Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Caught in the middle

I find it hard to articulate how I feel, but these three articles come close.

High School teacher says "Don't blame me." Because of NCLB or RTTT , students are not being asked to think in depth and teachers are being forced to use multiple choice tests, so it isn't my fault they can't think.

Teacher argues we must meet the students where they are. Students come to you with holes in their education (or, worse, misunderstandings) that need to be taught before you can continue. As math teachers are we then developing the depth of mathematics that we can or simply focusing on skills?

"When are we ever going to use this?" And why don't English teachers get asked that? Her best line for me was when are football players ever going to use bear crawls, burpees, and crab walks in real life - and yet they do not question doing them in practice.

I wonder why I went into teaching. Don't get me wrong, I am a good teacher, but I don't think I am a great teacher. I cannot even figure out how to get better - I feel like I am drowning in crap that doesn't matter which keeps me (or allows me to keep myself) from digging down a layer and getting that much better.

Please do not tell me to quit. If you don't want to read this an be positive and offer positive suggestions, go someplace else, please.

I work on teaching them what they do not know - and then find other holes I hadn't even thought of.

I am tired of trying to compete with texting - but there is no solution if the students wish to text rather than learn.

I cannot imagine taking a course and then demanding a grade rather than working to earn that grade - and yet I have those kids. They will not follow directions - and then it is my fault they do not pass.

I need to change jobs. I know that - changing to a different school would help because I do not at this point believe that the culture will be changed here. I need to be coming up with a list of strengths and weaknesses and I only see weaknesses. Time to do and quit thinking about it.

4 comments:

Pissed Off said...

I do not think there are answers and I am sure another school will be the same. Unfortunately your job depends on doing what they want. In my day, teaching and reaching whoever we could counted. I do not think it is the same anymore. No solutions, just empathy.

Kate said...

I often feel frustrated in my own teaching as well. This is not to do with the attitudes of my students, because they are adults and are voluntarily enrolled in their classes. However, they learn so slowly that it can take years for them to see substantial progress. And my funders are not that patient. I try to keep a few things in mind. First, I don't have to change the world. I don't have to succeed with everyone to make a difference. If I am able to make meaningful change in the lives of one or two people a year, AWESOME! And I keep trying to be the best teacher I can within the restrictions placed on me, in search of those few people. It also helps me to remember that I have chosen this path and it will be the rock that I finally beat myself to death against, but that's OK. Better that than a life of work that doesn't engage my emotions at all.

Mlissabeth said...

My two cents: having been forced to find a new position to teach in the schools with 25+ years experience, I found I was overlooked because of my experience. Schools around here want to hire teachers with little to no experience, because they don't have to pay them as much as someone with the experience, like me.

Mlissabeth said...

My two cents: having been forced to find a new position to teach in the schools with 25+ years experience, I found I was overlooked because of my experience. Schools around here want to hire teachers with little to no experience, because they don't have to pay them as much as someone with the experience, like me.