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Is Iranetta Wright heartless or does she just come off that way?

Iranetta Wright is the admin in charge of the 36 transformation schools and she had an interesting comment in the Times Union when talking about the children in those schools
“This work is not for everybody,” Wright said. “Our work is tough. Many of our children come to school without their basic needs met. We don’t have a lot of time to empathize and sympathize with them.”
Instead, she said, teachers need to keep students focused on learning despite hardships.
Here is the thing I can keep my kids focused on learning while being sympathetic and empathetic, in fact being those two things make it easier for me to keep them focused because they allow me to build rapport. Teachers cannot ignore children’s circumstances and hardships and hope to be successful and it falls between ignorant and heartless for Mrs. Wright to imply that is what teachers should be doing.
How doesn’t Mrs. Wright understand that? I hope what she said was just in-artful and not indicative of how she really feels.
Having heart is a big part of being a teacher and to be honest it is something she has struggled with in the past.
So Mrs. Wright if you think kids are more than just numbers I would encourage you to encourage your teachers to get to know their children, to build relationships with them because doing that almost more than anything will lead to success.   

6 comments:

  1. I think I'll defend Ms. Wright on this one. She is expressing the reality that Jacksonville's teachers face in our toughest schools. The trauma many students experience leaves them unready for learning, yet teachers must continue to create learning environments whereby these students will meet expectations. A busy teacher doesn't always have the time to sit and weep with a child over what happened the night before because there are other children in the room. I don't think she meant that teachers should not care about their students. I have worked in tough schools and sometimes the message to a student is that I empathize with your hardship but please realize that education is your best bet for getting out. I believe Ms. Wright would agree with your statement that keeping students focused requires teacher empathy. I suspect this is a case of a reporter selecting a 10 second sound bite out of a much longer statement.

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    1. I probably would have given her a pass too if it wasn't for this.

      http://jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com/2013/06/mother-of-murdered-daughter-speaks-out.html

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  2. Right message, wrong messenger. From what I understand she's a bully who takes pleasure in berating and belittling teachers. That is what Vitti likes.

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    1. She is a bully, and she loves principals who bully and browbeat their teachers. Unfortunately, she has no clue what effective teaching looks like. As long as you can make your classroom "look" like you are doing all the right things, you are safe. Put up those anchor posters, keep those interactive journals up to date. Who cares if the students actually understand the material? It all looks great.

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  3. I feel sorry for many of my students, but it doesn't change how I teach them. There is nothing I can do about their home lives. They should try to leave their problems at the door. Don't they want to? School could be a place where they can focus on themselves and their future for a few hours. Teaching is the best thing, the only thing, I can do for them.

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  4. Yes, she is a bully. I have experienced her cruelty first hand. She is a person who only cares about herself.

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