Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Anger Is Wearing Off

I took this from one of my fellow bloggers. Since I did not ask permission, I won't mention the blog. I won't tell what city or state, only that the blogger teaches special education somewhere in the United States.

The kids I work with are at least two, and in a couple of cases, five years below grade level. There is no way they can pass these diabolical tests. So I watch them stare at the test booklets for a few minutes, then bubble in whatever circles look good to them, and close the booklet. They’re done.

This blogger could be living anywhere and be teaching kids in any grades. Look what our education system has come to.

At Packemin HS, we have kids in the same situation, kids severely learning disabled but expected to take the same courses and the same exams as our regular students. The kids are frustrated. The teachers are frustrated. The work is incomprehensible to them. And, as much as I push and try to get the teachers to fight for their kids, they don't.

I'm not really as hateful as I sounded in that last post, but I am angry and I am frustrated. For so many, there is no way to make the learning relevant. Much of the guidance staff is too young and they are clueless as to handle some of the problems they face. I feel like a bully when I go into the office, stand over one of these timid young things and make demands so loud that I get the answers I want out of fear. I'm not really like that, but I don't know what else to do.

I know I can't change the system alone. I see so many that just don't care. I see so many that just want to protect their jobs. Administrators, even the few good ones are caught in the trap of trying to do what is right and having to appease Tweed. When things go wrong, a fall guy is needed and in education that fall guy is always the teacher. We are the expendable ones. Any one of us can be replaced in a matter of days and there will be no marker of our work left behind. The admins are the admins and the teachers are the teachers and while we can sometimes work together there can never be trust. Our agendas are just too different.

Today's education system is wrong. All people are not created with equal abilities. Not everyone can go to college. Not everyone can succeed academically. I can't accept the system as it stands. I can't do it alone but if posting a few words here helps even one kid, I am going to have to be okay with that. There is nothing else I can do.


Anonymous said...

To PO and to the one you quoted (I also read that blog) - this seems to be an international problem!
a teacher from Israel

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

Two school populations have been
victimized with these "reforms":Special Needs and English Language Learners.

Parents of Special Needs children may just have to sue to have the rights of their children to an appropraite education restored. Parents of ELL students will have to learn to organize like the parents of Special Needs children.

Pissedoffteacher said...

Not to mention the countless teachers who cannot do this impossible task set before them.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

I'm a SPED teacher, as you know, and I have come to the conclusion that there must be a special place reserved in the netherworld for those people who expect kids with severe learning disabilities to do the impossible. I'm not vindictive--I just want to see justice done! How would the politicians who are responsible for our draconian education laws like it if they were expected to pass some of these tests that they foist upon our students? Grr!