
That is a gross misrepresentation of what they do. We've all been taught by plenty of teachers who knew their shit and did exactly as you say and they were terrible teachers. And we've all been taught by teachers that change our lives.

I don't know what's so hard about this. We all know the difference between good and bad teaching, yet can't acknowledge that it's talent that sets good and bad ones apart?
I am talking about kindergarten. I don't know what you're talking about. Teaching abcs and counting isn't calculus. The rewards should be commensurate with that.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:56 PM   #70
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I am talking about kindergarten. I don't know what you're talking about. Teaching abcs and counting isn't calculus. The rewards should be commensurate with that.
God help us if we think education at any level, kindergarten or senior year, is about rote memorization and ABCs.

There are a LOT of very smart people, very kind people, and very organized people who are grossly under qualified to teach a kindergarten classroom. I consider myself a good person. I cannot imagine the unbelievable amount of patience it would take to deal with 30 kids this age let alone teach them and the unbelievable amount of creativity and enthusiasm it would take to make the learning fun. Or the psychology behind letting kids be kids while still putting them in their place. You make it sound like a robot could do that job.

I heard one person say, and it's true, that this is the year where kids figure out if learning will be fun or not. The rewards should be commensurate with replaceability. You are comparing a classroom to the IT environment you work in. I know in my work place, soft skills matter a ton. In lower-level classrooms, I imagine they are critical skills that lots of people do not have.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:05 PM   #71
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I'd guess the best answer to the problem with our education system is to study the country's whose kid's test scores rank the highest.

I'll bet it boils down to how the family unit regards the importance of education and passes that understanding down to their kids. Not so much the education system itself.

I don't think it's so much our education system is failing, more the parents. Getting a kid to school age means they don't have to pay daycare any longer.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:06 PM   #72
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Not all, same as there are ill prepared in any profession, but to think otherwise is blissful ignorance. Your statement about K teachers I find especially ignorant of reality. Teaching children their beginning literacy and numeracy skills could not be more important.
What was ignorant of reality? K teachers getting $75 per year, even to start, because it could wreck kids feelings about education early? Lol. I taught my kid to read, and remediated others. Per others that have done it, including parents who are teachers, teaching reading is one of the easiest things in the world to do. Just because it's important, doesn't mean it's hard to do.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:32 PM   #73
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What was ignorant of reality? K teachers getting $75 per year, even to start, because it could wreck kids feelings about education early? Lol. I taught my kid to read, and remediated others. Per others that have done it, including parents who are teachers, teaching reading is one of the easiest things in the world to do. Just because it's important, doesn't mean it's hard to do.
$75k?!?!?! Where the **** did that number come from? A first year teacher in Wichita makes 38k per year. A 20 year teacher with a Doctorate makes 60k.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:40 PM   #74
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$75k?!?!?! Where the **** did that number come from? A first year teacher in Wichita makes 38k per year. A 20 year teacher with a Doctorate makes 60k.
And even with the salary wrong, people continue to talk about teaching one person versus teaching 30. And act as if it's easy to keep structure among a group of 30 screaming kids, many of whom are very poorly behaved. I would imagine that most of the people who insist on how easy the job is would either burn out quickly, or be very bad at it. That includes me.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:41 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
What was ignorant of reality? K teachers getting $75 per year, even to start, because it could wreck kids feelings about education early? Lol. I taught my kid to read, and remediated others. Per others that have done it, including parents who are teachers, teaching reading is one of the easiest things in the world to do. Just because it's important, doesn't mean it's hard to do.
One of the easiest things to do? Your skewed reality it seems has no bounds as does your apparent ignorance on the subject. Homeschooling your seed gives you a perspective, hardly one that would provide evidence of what is the truth. Hey but the malls are full right?
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