I just don't understand what is wrong with so called educators today. Yesterday I drove past a school that proudly displayed a banner with a motto saying how the school prepares students for success in college and careers. Yet, after speaking to teachers, I find it hard to believe that the school is actually doing this.
Teacher morale is at an all time low. Teachers who never considered retiring are retiring in droves. Teachers who were considered great educators are now being judged by APs with little to no teaching experience. Instead of looking forward to work (yes, hard as it may be to believe, many of us enjoyed our jobs) they drag themselves in, only showing up because of a strong allegiance to their students. I don't care what anyone says, no one is a great teacher their first two years in the classroom. You can't learn to teach by sitting in a classroom, you need on the job training. And, the best on the job training comes from experienced teachers, the ones being demeaned and demoralized and being encouraged and even helped out the door.
As a college teacher, I can say first hand that today's students are not prepared for success in college. They managed to get high school diplomas with credit recovery classes, "help" on regents exams and heaven knows what other made up courses. They are used to sliding by. They don't have a work ethic and they have no education background, thanks to the high schools they attended.
If the school with this motto really wants to do all of this, the school needs to:
1. Hire APs who have taught a minimum of 10 years and have taught the subject they will be in charge of. They need to be master teachers in the subject and be able to demonstrate proper lessons.
2. Hire APs who like the students. One AP I know has been overheard saying she hates the population she is now in charge of.
3. Respect experienced teachers. Listen to what they have to say. They have been out in the field and know what works and what does not work.
4. Stop empowering any teacher. Everyone should be treated equally.
5. Allow kids to fail. There is nothing wrong with repeating a course until material is mastered.
6. Stop passing everyone through just to keep numbers up.
Actions count. Mottos mean zilch.
(Pictures from Rockefeller Center to cheer everyone up!