Friday, February 18, 2011

Teachers are not above the rest

This will step on some toes. But teachers are not above all others. We are not god. We don't have jobs that make us better than anyone else in the world. We are not the most valuable profession. And we need to stop thinking like this.

If you work for a public school, you are a public employee. You are paid by the taxpayers. Don't the taxpayers deserve something for their money? Does walking out of class do your students any good? Where should a teacher be?

If you don't like your pay, or conditions, guess what. You don't need to be a teacher. People do not need to bend over backward for you or treat you as someone special just because you are a teacher. You chose to be a teacher. Nobody forced you. As easy as you became a teacher, you can become an ex-teacher. If you seriously don't like working as a teacher in your current position, quit. You'll do us all a favor.

For 30 years, we have seen the rise of teacher unions. And at the same time, the fall of student achievement.

We will walk off the job so we get a couple of bucks more in our pocket, but continue the status quo of high dropout rates. And when people talk reform, we whine, oh no! You can't do that to us! We're special! We're teachers! Why society just can't live without us.

Wrong. They can. If you are not there for your students first and foremost, then what kind of a teacher are you? You think being paid more makes you a better teacher? So the teachers in New York and California are much better teachers than the ones in North Dakota? Hardly. Have you looked at the achievement scores lately? What kind of a product do you put out? Then you complain about how you should not be held responsible to teach all students.

You complain about teacher tests and student tests. Thinking that somehow education and educators are different than doctors, and even plumbers. Those professions must take tests. And they are judged by the state as to what kind of product they put out. You don't want your student judged by a test, but they can't even get a drivers license without taking a written standardized test. Why should high school be judged looser? Your students need skills. It's up to you to teach them. If you don't want to, or can't, then please leave the profession. If you think paying more for your retirement makes you a worse teacher, quit. Taxpayers are your bosses. It's their money that pays your salary. If you thumb your nose at them, you will suffer the backlashes that are building against teachers and their unions.

Your students should not be left abandoned in school rooms while you picket a state capital.

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