The Little-Known Truth About Today’s Teachers
What is the problem with the education? In one conversation, Bert, a teacher, and his friend, Tim, talked about the education in the USA. They mentioned that people who have never read a book in their lives have more power than those who are well educated.
According to Tim, the problem lies in teachers. He says that teachers are not good at what they do. Since Bert used to work as a teacher, but he still has the title and knows people who are still working as teachers, he is aware of their hard work.
So, Bert asked Tim if he knew what teachers did, and of course, he did not. Moreover, Bert wrote an email and sent it to one of his former colleagues, and she was close to retirement.
In this email, Bert asked her what type of changes she noticed in the education from the first day she started teaching till nowadays. After a week, she sent him back an answer long six pages.
This teacher’s name is Susan. She started teaching 31 years ago, and back then, she had 6 class periods that included about 25 children and 2 more “preps.”
Three decades ago teachers were expected to develop lessons, grade tests and homework, contact parents when it was necessary, as well as handwriting grade cards.
Many things are different now, and even though they did not make Susan give up, they bent her enough for her to be prepared for retirement. So, according to Susan’s experience as a teacher, Bert explains why teachers suck.
1. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork
Teachers nowadays are stuck doing paperwork for hours that do not help students at all. They need to provide documented learning objectives for each student, and every administrator has a task of 120 classroom observations.
Also, for each formal observation, teachers need to provide paperwork for every observation. Although it is a good thing for new teachers having a required mentoring program, there is a bad side too.
Both, the mentor and the mentee need to prepare and submit documents, and that takes so many hours which stops them from doing what they are really supposed to do which is teaching.
Bert explains that when he started teaching, their colleagues who had more experience helped him a lot because they actually had free time to mentor him, they were not stuck doing paperwork.
So, according to Susan, new teachers find it hard to learn how to manage a classroom, the art of teaching, to form relationships, etc., and that is so because they need to provide a portfolio in which they will fill out how many hours of paperwork did they do.
Then, there are some people who will make a decision for those teachers’ fate based on paperwork. Sadly, some teachers fail because they did not do the paperwork properly.
Even though submitting information through electronics may be good for the trees, but it is still bad for the teachers.
2. Unfunded Mandates
If you are a teacher, you are aware of this. The politicians like creating laws about education without including teachers’ opinions. This results in state and federally mandated testing, and the children spend more hours on tests than on learning.
High school students have been taught to appreciate standardized test, but they cannot think their way out of the corner. However, we cannot blame teachers for that when in fact, it is the short-sighted legislators’ blame.
The mandatory tests are online, so every high school needed to be provided with more data ports that were supposed to handle numerous computers.
And, of course, the money for this came from the district. Besides losing money, there is wasted time for learning. Now, there is something new – vouchers.
These vouchers are for parents, and they can get a tax credit which is equal to what may be spent on the education of their kid. The money can be used for the further education of the child.
Anyway, the money comes from underfunded schools. Actually, parents are paying taxes for their neighbor’s child. People, teachers are asked to do a lot with less, and that needs to come to an end.
3. Litigation from Parents
In the past, there had to be something huge for a parent to sue a school, but today things are different. Our schools are filled with ELL, IDEA, IEP, ESL and so on. Their purpose is to offer a good education for each kid no matter what.
Yes, this is good, but teachers spend so many hours on accommodating students who come in with legally-binding documents. One teacher is already afraid for the next year because he is now under assault by a parent because of her child’s IEP of 51 pages.
The mother may file a lawsuit just as she has done it before. Nowadays, schools get lawsuits daily, and they decide to settle them out of court because legal battles are pricey. An absurd case in Susan’s school says a lot.
One student was caught while selling her mother’s prescription pills. You may think that this student was punished. Well, not really.
The parents accused the school of their child misdeed because they did not diagnose their child with ADHD, and they filed a lawsuit. Unfortunately, this happens very often, and teachers are afraid to say a word without thinking about it hundreds of times.
4. A Broken Society’s Expectations
Earlier a teacher’s job was to teach subjects, but now, teachers are responsible for raising kids. There are not a lot of children that learn the fundamental “life skills” as well as attitudes at home, so the teachers are expected to do what parents will not or cannot.
Also, teachers need to make sure for children to be fed. Many schools have toilets, food, and clothing pantries for children whose homes cannot offer them the necessities, and teachers and volunteers run them.
Teachers are supposed to teach, clothe, feed, and be parents to children, and they do not get time, resources, and support, but they are blamed.
All in all, teachers are expected to create an excellent product even though they are working with people that cannot be controlled completely. Teachers end up being parents to each child, and that costs them emotionally and psychologically.
While they are trying to answer every mail and a phone call from parents, do paperwork, organize classrooms, make lesson plans, try to ignore what the Internet says about them, they are also trying to get a raped girl into counseling, keep the child out of rehab clean, and many other things.
Like it or not, this is the reality. Are you now aware why the teachers suck? They do all of these things because they love our children. It is a high time to provide teachers with the resources and support they need to do the job they are trained to do.