wonderful song Mr. TeachbadDylan
I bright, enthusiastic well educated young friend of mine just started this year teaching in DC.She was so ecxited! She has a single subject in High school Health. They put her in all day kindergarten. After one month of desperate effort, late nights, and tears, not to mention the total destruction in her self esteem because she could not babysit, much lest teach the crowd of 5 year olds who didn’t know so much as their own names and that destroying the room is not good. She quit. There in less than one month. I believe it was a charter but I, not sure. Just that it was a DC school. Another dream destroyed by the system.
I would echo what TeachBaby said below: tell your friend not to be discouraged! I got my degree in math and was trained for secondary ed. I took a job tutoring math to what I thought would be high school students at a charter school, and was thrown into a class of 17 6th graders that I had 2 or 3 (!) times a day, 3x a week. It was such a disaster. I was supposed to simultaneously tutor and babysit in a class that had no grade system to hold them accountable to, as it simply replaced an elecitve. I was in tears more than once, and I now know I will never go back to middle school. Once I got a real teaching job with older kids I was much happier. Your friend needs to find her niche.
I have to point out how much better you look now that you are not teaching in that toxic environment. I feel sad that we teachers in public schools have to find ways to separate our own children out from the general school population because of the poor administration.
You need a teaching job in a better place.
Wow Mr. Teachbad. Excellent song. Excellent balloon pop. Excellent picture of de witch.
And Mr. Teachbad: you are so handsome!
Dear Becky Ruth: don’t let your friend get discouraged. French teachers make horrible physics teachers and via versa.
Every grade and subject has its own learning curve assuming you know the subject in the first place. Just cause they put your friend in an absurd position doesn’t say anything about your friend whatsoever. It’s been done to me. Tell this friend to take away only the knowledge that only morons stick a teacher in a kindergarten who has no experience . He’ll it doesn’t even mean you can’t teach kindergarten– without the training who could? It does not just come naturally. All of us were taught! Or we had some rough years teaching ourselves.
“In the name of data-driven decision making,
cease and desist this undertaking.”
(Psst. MRS. Teachbad. You better keep an eye on yo man….he’s got all the biddies in a tizzy….nuttin’ sexier than an man, a guitar, and a red balloon! hahaha!)
A thought occurred to me while I was watching this video: I feel like the current attitude towards teachers is that we are “guilty until proven innocent” – it is assumed that we are inept until we can prove otherwise. This attitude is present among the general public, the government, and amongst our administrators. It’s the reason for all of this “teacher accountability.” I don’t see my husband having to collect BS data in order to satisfy “network engineer” accountability. There aren’t legions of CEO’s out there coming up with tests to prove that their computer guys aren’t complete assholes. I notice that when I tell people that I am a public school music teacher, I have a habit of qualifying the statement with some of my own musical accomplishments. It’s almost like I have a need to defend my talent and my intelligence. I never hear my husband doing this…maybe because he works with computers and not kids.
But it’s just a thought I had.
Don’t be too down on your guitar playing, Teachbad. You’ve got those three chords down pat! That’s more than most people can say.
I’ve been thinking the same thing. For example, we have PD tomorrow and the topic is to make sure we know what “critical thinking” and “authentic assessment” are, and to make sure that we include them in our exams.
I feel like I’m being potty trained . . . As an adult.
I affectionately refer to PD as Poop D’jour, so the potty training is a nice extension of the metaphor.
Here’s an email from our Dept Chair that really really really helps to break down my poop schedule:
“Please make every effort to give your students the opportunity to show you what they know through formative assessments prior to giving a Unit Test. This should be happening at all levels.
A good estimate for time spent on a quiz is under 30 minutes. Quizzes should be returned ASAP so students can learn from their mistakes prior to their unit test.
In a unit with 8 skills:
Quiz on the first 3 skills
Quiz on the second 3 skills (maybe include some from the first 3 skills)
Graded Exit Pass on the last 2 skills
In other words, you should have double the number of formative assessments for every unit assessment. So if you have 3 major assessments you should have at least 6 formative assessments.”
In other words, when you speak to me like I’m an idiot, you sound like an idiot. Lame come back, I know.
Read this and thought of you: http://theeducatorsroom.com/2012/09/the-exhaustion-of-the-american-teacher/
MTB: this post had the opposite effect on me. It has me worried that Rhee can show 13% and make it sound so good. If the 13% was just inflated numbers as in freakonomics ( cheating and such) I might feel better.
Saying she’s global and lecturing for 50k made me ill.
Side note to last couple posts: as I told y’ll I am at two schools-same district- this year. One school has a laid back admin, the teachers are happier but back- biting in the building. The other school you can actually taste, touch and feel the misery. The teachers walls are covered floor to ceiling with crap, the all talk like they want their mamas and the admins suffer from acute DICS. This observation has me kinda freaked too. I did share your website today with a few less fortunate comrades as the School of Misery.
I can’t get video to “show” on the page. Oh well…
I know my school has that same sad feeling. We get 2 or 3 new “ATR” teachers-those in excess from all the school closing in NYC- each week and by Monday afternoon they all say they can see and hear how awful our school is. From where I sit, the life of ATR is appealing. A new school every week, no lessons, no curriculum maps, no grading. They get full pay to be a sub or work hall duty. Our school is fairly abusive to them, but so what? They are gone in a week. If I wasn’t worried about them overturning the no lay-off clause, I would gladly volunteer to become an ATR. (ATR= Absent Teacher Reserve)
Sorry to go off topic, but this last week or so, and something that has happened today, has put me totally over the edge. I didn’t think I’d last more than a few more months or so and looks like I’m right. I’ll probably put in my notice tomorrow (just to be a nice guy because admin has been okay, believe it or not). So, a few weeks to a month at the most and I will be officially done with teaching forever.
Wish me luck….
Best of luck! Let us know how it goes . . .
I do wish you luck.
I would have quit the first day, the first week, the first month, except I had a contract which I thought would penalize me if I did. When I found out that I wasn’t actually a prisoner, I still managed to hold on for more than six years out of sheer bullheadedness.
I have never worked so hard in my life to be a success, but by the time I gave it up, there was nothing left. The sad thing is, many of the teachers I worked with are among the best friends I have ever had, and I miss that aspect of teaching terribly.
Diff: wish u the best.!!
Curiosity is big for probably a lot of us bloggers about what happened to put u over the edge.
I almost quit this past week over an over the top issue but have decided to chill myself out and just do one day at a time. I almost lost it and walked just yesterday.
I want to put this out here. Why ate tea cher’s unions backing Obama? Is an F better than an E? Rhee and RTTT are Obamas.
If pro union candidates are horrible to unions but only the lessor or two evils, why not let union candidates know they will lose union support in toto if they sell us out? Why not state that if you are not for us, we’ll chose the other candidate to make the point that we won’t give full support for half hearted support.
Tempting to take it further… Silence of the Lambs starring ___________________(fill in your own version of Hannibal Lechter. Rhee, Christie, Walker, etc) , brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer of educators…..oh, I could go on and on. But you all get it.
Oops…this comment was meant for crazedmummys post re sheared sheep.
Ha. maybe I am as dumb as a sheep.
As anyone knows, I decided to make this my last year. Then, I realized my misery was going to prevent me from making the year. In fact, I gave myself 3-4 months tops. From there, that number dwindled down to 2-3 months tops. Now keep in mind, the number one reason why I decided this would be my last year is…PAPERWORK. Though not the only reason, it was, and is, the number one reason by far. Anyway, fast forward to the last few days or so. I have 5 paras in my room. 4 of the 5 are child-like. I had to tell them to stop texting, sitting on desks, etc. Now, yesterday one of my students said something to me that was rude. I simply told him to never speak to me like that again…and did so in a loud voice. his para, who I told stop texting, sit next to her one-on-one student, etc., told the school psychologist that was was so mean to him, etc etc. Then the psychologist told the principal. The principal was on my side, though admitted it could be a big problem with the mother (who is off the wall). Fast forward to this morning and the principal told me ALL the paras ran to her to complain. Apparently this group of paras did not appreciate me telling them to stop texting, etc…in other words, to do their job. If you knew me, you would know that I’m the last person in the world who would be unfair or demanding of my paras. Anyway, I did give my notice today. I’m taking a 2 week leave, then officially resigning. The principal understood completely. Anyway, I need to destress now. God help every teacher out there.
But if we choose the other candidate, we are going to be slaughtered. So do we put up with being sheared and clipped, and grow more wool, or do we instead line up to be turned into meat?
The problem is, as my friends and relatives int he UK say, is that the choice is between right wing and extreme right wing. There’s no left wing here.
Tempting to take it further… Silence of the Lambs starring ___________________(fill in your own version of Hannibal Lechter. Rhee, Christie, Walker, etc) , brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer of educators.….oh, I could go on and on. But you all get it.
To crazyd: MTB song post above clearly shows that we are already dead. DC teachers were annihilated. At Pd today, I was assaulted with a PD on the ineffective teacher that I’d need my own post/blog to fully detail. We are already down for the count. It is like the old quote from the holocaust about when they “came for my neighbors I kept silent and by the time they came for me there was no one left to speak.” Romney will probably do little more damage, just like he is pro-life but doesn’t plan to do anything his personal belief. It’s talk. Even if he destroys public education — so what? There isn’t much left anyway. Let’s just have the funeral. Eventually the charters will fail because its not about the teachers. pretend anymore?
For me, anyone who believes strongly in any candidate, no matter the party, is out of their mind. These are power-hungry people, end of story. Even more mind-boggling are those who would repeat their vote for someone who has, as a whole, hurt our country (yes, I mean Obama). That being said, I think they’re all garbage. As long as we keep voting with the belief that these people care about us, nothing much will change.
As for our education system, it’s beyond repair and no one will ever change that. Let’s at least be realistic. The only thing that will correct what’s been done is a time machine. Anyone want to take a stab at how long it’s been since we have TRULY been considered and treated like professionals? The 80s? The 70s?
Anyone who thinks he should be leading three hundred million people has got to be an asshole.
Dear Differentiate This: I am so sorry to hear that the “children’s hour” was the final insult to your years as a teacher. I’ve been ganged up on by liars – both kids and low level staff–(one lies and the others swear to it) and I know it’s infuriating.
Keep up your input on this blog !! I always think it’s over for me but then another day/ year shows up. I feel so used tonight by my supervisors. As a computer teacher, I am being sooo taken advantage of with people who need me for just a minute. I got stuck and I do mean zip choice staying two hours late again today. I am so angry. I had a first WEEK teacher newbie yell at me today which was comic relief. She was upset that I forced her class out if my lab to make room for my next class because she just wasn’t finished discussing matters with a couple kids. She’ll learn. I just ignored her and kept the preps rolling. Today so sucked . The kids were mean loud aggressive dip shirty treacherous tricky rude smelly stupid glazed-over with permanent shiteatengrins on their faces.
Congrats to differentiate!!!
I have been reading old posts. I guess I am sooo stresses. It feels like the task is monsterous this year. I have two schools. K-8 kids. Admins want two formats for plans. Massive reports to do, record keeping, 654 kid names to learn , plans for two schools, 9 grade levels, copiy machine that occasionally work, strange schedules, and the list goes on. Also I am the tech leader and the tech barely works.
Looking back , I know now that ignorance was bliss. I was a much kinder, better teacher before the education machine tormented me into constant worry that my paperwork wasn’t sufficient, my objectives aren’t measurable and my instruction wasn’t consistently measurable and quantifiable …..
I was a teacher.
Wikipedia writes that Ms. Rhee put TAPE on the mouths of 35 eight year olds? Tells of horrible scores and shows one year of positive scores with a co- teacher. Co- teacher!! That means that she has no no sucess that can be attributed directly but rather that without a co/real teacher to run the class for her, she failed miserably on her own.
Young man observing my class (fulfilling some grant)came to me after the lesson and breathlessly told me how many ideas he got from watching me.
“You going to be a teacher?” I asked. He smiled happily and nodded.
“You’re nuts,” I said. Little does he know that four months from now I will be saying good-bye to teaching.
Picky lesson plan semantics, nailing the components of The Seven Step Lesson Plan next to my white board so that I write out my whole lesson in detail for every class every day just in case some checklist administrator wants to see that I am teaching by formula – and the lying, petty politics of education got to me.
Good lucky, you newbies. You’ll never know how great teaching used to be. You’ll think that nitpicking and dickery is the teaching norm and wonder how things came to be that way.
“four months from now I will be saying good-bye to teaching.”
Hey I Teach in Philly, you’re quitting or retiring?
retiring/quitting .. rather not say.
Seems to be several Philly teachers around here and I think it’s wiser to stay somewhat unidentifiable. But thanks for asking
“I have been reading old posts. I guess I am sooo stresses. It feels like the task is monsterous this year. I have two schools. K-8 kids. Admins want two formats for plans. Massive reports to do, record keeping, 654 kid names to learn , plans for two schools, 9 grade levels, copiy machine that occasionally work, strange schedules, and the list goes on. Also I am the tech leader and the tech barely works.
Looking back , I know now that ignorance was bliss. I was a much kinder, better teacher before the education machine tormented me into constant worry that my paperwork wasn’t sufficient, my objectives aren’t measurable and my instruction wasn’t consistently measurable and quantifiable .….”
Well-put Teachbaby…and that just about sums up why I finally quit.
Dear Diff: two years ago, I got transferred from a first grade to a forth in mid October- leveling. I was out of my area of certification .
I found among the bizarre problems was that a had an audience of 20 year old wrap -a rounds in the room. Sometimes I had over five bored ,eye rolling , interjecting in the lesson, asking me to teach them too, adults pestering me at one time. Teaching is a private thing- I don’t care what any one says- I don’t want a f’n audience of grown-ups who are not accountable to me. They run all around the building and gossip about the teachers and are used sometimes by the admins as spies or DIC tools of harassment.
One day the kids didn’t relate to ‘point of view’ as the text was a bunny and a dog. So, I asked if they had an opinion about tattoes. Well, the TSS workers all bitched up a storm, created a scene in the room and I had nine memo’s and a meeting.
So, I get it. Good luck
Teachbaby, you obviously understand…and all too well. Nothing more annoying than judgmental paras who you know don’t have a clue as to what it really is to be a classroom teacher. God forbid they have been a para for more than a few years too. Then they think they know it all…much like a 14 year old child.
I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am today knowing I do not have to plan for the week…or teach.
Thank you for the good luck wish btw! :O)
Do you think anyone will get a clue when the only ones left to teach are the barely-literate paras (the competent ones having also bailed)with attitude and an interesting sense of style (the ones in our building generally have half their chests showing)? Who will they tattle to then?
DiffThis, enjoy your new life. You’ve given me ideas.
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