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Re: Job security ...and tough districts


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Jun 30 2001 - 14:02:17 PDT

Larry's post on this poses many thoughts for me.

I came to teaching after many years in the business world and I have
harbored a few thoughts about the education world that I have kept silent.

We expect in business for it to be dog eat dog. I never had any expectations
that anyone would do anything kind for me, or respect me, or give me
anything unearned.
Forgive me if I "plutz" here... but I feel the education world still
suffers... from an ivory tower syndrome.
I think teachers feel, when they get into their classroom, they have some
kind of autonomous control. I'm sorry to say those days are long gone.
Administrators are under incredible pressure to produce results. Those
results are directly tied to monies. There is no time anymore for anything
but what will produce the monies. Take Bush and Texas----TEST RESULTS.

For those of you old enough to remember the Peter Principal., well .... look
at your administrators.
We rise to our highest level of incompetence.

I feel a certain amount of empathy for administrators. They have to deal
with problems we can not imagine.
But, education has become a business. My god, real estate agents promote
school districts for house sales.

All I can say is, that, we as teachers, we need to stand firm in our
beliefs, and to what we we know is most effective. Have the courage to "not
give in."

I find, in my district, that those of us that are older and been around for
awhile, are starting to turn our heads. Letting things go by, things that
shouldn't go by, but
only because we are put on the "other end" when presented a situation. We
are made to feel like the guilty party , we have to justify evidence beyond
our word.
Didn't used to be like that.

I have been in many of the situations that Larry describes.
The kids like me, they tell me things, the art room is a haven.
Yet, when I pass potential warnings on to administrators and counselors, I
feel ignored.
I feel I am in danger of knowing too much. So I back off, more and more.
I can only know and keep in my own mind the troubled students who have used
me. And I will not hesitate to provide them the opportunity for
expression... no matter.

so what does job security mean?
does it mean tenure? a pay check? benefits?

so many teachers across this nation work and work and give for so little
let us not give a lesson to the new and future teachers, that this job is
not about what we give as individuals ----AS TEACHERS

I understand, there is a movement for "teacher centered education" ....
that core curriculum is being revisited, that, what the teacher deems
effective may be considered.

Maybe we, as teachers, should start evaluating our perception of
self-esteem. We need to be telling telling the public that we have been
trained and experienced in determining what is good education philosophy.
Tell me, what other professions come under the kind of scrutiny that we do ?

And keep in mind, that we as teachers, statistically -- spend more time with
these kids than their parents do.
So who knows?

I know I'm ranting a bit
I am perplexed by the this issue
and fail to understand why so many teachers come to this kind of problem.