Hey Kids -- Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, Slum for America and State Farm think this should be you. Whaddya say to a stimulating albeit brief career in the high stress low reward field of public edumofocation? Word has reached me that the Department of Education and its minions seem to be getting hip to the reality that nobody in their right mind with half a brain is considering a career in the classroom these days. Here in the Empire State aka The Cuomosphere, Sheriff Andy Cuomo is talking tough and demanding minimum 3.0 GPA's from anyone daft enough to sign up for 30 plus years of micro management, fear, intimidation, abuse, scripted teaching modules and standardized tests deciding their professional value -- did I mention anti-depressants? The plan is an advertising blitz, a multi media bonanza of sight sound and song. I wonder if they can recruit Pit Bull and John Legend, rabid moneyed dilettantes and promoters of charter schools that they are. Well forget all that kids, why wait for the Youtube people to come around when you can get it straight from the source. I am not sure I'd recommend a close reading of this primary source but I can guarantee you it's 100% real, a testimony to what you can expect after you've been teaching a while, honing your skills, getting tenure and enjoying the implementation of test based APPR scores and the Common Core.
The following is a conversation I cut and pasted from two colleagues I know on Facebook. They are both excellent teachers who bring it every day and if they were playing football you'd say they leave it all on the field. Have a ringside seat at what today's young teachers are buzzing about :
- I hate to admit it but I am defeated. The state has won the battle. I hate everything about teaching, I hate it all. Fire me, you will anyway. I am only trying to figure out my next career move. What do you do when you've given it your all? The system has beaten me...that is allI have been judged upon students that don't even belong to me. Noone will listen. I am done with the bull. I was meant to teach. If you know me you know that is the truth. I can't fight the shit anymore. I have no strength left. I truly am done. What a shame. kids that were not on my roster. I taught DI for differentiation at the lowest level. The class was mixed between fourth and fifth grade. Those students' NYS ELA test scores were included in my state growth score on top of my ICT homeroom with 13 IEP kids that didn't have a chance in hell of passing. The diff isn't supposed to count against me. They aren't on their homeroom or ESL teacher's scores, only mine because i saw them for 1/2 hr a day? State won't adjust my score and the district and union won't do a damn thing. Look out retail...here i come! The only thing my masters degree can do..oh wait I'm over qualified...blow me
- Ugh I hear you!! I'm right there with you. Started looking for other jobs again this week. I have a hearing for last years score coming up and it's like I have to muster up the energy to fight against something I know is so wrong. I've never felt like this. It is a shame
- At least you have a hearing though. Not one person will do a damn thing to adjust my score or even hear me out?
- Yes it's a horrible system! Only get a hearing if your rating was ineffective. I had a 59.5 from admins. And a zero on SLO and LMA. My kids never took a pretest and when I raised the concern, I was told not to worry about it...the fact that I was fighting for my kids to be tested, reminds me if how much CC has manipulated the whole system. So sad
- Just above ineffective here. That's after my first wrong score (which was ineffective) was "recalculated". I would love to see that algorithm! I don't have the strength or desire anymore.
And there you have it college kids, the real deal, the buzz from the classroom as it were. If you weren't champing at the bit to get yourself into educator college before, I imagine IT'S ON now. My friend who chimes in saying Ugg I hear you has at least one other excellent story to share. When we were teaching together a few years back she had for a Department Supervisor a woman only a few years older or so it seemed to me anyway. For some reason the Supervisor had what you might call a bug up her ass for my friend. Maybe it was the fact that her Supervisory appointment reeked of politics and underqualification, maybe it was cattier than that even who the hell knows. In an effort to show her up or smack her down, hard to say which, La Super sent one of her flying monkeys out to do an observation of Jr High ELA classes the morning of a Friday Valentine's Day dance. As a casual footnote these kids consumed and carried more candy to school on Valentine's Day than I have seen on several Halloweens.
The assigned stooge was so inept she spent the entire period scribbling furiously on a note pad, a litany of nit picking, put downs and negativity which she somehow managed to leave behind instead of bringing it back to the castle with her. All those nasty little comments for naught. Said observer is currently on leave from her position and working with ed reformers in a "turnaround school." Priceless.
Could you with a clear conscience direct anyone you care even a little bit about towards this career after reading the above and no doubt adding your own anecdotes to the mix? I can't and I won't. I talked to a young teacher I know last week who's doing a part time gig in a suburban school. When I asked her how it was going she smiled and shrugged and said she's looking at taking some Civil Service exams. Who can blame her?