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Monday, November 25, 2013

Why would anybody want to be a teacher?

I just read an article about how the Koch brothers are funding anti-tenure legislation all across the nation. I can’t go a day without reading how pensions are bankrupting America; remember when teachers created the housing bubble that nearly wrecked the world? Oh neither do I. Then there is Common Core, which ratchets up high stakes testing further eroding flexibility, and creativity.

Sure the attacks against teachers have slowed down some as alternatives sold as saviors like charter schools and vouchers have failed and a few teachers sacrificed their lives to protect children in Connecticut and Oklahoma but after years of being the villain of the narrative it’s hard to forget all the assertions about lazy teachers only concerned with their Cadillac benefits and summers off that people like Michelle Rhee, Jeb Bush, Bill Gates and Arne Duncan have made. Now they reserve their nastiest attacks for unions and teacher colleges.

I have also read something like half of all teachers are going to retire in the next ten years and that’s got to be half the teachers that made teaching a career because we all know almost half of all new teachers don’t last five years.

Throw in salaries for most teachers not being on par with other professionals and benefits getting more and more expensive and providing less and less and I ask again why would anybody want to be a teacher?

Oh I remember, it’s my kids thanking me for being there and it’s the light I can sometimes see go off when they finally get what I am teaching. Today it makes it worth it.

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