Thursday, February 17, 2011

What's A Teacher Supposed To Do?!

This teacher got suspended with pay over people freaking out about her blog posts.  I didn't make it a point to go back and read the cached version of her website, but in order to make my own opinions about the things she brings up in her blog, I don't need to.

Teachers are held to some fraked up moral and ethical standard that we ourselves don't hold ourselves to.  I definitely don't want my kid molested or harmed by anybody especially at a school; however, it does highlight a number of things wrong with our educational system. Those who teach know that teaching children (21 and under) isn't just about the subject matter at hand.  They are expected to not only give them tools to use in the real world but also to discipline and correct behavior at the same time.  That's boolsheet.  The paltry sum many teachers receive to me doesn't cover the emotional and physical distress caused by misbehaving, disrespectful students.  I have yet to have a typical K-12 teacher tell me about a class they took in their training to deal with behavior modification.  It's on-the-job-training for most and not compensated.  So, yes, I think she has a case to vent a bit about how unruly kids can be.

Also, parents as a whole don't have a running dialog with their kids teachers. The assumption of "No news [from the teacher] is good news" is dead.  It seems that it has changed to "If there's some news, it better only be good news otherwise you failed my child."  C'mon.  That's such a disconnected view of your child's performance.  My son isn't at an age where he's going to school yet but when he does, if he fails at something and I didn't do everything I could to help him, e.g., help with homework, talk to his teachers about his progress and what I can do to help, work with him to achieve something greater than himself, or talk to tutors/doctors/etc., then I failed him as a father.  If he and I did everything in our power to make a valiant effort at success and he still fails, then we gave it a shot and learned a ton of life lessons out of it.  Basically, I'm saying that parents must accept responsibility for their own children's education until they are self-sufficient enough to take control of their own lives (not using the "18 - you're an adult" rule.  Most 27 year olds I know still don' have a frakin' clue.)

I look back at my own academic performance and think, "Man, I could've done so much better."  I was lazy, dim, and nerdy in a lot of ways that hampered my own performance.  So, I don't blame her for calling it like it is.  Teachers, tell me my son is lazy if he's not doing his homework.  It'll hurt but probably light a fire under my arse to change that perception about my kid.  Tell me to get more involved in my child's life.  My ego will take a bruising but for you to be brash enough to be honest with me perhaps you have a point.

With regards to her being fired/suspended, that's up in the air for me.  She was dumb enough to post all of this stuff online which does make her subject to scrutiny.  Just like everyone of who blog, your employer can read it and terminate you for things outside of work.  I find it a bit unprofessional that she allowed it to go public even if it was hard to find but by no means is she barred from speaking her mind.  Just like the parents she lambasted for their kids behavior, she needs to take responsibility for her own actions as well (which I believe she's doing).  I think she shouldn't be fired but she might as well quit as she's burned a few bridges there and there won't be a future for her to grow now.

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