Monday, October 3, 2011

Those who can't, teach? Not so much.

            There comes a moment in every public school teacher’s career when he or she wonders if it’s worth all the hassle. These days, teaching is so much more than imparting content knowledge to students who want to learn. Teachers today are expected to be surrogate parents, entertainers, disciplinarians, motivational speakers, counselors, and – oh yeah – sometimes they get to teach math or geography. When you factor in meeting the requirements for NCLB and Race to the Top, budget cuts that result in furlough days that teachers work anyway, and pay based on how well some thirteen-year-old students did on a multiple choice test they took one day in April, it’s a wonder that there are any teachers left at all!

            I can tell you from firsthand experience that it is impossible to teach reading and writing skills if the students have “other business” that takes precedence over learning. Consider this video that has gone viral on YouTube:

            High school and middle school teachers just frown and nod as they watch this. There is nothing unusual in the situation for them. Every day, thousands of teachers give this exact same speech, and then, in the same breath, proceed to teach biology or history.

            Teaching in a public school? Just another day in paradise….