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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Teaching the one profession where they expect you to cut your own throat.

It wasn’t always like that. At one point teachers joyfully collaborated and mentored the new ones. You see they were a team only as good as their weakest member and they all had a stake in bringing them up. Now if you bring somebody up it might cause you to be on the way out. 

If veteran teachers, you know the ones often demonized for wanting to have work protections and the ones practically everybody acknowledges do a better job help their cheaper, younger counterparts it can have both detrimental employment and pay ramifications if they prove successful and since that is the case where is the incentive to help the newbies, to nurture them and see that they improve.

The powers-that-be have created a gladiatorial setting where only the best is assured a job and those elusive merit pay bonuses. Their shortsighted run it like a business method encourages teachers to cut their own throats and many teachers are more than wiling to do so. They are nurturers who can’t help themselves and that’s also what the powers that be are counting on.

I hate to say it but if I was at a school with a Teach for America teacher, I would say good luck to you but that would be the height of level of assistance. I also hate to say it but its time teachers played the game and instead of being selfless they were selfish, their jobs may just depend on it.

Peter Green of the Curmudgeon blog, has an excellent piece on the subject:


  1. There is a load of TFA at my school. My colleagues and I get frustrated by them because of their lack of humility, pedagogical knowledge, and longevity. They are not competing with me because they never stay. The longest one ever stayed was 3 1/2 years, but most stay for 2. Where is the competition in that?
    We do pour a lot of time and energy into them, but I know I do it for the students who have to live under the constant turnover of new teachers. If it did not impact students, it wouldn't bother me; however, unlike those who hire or promote TFA, I have a conscience.

  2. I teach HS history, have over 200 students, 30 IEPs. I have no books and no computers. I have 29 desks and a class with 38 students coming Monday. There are no more desks at my school and I couldn't fit 38 desks in the room anyway. We were told not to have students sit on the floor. Should I ask them to stand for 90 minutes?

  3. I didn't have desks either. I went into the faculty lounge and relocated the tables and chairs into my room.
    Hey, I asked for desks; nothing came. I had to be proactive. Last year, our school had 50-60 students in core classes for the first 2 weeks; some classes had the big numbers for months.Students cannot stand perpetually.
    DCPS needs to get it together.

  4. No desks, no books, no computers and strict limits on copies. Is DCPS hiding $100,000,000 again? Putting 38 in a class instead of hiring more teachers...where is the money going? I haven't taught this many kids since 1998.

  5. Thanks for alerting me to Peter Green's blog.