Monday, January 20, 2014

When you put good people in a bad system......

As I was strolling through Pintrest this morning I came across an interesting pin, it was a review of a book entitled "Why Great Teachers Quit".  Well naturally this got my attention.   Here is the major premise of the book:

eight primary reasons why great teachers quit:
  • Standardized Testing (including effects on students and the school climate)
  • Working Conditions in Today’s Schools (i.e. violence and small problems that add up, like not being able to use the bathroom)
  • Ever-Higher Expectations (including useless professional development on new mandates)
  • Bureaucracy (committees, closed budgets, and scheduling constraints)
  • Respect and Compensation (the martyr system and paying for supplies)
  • Parents (unrealistic demands and no limits)
  • Administrators (the pressure cooker of principalship)
  • School Boards (uses and abuses of power)\
I have to wholeheartedly agree with the list, and the website that gave the review noted something interesting about the list, or rather what is NOT on the list - STUDENTS.  I find it oddly reassuring that what I am feeling is a very common theme among teachers, the outside stuff, the lack of control and ridiculous initiatives and testing and overbearing parents and unsupportive administration - those are all the reasons why I am so frustrated, it's not the kids.  The kids are the only good thing left about teaching, and my frustration, the frustration of so many good teachers, is our inability to really help students.  I know that I am good at teaching and reaching kids.  I know that I can break down content into understandable chunks.  I know that I have an engaging and interesting classroom.  I know that I have excellent relationships with students.  Despite all of that, I have very poor teacher evaluation scores and I am miserable at my job.  What a sad situation to be in, but I do know that I am not alone.  I have very real fears for the future of education.  I do anticipate a great exodus from teaching - I think the really good teachers, the smart ones, the ones who care deeply, I fear they will get fed up and leave the profession and we will be stuck with a shortage of good teachers.  If this book is any indication - I am not alone in this fear

1 comment:

  1. Sad story for great teachers. We need more of them.