WTF Wednesdays #10

This week’s WTF Wednesdays is going to be a rant of sorts. It’s not going to be humorous, and some readers may not enjoy this one as it’s not my usual satire, but it needs to be said.
This rant will be focused on two of my biggest current pet peeves on the topic of education-my chosen career.

Ignorant, Biased, Uneducated Opinions 

I’ve always been the type to speak my mind and to stand up for what is right. I’ve not always been perfect at doing this. Sometimes my voice isn’t loud enough, or I speak too late, or too soon. Sometimes what I really need to do is bite my tongue, but that tastes of blood and defeat, and those don’t agree with my stomach.

Ask any close friend or colleague (hell, anyone who’s my friend on Facebook), and they will tell you I have strong opinions, and I generally speak them.

As a teacher, this kind of outspokenness can literally mark a bullseye on your back. The general consensus in the teaching world is that you keep your strong opinions out of social media discussions and elsewhere. What this translates to me is that teachers should just do what they’re told and to not rock the already capsizing boat.

For someone with a mega mouth, this can be almost impossible to do. When I read the comments section on a story related to education, and I see some ignorant spouting garbage, it takes the power of the gods to ignore it and not respond with the wrath of Zeus.

I know that the state of education in the U.S. needs a lot of work, but until you’re a teacher/have done your homework and done it well/know exactly what life is like as a teacher, kindly sit down.

The very fact that teachers have to defend themselves and their careers against unfounded and ludicrous presumptions is sickening. Until teachers are paid what they’re worth, are treated with respect and regard (we are only molding the minds of our future, no big), and we are allowed to be the ones to make the big, policy-making decisions about what we know best, education in the United States won’t improve.

I was reading the comments section on a We Are Teachers article, and one teacher said that teachers need to stop referring to teaching as a calling, as it creates the illusion that it’s more akin to pledging our undying devotion to being a nun instead of it being a paid career. I couldn’t agree more.

You Can’t Win 

It’s a tumultuous time to be an educator, because we don’t really value education as a society. It’s a nice idea, but when it takes from our pocketbooks, it’s a burden. As such, there is never enough funding.

Teaching, support, and admin positions are being cut all across the district where I teach. Amidst these cuts is a new reading law that requires reading specialists and highly effective teachers. Yet, the specialist positions are the first to go at schools losing teachers. Truly highly effective teachers can’t make the grade anymore due to new, near-impossible evaluation criteria.

If a student in my district isn’t reading by third grade, they can be held back and must be placed in a classroom being taught by a teacher rated as highly effective. Due to the new evaluation criteria, there won’t be any highly effective teachers (well, there are, and there will be, but not on paper).

Hmm.

As a teacher at a struggling school, I have to make the decision about how I will teach my students, with the knowledge that high stakes tests and other classroom assessments will ultimately be how I am evaluated and paid. I do not agree with teaching to the test, as it merely prepares students to take tests and not life. However, if I do not prepare my students enough for these assessments, I am left being the one losing out.

It is a painful Catch-22.

So, in preparing my students for the high-stakes tests they will be taking, the very tests that will be considered in how my school is rated and, in turn, how I’ll be evaluated, I wonder how well the student making fart noises during our practice test will do.

In essence, my livelihood is dependent on how well little people who still eat their boogers do on tests. That is terrifying.

And, we wonder why education is failing and teachers are leaving in droves.

Despite all of this, I care deeply for my students, my fellow teachers in arms, and education. I will be an advocate for change. It is time for teachers to start speaking out, standing up for themselves, and working to make the changes that we all know need to be made.

Even though the very act of speaking my mind about my own career is a precarious thing to do, I won’t be silenced. I won’t.

Check out this video on YouTube:

Author: fattymccupcakes

Just a thirty-something girl trying to love herself the way she is: fat, rolls, cellulite, and fabulousness.

51 thoughts on “WTF Wednesdays #10”

  1. Isn’t working in the public sector fun?
    I’m not a teacher myself, so don’t want to comment in any way except to say that as a municipal employee, I have to remind myself every day not to look at the comment sections for any news story related to my work. I know I’ll end up angry and it’s actually in my contract that I cannot get involved in the discussion – that’s the the job of communications to take care of. It gets hard to bite your tongue after a while.

    Anyhow, thanks for being an educator. There aren’t enough, and it is too often a thankless job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yikes! That’s crazy it’s in your contract to not comment. Doesn’t that interfere with free speech?! I’m sure you just have to avoid those stories. That’s what I’ve been trying to do…

      Like

      1. Technically not an enshrined right in Canada. It’s covered in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but isn’t unlimited.

        I also try to avoid stories that cover local items where comments are enabled. At least that way I can try to stay informed without getting upset.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel your pain. Rant away!

    I work in Education (but not as a teacher.) I give grants to schools and set up training events for teachers. I am often inspired by the amaaaazing teachers I have met and think about re-training as a teacher myself…then I see what you have to put up with (plus the crazy work hours for so little pay.) I am so, impressed with all the teachers I have met – I just don’t think I could cope with that myself!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll be leaving soon (eep – I’m not looking forward to job hunting!) so you could come over to the UK and steal my job!! πŸ˜€

        You do need to speak Japanese for it though.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I was in law-enforcement all my life. I could not even imagine trying to do your job. I don’t think there is a harder profession out there than teaching, honestly. Keep it up if you can, you do make a difference for many children that do want to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are a few of the reasons why I left being a teacher – although you had written them much more eloquently than I have ever expressed them. I wasn’t even a full-time teacher yet! I spent 2 years doing supply, with the prospect of a 7-10 year wait for a full-time, contract job. It was insane and I hated my life. So I left. Now I am so much happier! Being a teacher takes so much out of a person – people outside of the system don’t understand at all. Not even my parents, who would see how worn down and broken I was after teaching, would still send me emails saying “ooh this school has opened their supply list, how about this option?” They just didn’t get it that I couldn’t do it anymore. It took about a year of me saying that I hated teaching and was never going back for people to actually accept it, but they still don’t understand why.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so true about others completely not understanding. My mom worked in benefits for the school district. She has her own opinions about teachers, merely due to dealing with them on the clerical end. They don’t understand that we barely have time to pee, let alone read some bullshit clerical email…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah so true! But I am happy with the switch I made from teaching to nanny work. I still get to influence and teach, but get better moments of connection with the kids! You are definitely one strong woman to deal with it every day! Go you!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I teach at a small cooperative school that I am also on the board of. LOL. Just Monday I got into a rant with another teacher there, it’s not the hours in the classroom I want to be paid for, it’s the 600 hours outside the classroom I spend preparing for the hours in the classroom. And the 600 hours I spend making sure we have teachers, classrooms, students, advertising, money, insurance, technology, a functioning website, oh god, I’m just going to hyperventilate over here for a moment….
    But at least I don’t have to teach to tests. I don’t have a prescribed curic. I teach how I like. I have brilliant students who love the subject and can’t wait to get into things. And I have students still picking their noses. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Really?? I hear Finland really looks after it’s teachers… you need to.learn Finnish though! My brother lives there… Helsinki is amazing… but I couldn’t speak the lingo!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. “bite my tongue, but that tastes of blood and defeat, and those don’t agree with my stomach”

    Fuck, yeah. Preach.

    “we don’t really value education as a society”

    The majority voted for our Twat Waffle in Chief. ‘Nuff said.

    “I do not agree with teaching to the test, as it merely prepares students to take tests and not life.”

    Girl, fuggedaboutit. Just do this: Instill in them the belief that they are smart, powerful, ridiculously worthwhile PEOPLE and they will spend the rest of their lives proving it. How many inventors and millionaires dropped out of college, disgusted with its limitations? Tons. Every scrap of knowledge they need is out there, and they’ll go after it like a Golden Retriever after a sock once they have a fire inside. Show them how beautiful their fire is. That’s all a teacher really needs to do. Fuck da test.

    Now, go find some bacon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Girl, YOU preach!! I’m so disgusted by that Twat Waffle, it’s not even funny. I’m trying my damnedest to teach them how to be decent human beings who work hard for what they want. That, in essence, is my teaching philosophy πŸ‘

      Like

  7. You sound like an awesome teacher! Sounds like the US is facing similar problems in education as the UK. The amount of pressure on both teachers & pupils alike is just silly. Keep up the good work/fight (have Stumbled this post by the way) x

    Like

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