Monday, June 22, 2009

Teaching is a Profession

Leonora Klein writes in the Guardian that she became disillusioned with teaching

"Last year, I wanted to start a new career. I had spent 10 years as a family law barrister, representing parents and children in care proceedings. I left to do an MA in life writing at the University of East Anglia. Then I wrote my first book. The recession came along just as I was thinking about my second. My mortgage rate was fixed, and it was the wrong rate. I became a graduate teacher. I had no idea if I could teach, but I thought I could act the part of a teacher while I learned to become one. After the first week, I knew I had come to the right place: my colleagues were talented and the atmosphere in the school was one of confidence. I felt lucky and full of hope. Three months later, I resigned. What happened?"
Hmmm. Let's see. You're an idiot? You had no idea of what you're doing and it took three months for you to admit the truth that everyone else could see immediately?

I can't stand this attitude held by so many - "Teaching must be simple because I went to school myself. If I learned, then I can teach." It's the same with the simplistic TFA goofballs, people like this lawyer, every yammering talking head, every CEO, and Jay Matthews.

"I can run a company so I know about education."
"I'm a Washington Post columnist so my stray thoughts are worthwhile."
"I've never been a teacher so I should be Secretary of Education."
"I had no idea if I could teach, but I thought I could act the part of a teacher while I learned to become one."

Huh? "Act the part?"

Screw you, lady.

You know you need a four-year degree and to pass the Bar before you can practice Law? WHy should it be any different for any profession, including teaching? Just because a large percentage of the teachers in this country are from the bottom of the collegiate ranks doesn't mean that it's the optimal way to run things.

If it's worth the money, it's worth the time preparing. If you can't spend the time, the kids really don't need your condescending help.

For the record, I'm in favor of teachers' having to pass the Praxis II (content) every so often - or at least the SAT or MCAS or NECAP, or TAKS. Sit us all down in a room just like the students and give US the damn thing. Those who can't pass it have some serious s'plaining to do - and a scramble to retain their jobs.

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