Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tenure for Bad Teachers?

Responding to the post at the bottom is easy for a teacher, but tough to read and process if you are not. I hear a lot of "but it's your JOB," responses bouncing back. And they are deserved. You tell me what you think.

A LOT of the teachers I know are either out of education due to stress, insecurity and layoffs or they have stayed and drank the koolaid. Thus to morph and go into the bunker posture of just enduring repeated disasters and attacks without adapting radical methods to save the kids. In their defense I would add this: Radical Anything = Administrative Hell.

Let's look for a parallel situation.

What do you know of the London bombing by the Nazis during WWII also known as The Blitz?

I was extremely lucky to know someone who endured that and to have heard of the suffering, the uncertainty, the cold fear that accompanied those days, firsthand.

You walk past piles of rubble that used to be buildings in your neighborhood. You get VERY familiar with which shelter you are going to use and how and what you take and what will happen if YOUR building is next. Life is moment to moment. Explosions are everywhere: random, close and far.

By far the worst moments are the silences AFTER a V2 rocket cuts out overhead. The silence means it's close. But they can only DESTROY a very small area; maybe one building. Still they are to be feared and not ignored. Sort of like school officials.

A Principal, Peer, Parent, Board Member, or Community Activist can be your V@ rocket, go silent and decide that your methods and your classroom are in a bad way, and you are OUT.

Obvious, right? That bad teachers should not be encouraged and rewarded. Nobody really disagrees on that. Just methodology. HOW do you get good teachers? Well I am here telling you that what is in place now is NOT working. What you get now are SOME good teachers and A LOT of durable bureaucrats that know how to survive during wartime.

What is in place now is a culture of fear and disbelief. "WTF is going to happen next?" Is what I used to hear myself say a lot in the various halls I patrolled as a public school teacher. At least with tenure, they can't kick you out into the street. It is not much. It may not even be a start. I just know that anything I can do to make teachers feel safe is SOMETHING. Whadaya think?

Doug Joyce David, education guru. Can you tell me why tenure makes for good teaching? Children get a better education because of tenure? Can you explain to me how?

Teachers (including me) have been hammered from all sides for as long as I have noticed. Students have somehow recruited Administrators and Parents and all three work together and independently to destroy 95% of all of a teacher's opportunities to TEACH. Ts are forced to be managers and guards for students who have never been exposed to a real school learning atmosphere. I don't blame the kids for being bored and rebelling. That has always been their role as long as I have been watching. I blame the rest of us, who are allowing our public education system to flow in a counterclockwisecorkscrew down the pipe and into the sewer. Uh, sorry for the rant, and back to your question. Tenure gives teachers a little safety. Hopefully with it, they will do a better job and not a Complacent Phone-In Effort. We have all seen that. More on my blog. Commander Nineteen on Blogger

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