Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Teachers need to finally learn a hard lesson

The education system depends on teachers giving millions of unpaid hours, sacrificing their time with friends and family, and what little money they have to make sure things keep moving. Unfortunatly many teachers think these sacrifices are noble, and they are not. By doing so, they allow this awful system to continue and doom future generations to endure the same horrible conditions. Teachers, for many of us its time to learn a hard lesson and that's we are a huge part of the problem.

If teachers aren't going to be treated with respect and compensated appropriately, and both, not one or the other, then the system should get an honest day's work and nothing more. Do not come in early, do not stay late, do not volunteer for extra (unpaid) duties, and do not stress about things that do not get done. It's not your fault; it's a system that thinks it's okay to put a yoke on you. It's a system that thinks overworking, under paying and disrespecting its people, is just fine.  

Some teachers and families and many elected officials might think teachers can't do that, that their students desperately need all the extra they do, and it's true. Still, it's families and elected officials' jobs to provide it. 

A few years back, teachers all over the nation were tired of being blamed for society's ills and both paid and treated like second class, citizens rose in protest and demanded more pay and better working conditions, and at the time, they won too. So what did society do? They punished teachers. Teachers went from heroes to zeroes, pedophiles and groomers, and who stood up for us? Some parents, sure, but not enough, and it sure wasn't superintendents and school boards. In very few and far between instances, they were challenging these lies and calling them out. Nope, they preferred to remain quiet less they get the attention of a small but loud and sometimes scary mob. 

Teachers, by their nature, are givers, and I am here to let you know that in years past, their altruism allowed the system to run roughshod over them; it has exploited them, and because teachers permitted it to happen, the entire system has suffered for it.

My wife works in multi-family housing, and for the most part, with great residents, but in every community, a few cause most of the drama. I tell her don't be surprised when assholes act like assholes; well, friends, that is the education system; teachers shouldn't be surprised they are given too much to do and not enough resources or enough time to do it because that's what assholes do. It's only going to stop, and things are only going to improve when enough teachers say enough and when enough teachers say no more. 

Teachers have now become nurses, social workers, disciplinarians, and truant officers because administrations won't get involved until you try multiple interventions or attempts. Then we are paper-pushers, and boy oh boy, do we push paper. When I started teaching twenty years ago, my lesson plan was a little box on a calendar. Now it's a four-page, eight-font monstrosity, and then there is the data I am required to take on every student, in every class, every day. Data that, for the most part, sits there helping no one. Teachers today often have fewer and fewer resources and more and more demands and responsibilities. These demands also often take away from the number one thing we are supposed to do, teach. We didn't start this fire that's always burning, and it's time we put it out because, unlike in years past, we finally have something we haven't had, and that's leverage.

There is a projected 300k shortage of teachers. In Florida, they have 9k openings and only graduated 2k teachers. It doesn't matter how far they diminish qualifications; things will only get worse when those remaining teachers are required to do more and more. What will they do to you if you just work really hard during the time you are paid to work? They aren't going to fire you, that's for sure.

In short, in good years, teachers were given way too much to do and not nearly enough time and resources to do it, all while their actual pay because of the rising costs of benefits and inflation is decreasing. That was in good years. GOOD YEARS!

Somewhere along the way, things changed. Teachers went from revered members of the community too; you're lazy and selfish if you don't think schools should solve all the ills of society, and you care about your and your family's health. How dare you; what about the children?   

We need to stop working for free, not just for ourselves but for the future of public education. So, teachers, do you and your students a favor, work to the contract, and not one minute more. The future of education, and the teaching profession, depend upon it. 


  1. I think teachers would feel guilty following this suggestion though it is a good one. So much planning time is taken away for meetings, unexpected paperwork, requests from the office and more. You say they can't be fired, but what about annual contracted teachers? How would evaluations be scored since pay raise is tied to our actions? Our county is allowed to take two of five plannings per week (40 minute planning periods). So what is another solution?

  2. A couple of comments: !) Most contracts state that beyond the contract, teachers "will do other duties as assigned". So if you don't stay to chaperone the evening dance, they make a note of it. 2) You can't do your planning when your planning is taken away by meetings, trainings, required RTI meetings with parents. 3) Districts are annually changing their technology programs, platforms, websites and online curriculum resources so it is impossible to learn it all and do it right unless you have an IT license. 4). The teacher accountability is overwhelming, we are considered to be the root solution to every problem. 5) If you give up a week of unpaid summer vacation for B.S. trainings they want you to have, they'll reimburse you a giant $250. Ridiculous.

  3. Chris, thank you!! I needed this. Your voice was in my ear this week as I was structuring an enrichment program after school. The compensation was not worth my time, I communicated that, and was countered with 2.5x the original offer. Thank you for reminding me that my skills are valuable.

  4. Jax kids DO matter and so do our teachers! It’s a difficult job working with children all day, and our teachers aren’t given what they need to do a their job. Instead, their given extra curricular activities to oversee. They spend their own money to make the classroom inviting. After work, grading papers. In the back of their minds there has to the trauma of the next time a gunman shows up. If teachers go out, this grandma will carry a sign right along with them!

  5. Until teachers collectively stop being martyrs this will continue. Schools are breeding grounds for bullies and too many who remain in education were bullies in elementary, middle and high school. They never stopped, they became Union BOSSES!