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23 – What’s the Point?

08 Jun

People want to argue with me lately…which is fine! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I can only say this, and I say it with every bit of integrity within my being…I am reporting the daily occurrences as they happen!!! I am not peppering my reality with any of that stuff so many of you like…what’s that called…DELUSION!!! Yeah…THAT! I don’t use that spice when I cook. Makes me sick. I’m allergic to bullshit.

I have been an educator for seven years. I am one of those REAL teachers…the kind who actually teaches! I don’t sit behind a desk and assign paperwork. I like to get my hands dirty alongside my students. I like to talk to my students…get to know who they are as people!

I do not like it when I have that process interrupted with bullshit political things like incompetent administrators, permissive central office rules directed towards students, and the infamous No Child Left Behind…why do I pick on that…well, let’s see…where should I begin…

w Criminals with records sitting next to YOUR child in my classroom…did you know that?

w SEX OFFENDERS sitting next to YOUR child in my classroom…did you know that?

w Serve a 70% ratio of Emotionally and Behaviorally Disturbed students in my classroom, who sit next to YOUR child…who also disrupt class so much that I am only able to teach 50% of content IF that…did you know that?

w Special Education teachers are assigned PART-TIME to classrooms because there are not enough of them to go around…so the regular education teacher struggles with ALL of those children by himself…parents are under the impression that their child is being served for an ENTIRE class period, but they are not…did you know that?

w Test students until their eyes pop out of their head, but they are not one but smarter than they were before they started…did you know that?

w Creative teaching…the kind that kids REALLY pay attention to and absorb is scoffed at. Teachers now adhere to the Stepford Teaching Method of One Size Fits All…did you know that?

…All compliments of NCLB and Boy “W”onder!!!

The point here…the POINT of this blog is to get you ANGRY!!!! But don’t waste your anger on me! Take that anger down to your local school board and make sure those policies are the right ones for your student. Don’t send me comments telling me how disappointed you are about how I blahblahblah OR comments about “they’re just children.” I am not the focus here…the focus is the atrocity of what is being allowed to continue in your/our backdoor! The policy makers have the power and they continue to turn blind eyes to the true state of crapola inner-city schools have become.

How does that affect you?

Those inner-city neighborhoods are being shut-down and those same kids are moving to more rural locations…thereby altering the culture of rural schools…this should be of some importance to you! The policy makers are only powerful because “we,” as citizens, have chosen to place them in that position of importance. Realize your power as a stakeholder in the community! Do not take no for an answer because as parents/community members, your voice is golden…it means more than mine! As a teacher, my voice doesn’t mean jackshit unless I’m using it to tell students to make to class before the bell rings!

There are so many things that the public does not know about the educational system…and your child suffers because of it.

Don’t get angry with me…get proactive with your student’s future!

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15 Comments

Posted by on June 8, 2008 in Work

 

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15 responses to “23 – What’s the Point?

  1. Kevin

    June 8, 2008 at 6:54 am

    Well here’s what I’d like to know — what about those who say government control of schools IS the problem, and what about the idea of vouchers, private schools, and the concept of money following the student, not the school? Is competition among schools for students with choice a good thing or a bad thing? How do you feel about all that?

    It’s funny I hear lots of criticism about “know child left behind”‘ — but I’m pretty sure it’s was just another well-intentioned government boondoggle to improve education. Is it possible for the government to take any action that helps rather than hurts?

    And what about the teachers union? Is that a force for good or bad?

     
  2. msfriendly

    June 8, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Kevin…So many questions!!! I love it! I know, for a fact, that what is happening now is not working in many places! In my opinion, governmental control of schools IS the problem. Education is NOT a corporation…it is a process…for LEARNING. Charter schools are founded with the idea that teachers know what students need…and I whole-heartedly support this ideal. If a charter school is allowed to operate within the parameters of it’s intended function…without any molestation from government politics…then the students will be positively served (lofty ideas I know).

    Yes…money should follow the student…it’s controversial because people want to fight to maintain their status…the social-economic privilege that their neighborhood brings…why would you want to open the doors of your coveted neighborhood to someone who could not afford to live there legitimately? (remember…my opinion…not the LAW)

    Honestly…I’m not sure about the competition among schools for students w/choice thing just yet…I still have not figured out what’s in it for the school that gains the student.

    NCLB…don’t know if it was ever well intentioned or not…I can’t argue that b/c I wasn’t it’s inventor/enforcer. The only thing I can say about it is that for the good it has accomplished (forcing teachers to become more cohesive) does not outweigh the injustices I see being made towards the administering of students’ educations. I am not sure WHAT the government can do…the possible helpful action you mentioned…I would like to say yes, but I have taught for so long that I can no longer be patient. I think it is time that the community MAKES them do something positive.

    Teacher’s union, in my state, is non-existent! In other states, where I have friends who teach, and unions exist…well…I see it going both ways! Sometimes unions enable lazy teachers to coast through a job without doing any work…and then other times…the union rep is an advocate for a truly deserving and hard-working teacher.

    Good questions! Thought provoking…I think there’s smoke coming out of my ears! 🙂

     
  3. SinRo

    June 8, 2008 at 8:02 am

    Ms. Friendly, I am a first year teacher & blogger and i found your blog through another friend. I’ve been venting all the bullshit I’ve come across since I’ve started after finding your site i stopped because you say everything that i would. Of course your preaching to the choir in my case. I have yet to meet someone who disagree & argues about the system myself. I usually get the complements “your a good one” “wow…” & “whoooo…”. Personally I don’t see myself teaching for as many years as you have, in my first year I’m ready to leave it.

     
  4. doh!-rinder

    June 8, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Ms. Friendly completely speaks the truth. As a former teacher (and co-worker of Ms. Friendly’s), I’ve seen so many of these problems in schools. (That would be why I quit teaching in the middle of the school year to go work in the private sector. As much as I miss my students, I will never go back.) As much as I’m sure that NCLB was created with the best of intentions (and you know what they say about those), what it became is a nightmare for teachers. Speaking from my own experience, NCLB became an excuse for the administrators to put as much of their responsibility for ensuring students’ attendance, behavior, etc. as they could on the teachers. So much so that I wound up doing more administrative paperwork, phone-calling, etc. that I barely had time to teach.

     
  5. msfriendly

    June 8, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    SinRo…First of all, thank you for visiting! Don’t stop venting about the bullshit!!! We need multiple acts of venting in order to get people to open their eyes about this situation because it is not just about education…it’s about our culture as Americans…it’s about parenting and citizenship…it’s about raising the next generation under the watchful eye of a united community/effort (there I go getting all lofty again).

    And you’re right…I,too, usually get the same remarks you do…people are incredulous once they KNOW about what is truly happening.

    As far as your extended stay in the teaching profession is concerned, I would say “Get out as soon as you realize it is not for you!” I did not do that…I was not sure where I belonged because I found something rewarding within education…something that I knew I was good at, but equally I discovered the despicable things about education. I no longer have the heart for public school education, but I know that I belong within th realm of education somehow. If you know you’re ready to leave…go and don’t look back! And as you decide what it is you want to do…I wish you luck!!!!

     
  6. msfriendly

    June 8, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Hey D!!!

    Yes…you remember the days, right?…And for the record people, D was one hell of a teacher!!! I respect that woman!!! She believed in the same things I do – the STUDENT FIRST mixed with a little bit of tough-love (i.e. discipline and parameters). Teaching AND learning were occurring in her room…the English faculty didn’t always care for her out-of-the-classroom approach because she didn’t play their bullshit games!

    NCLB should really be called NTLB…No Teacher Left Behind!!!!

     
  7. Kevin

    June 10, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Ah, I think I’m starting to get it about NCLB… I once worked in a job where there was so much legal compliance paperwork that you hardly had time to do the actual job. All of it intended to ensure I wasn’t a crook … which I wasn’t, anyway. THREE YEARS after I quit that job the company looked me up and requested that I fill out some paperwork to justify a recommendation I’d made for a client years ago. Bwa-ha-ha I laughed all the way to the trash can on that one.

    Now I’m in a career blissfully free of any “compliance” except making my clients happy.

    BTW, SinRo, I hope you weren’t an ENGLISH teacher….

     
  8. msfriendly

    June 10, 2008 at 3:38 am

    Kevin…Yes, Grasshopper…Do as the river and not as the rock! LOL! Okay…it was funnier when the other person said it to me, but the point is that you ARE getting MY point (and every other teacher’s point)! NCLB is not really about serving the student…if it were, then I would jump on the bandwagon and sing its praises (and it would ACTUALLY work)!

    That is ridiculous! I can’t believe you were called on the carpet like that THREE YEARS later…the temerity! I believe your paperwork found a more suitable home inside the loving arms of that trash can…I really do 😉

     
  9. tom

    June 10, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    MsFriendly – what do you make of Obama’s ideas on education? I think they are interesting – though i was annoyed when he mentioned that his daughters go to the private Chicago Lab school because it was ‘convenient’ Maybe more people would like the choice to send their children to thug-free schools.

     
  10. Christopha!

    June 11, 2008 at 11:01 am

    You are exactly the kind of person charter schools are looking for. Maybe you’d consider a lateral move?

     
  11. msfriendly

    June 12, 2008 at 4:29 am

    Tom – Well, one thing I can say is that I am disappointed that his campaign seems to include room for more of the NCLB madness! A lot of the items listed on his educational platform are things that already exist in the world of education…I’m not sure if his intention is to tweak these things and improve them, or list just them so that the unsuspecting public will think he’s really hot shit.

    I know one thing is for sure…America doesn’t have many choices when it comes to Election 2008! So it’s either him or the other guy!…coke or pepsi…coke or pepsi…OMG! They’re BOTH colas!!! I don’t know…I’m a cynic who only has patience for children and animals!!!

    Education is one of those platforms that reaches the forefront because the people who REALLY “matter” 😉 in the world (i.e. Obama, Clinton, Bush, etc.) send their children to private schools!

    I am in full agreement with you. I whole-heartedly believe that there are more people out there who would like to send their children to thug-free schools!

    Perhaps the answer is not to continue to remove the working student…remove the thug!!! If he/she doesn’t want to be there, then send them to a trade school. But see, it’s not their problem…the policy makers that is…

    Oh…but we can’t because we have No Child Left Behind!!!!!!

     
  12. msfriendly

    June 12, 2008 at 4:31 am

    Christopha! – Yes, I have considered that! I will still be in education next year…I’m a glutton for punishment. I am not sure in what capacity as of yet…but there will be at least one more year. Charter schools are few and far between where I am! We JUST discovered electricity over here! 😉

     
  13. Gail

    June 13, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    I got out of teaching exactly five years after I started and I have never once regretted it. I am still involved in education at my new job, but I am not in a classroom or in a public school system. The best part is that I no longer take the stress home with me. My husband used to say that he could tell a difference in my behavior during the school year versus the summer. I didn’t want to have my own children raised in that kind of environment, so I got out before having them. I do miss the students occasionally, but I got involved in Big Brothers/Big Sisters and visited my “little” at her school once a week to have lunch with her and hang out. I also volunteered in her classroom and helped the teacher as much as possible. But, after everything I saw in the classroom for those 5 years, I still am not sure if I will want my future children to attend public school and suffer through that. I guess it will depend what the school are like when we move this summer.
    Good luck to all of you teachers! You should get combat pay and only have to work 20 years before retiring like the police officers do. Until the government recognizes the stress and problems in schools, nothing will change.

     
  14. msfriendly

    June 13, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Gail – Good for you! I am still dawdling in the field because I feel compelled to work with kids…but I also know that I detest the system and the restraints of the classroom! Your husband is soooooo right! I have had friends and a boyfriend make the same observation about me during the summer months…in fact, I can feel me becoming me again during the summer…kind of like waking up out of a haze!

    I have considered joining Big Brothers/Big Sisters in the area I just left…I actually, believe it or not, love those kids I just left…but on a personal level. I can’t help them as a classroom teacher, and I would not any of my children (if I had any) to attend public school, either…just because of the state it’s in…which is why I hope the public will at least begin to see what is REALLY going on for what it is. And you’re right, only the big G can change that…I wonder how many of our voices it will take before the big G listens?

    Thank you for your comment. You have helped me put a lot of my career goals into perspective.

     
  15. Whit

    October 29, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Mr. Friendly,

    I have taught for 4 years in GA and recently moved to CA where there at NO teaching jobs available. Everything in your blog sounds so much like my old middle school classroom. I taught middle school and regularly put up with verbal abuse from parents and students. Actually I should rephrase, parents and teachers tried to verbally abuse me, I do not tolerate disrespect from anyone and regularly refused to take phone calls, meet with parents, or allow student to return to my class with out some sort of intervention if disrespect had occured. This made me unpopular with administration. I had student who refused to do work, and parents that told me “My tax dollars require you make my child do work.” (Hmmmm…right) The system that I just left put several new policies in place and I wanted to see how you felt about therm:

    1) No zero’s will be given. (so if a student doesn’t turn in anything I have to give them a 60 school policy no matter what this includes if a student makes below a 60 on a test Teachers MUST give them a 60)

    2) No work can be counted as late. (meaning if I assign something on the first day of school and don’t get it until the last I must grade that
    assignment the same as the kid who turned it in on time with no penalty)

    3) No F will be given on a report card, you will give an I for incomplete (BUT no student can receive an I as a final grade HUH???)

    4) Direct quote from my administrator in a faculty meeting: “If parents aren’t going to raise them, then we have to.” (REALLY? REALLY? WTH? )

    Thought you might be interested in this. Great Blog!

    Whit
    4th year teaching veteran taking a year off due to the economy.

     

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