All I really ever wanted to do was teach. It gets harder and harder to love this career every year. We are awash in edicts – do this, don’t EVER do that. Decisions made from afar by people who seem to have no idea what students are like, what they need.
I study more, read more, research more about pedagogy this year than I ever did when I was a beginner. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But in this time in education it seems as if we are ants scurrying from one thing to the next trying to find the perfect solution to all our students’ shortcomings. We work under a microscope – the public, the press, the politicians all want teachers to turn out perfectly educated humans as if they were widgets on an assembly line.
I’m afraid I can’t do that no matter how hard I am trying – and whether one wants to recognize it or not, No one program, no one method is going to be successful with all students.
I am working hard. Last week, one of my students had been physically assaulted by a parent with a hanger – DCF sent him home after investigating. Think his mind was on 2 digit by 1 digit multiplication? Guess how well he did on the District math test – a test that indicates whether I have done my job – when his mind was on how he was going to make it though the weekend without getting smacked around for causing DCF to confront his attacker – his father. And he’s only one tale from this classroom. There are many more with similar traumas and distractions everywhere you look, I don’t care how affluent your school community is.
The climate for education – for the kids and for their teachers – is so punitive. We collect data to cover our asses under the guise of informing instruction.
Is this what education has come to? I hope with every breath of my being that the answer is no.