What Teachers Will Be Feeling When They Wake Up This Morning
All over the country, in small towns and suburbs as well as big cities, many teachers will be waking up this morning with a sinking feeling in their stomach, fearing the next test, the next observation, the next attack on their salaries, pension or union rights, the next negative comment in the media blaming them for the nation's failures ,feeling totally alone, wondering if anyone understands how much they care about their jobs and what it's like to be the target of such withering contempt by everyone with power and influence. This is not exaggeration, it is cold fact. Teacher morale in the US is the lowest in recorded history, the logical consequence of a national crusade to reform schools without teacher input, driven by a market driven logic that views teachers as obstacles to change who will only respond to coercion and material incentives. The impact of this is not abstract- it is felt by millions of individual teachers who have to fight anxiety and depression to get themselves to work, not because their students are difficult, but because it's awful to see your autonomy,creativity and ability to connect with your students be relentlessly undermined by forces far from your classroom.
Welcome to Teaching 101, United States of America, 2013- an exercise in the collective humiliation of some of the nation's most dedicated public servants. It will only be stopped when teachers, parents and students begin demanding that their voices, not those of politicians and billionaires, be the primary ones driving educational change in the country.