Those who can, teach
MrsDoF and I found ourselves at McDonald’s this morning for breakfast, talking about our week. A substitute teacher’s assistant, she sees more different schools and classrooms than most principals. She said;
“You have twenty-four different personalities and sets of abilities, and you’re supposed to focus them all on this one, all-important objective,” (makes converging gesture with hands) “and all on the same task at the same time.”
What are schools really trying to do? Or more precisely, what does the state want them to do? Train independent thinkers? Foster productive citizenship? Well yes, it’s nice if that happens but the primary objective, the outcome which school funding incentivizes, is a certain percentage of kids making a certain score on standardized tests.
Mind you, ADA rules require “mainstreaming” autistic and developmentally disabled kids into the classroom. Many kids are poor and have fractured home lives. Some have attention disorders or just never receive any positive reinforcement at home. And you, the teacher, have to focus all these beams of light onto a single spot.
Anyone who doesn’t think that is real work is welcome to try it. That includes politicians who want to make teachers somehow responsible for outcomes with multiple variables which they cannot possibly overcome. And when they want to look really tough, they put corporate leaders who have never been teachers, in charge of school districts.
Good luck, teacher. And remember, you’re a lazy, greedy public employee and the state budget crisis is all your fault!
(h/t Bis Key Chronicles for the picture which I shamelessly stole.)