One of the blogs I've started reading recently is a Washington Post one focused on education in Virginia. The two writers, Emma Brown and Kevin Sieff, do a pretty darn good job of contextualizing education in Virginia, especially given how diverse the school systems are ranging from the D.C. suburbs in Northern Virginia to rural areas.
Yesterday's post (that I read this morning) was about our governor and General Assembly working to abolish teacher tenure. I have a problem with that term, "tenure" because it suggests a teacher can't be fired which is completely untrue. However, that wasn't my biggest issue this morning.
I foolishly read the comments. Usually there are not a lot of comments on this blog and I ignore them, unlike those for Jay Mathews and Valerie Strauss.However, the sheer number of comments today intrigued me and I checked them out.
It didn't take me long to get irritated. The second comment, actually in response to the first comment, included this little gem:
unfortunately, many teachers out there who outrageously take advantage of the tenure system to slide along and watch the clock, not giving a d*mn about how their kids do in class because guess what: it's impossible to fire them, and the district's hands are tied.It's been bugging me since I read it around 6 this morning. I finally realized one of the reasons. Even those teachers who are watching the clock (and I'm willing to assume there are a few of them) are working pretty hard. Their job then is essentially the equivalent to babysitting 20+ kids for 6 1/2 hours everyday. Imagine doing that. Now add on the idea of actually helping those kids learn a ton of stuff, academic, social, and emotional.
If you can truly picture that you should stop demonizing any teachers. I don't care how bad they may be, they are likely working harder than many folks in corporate jobs.
End rant. I'm hoping this will make me feel better.