Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Aug 16 2011

One day, all teachers in this nation will act like the professionals they are.

It’s 364 days after my very first day as a real live professional, and I spent today in much the same way that I spent August 16th, 2010.

Our principal started the day by making a harrowing speech about how we’re the worst of the worst. It was quite graphic. “There are five stages to this process,” he said, speaking of federal accountability/school closure/what-have-you. “They had to invent a stage for us. We’re in stage 5B, they’ve called it. Stage 5B–we’re it.” I think it might have been intended to be motivating, or something? But it whatever the intent, the result was a vehement venting monologue.

The beginning of the day was the usual technical difficulties, miscommunications, and general frustration. A two-hour session on a class website that is not to be used during school hours. Administrators read verbatim from powerpoint novels that I realize now are probably years old, emphasizing and re-emphasizing the importance of policies and procedures they will not mention again until this time next year. (I’m not kidding–they read slides that directed us to see the textbook clerk to get our texts–we don’t even have a textbook clerk!)

There were multiple sexist lewd comments made during the discussion on sexual harrassment. I didn’t laugh. It felt like everyone else in the room did.

I’ve asked this before and I will ask it again: WHAT HAPPENED TO TEACHING? When did any of this become okay?!? Is this how you prepare a presentation? Is this how lead or participate in ANY sort of professional activity?

One day, all teachers in this nation will act like the professionals they are.

3 Responses

  1. Ms. Math

    maybe just come to content communities and your pd and region for PD?

    In my PD sessions they taught us how to find averages and gave us examples of why it was bad to make one project that five students missed worth 83 % of the total grade for the semester.


  2. Ms. Math

    oh… the example was based on a read teacher gradebook from the school.

  3. Ms. Math

    at least they were doing checks for understanding and planning instruction to meet our needs!

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