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Oct 12, 2011

Taylor Mali - "What Teachers Make"

This is not a typical post for me but, I am feeling a bit down. I continue to try to find positive things online about teaching and teachers but they are few and far between.  Amongst stories of teachers sleeping with students and scandals of cheating on standardized tests are stories of state level governments trying to take control of pension funds and do away with tenure.

I left the classroom eight years ago and many of the reasons had to do with people's inability to see reform as a good thing but, there are limits. Standing on the necks of our teachers and looking down at them is not the appropriate place to begin a conversation about reform.

I see the generalized view of teachers in this country as one of a group of lazy people who enjoy their summers off, so focused on their salaries and benefits that they would rather strike (with the children suffering) then just take what they're offered. This group of people are not to be treated as professionals.

It is depressing. Why would you want your children taught by people who felt this way?

I am reminded of a conversation I had with my mother, a 30 year veteran of the K-12 classroom who holds a PhD in education:
"Mom, I'm going to get may masters degree and start teaching."
"Why in God's name would you want to do that?"

If teachers feel this way, no wonder others view the profession in such a bad light.

...And then, Taylor Mali's "What Teachers Make" shows up in my inbox one more time and I feel...re-inspired.

Here's to teachers.

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