It's been over a year since I last posted. I thought that a lot of other teachers would want to share the positives, but with all the attacks on the profession I guess they had enough on their minds.
As a laid off teacher, I've heard a lot from non-teachers about the issues brought up recently. So now a change in the focus of this blog: this teacher's side of the story.
First, the job itself.
The assumption on the public's part is that teachers only work part time due to the long summer vacation. They get their lessons from the books and spend a lot of time gossiping in the staff rooms before going home early and eating caviar or something.
from my point of view:
You could go on autopilot and just take the lessons from the books, use your break and only an hour or two outside of school every day to grade all the papers that would entail. The books cover everything on the test, so the teacher would be sure of enough passing grades to keep the job. I suspect I know a few teachers like this. Widely considered bad teachers for their attitudes, they're the only ones with job security under the current teacher evaluation system.
For teachers like me, teaching isn't so much a job as a calling or obsession. The light in the student's eyes, the excitement when little Johnny finally "gets it" is just amazing. They spend hours grading so that each of them have grades, yes, but more importantly feedback on their effort. Using the textbook as a guide, they spend most of their waking hours researching and finding ways to make it all interesting. Perceived as threats to the administration and by-the-book teachers, they will have the shortest careers. This is not theoretical, I've seen it.