The wonder of teaching…

Note: I am not the Alex described in the letter.

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9 comments

  1. StormyAustin

    Yes, it's pretty funny and I'm sure everyone has a story like this. The other side of the story is how horribly we treat teachers. Their college education requirements can vary (including a master's degree). They pay is extremely low for professional services and the number of hours required to do the job properly. What happens when a teacher is disabled or retires is tragic unless that individual has a spouse or someone else to support them. Given how they are abused by parents, administrators and society it's difficult to get someone with a pulse to teach these days.

  2. Alex

    I agree with you Stormy. Unfortunately it is a vicious cycle. Bad pay, long working hours, etc. lead to bad teachers. In turn this leads to discontentment of the education system by both the kids and the parents, and so on. We obviously need to break the cycle somewhere but with the government unwillingness to improve working environment for the teachers and parents increasingly reliant on school to do their own job (i.e. parenting), where can we start?

  3. Bokker

    Oh my god, that is completely ridiculous and hilarious. I would be secretly chuffed if my mum received a letter like that.
    As for the whole teacher debate, I'm just going to throw petrol on the flames here and say: 13 weeks holiday a year. That is all.

  4. StormyAustin

    [Note to Vox, I never got a reply notification on this thread, tsk, tsk.]The vacation thing was originally an agrarian custom I believe, now it is more budgetary. Some teacher's use the summer to work on their educational certification requirements. Every five years they must log a certain number of hours at their own expense and then pay fees to recertify. I would support a longer school year. I feel that the required content increases each year and that the districts aren't doing the math because if you add up the required minutes per subject for elementary school it is impossible to teach every subject the way it is meant to be taught. This is problematic because this is the foundation of every education and children start falling behind as early as first grade. They have a 1 in 7 chance of ever catching up in their academic career. In California they decide how many prisons to build based on 3rd grade reading scores. So yes I support a longer school year. I work so hard during the school year that by summer vacation I am a burnt shell of a human being. One week after the students leave I am still working on student files and two weeks after I am finishing packing up my classroom. I am not paid for that time. During the summer I read and plan for the next year. Two or three weeks before school starts I come in, unpaid and clean my filthy, dusty classroom and set it up for the kids and label all the materials and books with their names. I also pay to have a carpet cleaner come in and clean the rugs I had to pay for.

  5. morpheme

    Wow, what an asshat. But then, this is just an explicit expression of the ubiquitous implicit curriculum–overriding respect for authority, critical thinking only within strict limits, etc. I gather this guy is from the old school, if you'll pardon the pun.

  6. Bookishly Fabulous

    This is funny. He should have checked his facts before insisting that the student was wrong!I agree that this is a poor teacher with a bad attitude towards students, but this is not representative of the majority of teachers. My parents are teachers, many of my friends are teachers, and I'm in graduate school to be a school librarian. None of the teachers that I know would have sent home a letter like this. They would have admitted that they made an honest mistake and left it at that. Teachers can't be expected to be perfect 100% of the time, but they shouldn't be defensive and take out their embarrassment on students.Those who are jealous of the 13 week vacation (which is more like 9 weeks in my area) have nothing standing between them and becoming a teacher themselves. If being a teacher was easy, there wouldn't be a shortage. Like StormyAustin said, teachers spend plenty of unpaid time working (grading papers, preparing lesson plans, etc). It's often a thankless job that deserves more respect than it ever gets.I also think that the teacher's last name should be blacked out of this photo out of respect for his privacy unless permission was given to post the picture online.

  7. Alex

    The photo is not from me. I got it from the net so it has been out there for awhile. Black out his name now won't do much good unless we black out every copies.

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