Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Up On a Soapbox!

Here I am....up on a soapbox....I will probably get a nose bleed from being so high up....and you guys should know up front that I hate heights....but I have to do this. I am sad....very sad. I just had a fellow teacher come into my room, crying. She is a good teacher....and works hard with the kids. She has been teaching for almost 15 years and is a dedicated teacher....and at the end of this year...won't be hired back.....and that is so very very sad. She is not going to be hired back....because she is one of those teachers who fell between the cracks when No Child Left Behind hit the world of education. She has a teaching degree from an accredited university.....but when all was said and done....not enough hours to be a Highly Qualified teacher. So she had to take a test....called the Praxis. She has taken it now three times....the problem is that the Praxis tests on all areas of science and she only teaches Physical Science. She has missed passing the test each time by less than 10 points. is time to take the test again in a week....and if she fails it....she will be released from her contract. That is a travesty. We say we want good teachers teaching our children.....yet we are throwing a good one away...because she is struggling to pass a test. This teacher I am sure is not the only one.....there are a lot of us oldsters out there that this may apply to.....the difference here is that this teacher is my friend and I admire her tremendously and right now my heart is breaking for her. I am a member of our local state organization...AEA (Alabama Education Association)....she is not....but she still came to me to see if we could do something.....and I got all our people involved checking it out. There has never been a case where a teacher has challenged No Child Left Behind so no one knows what to do. I just know that this stinks out loud. Yes, I realize that she could have taken the test numerous times and possibly passed it but in her defense I too have test fright. I don't do well on standardized tests. Had I not had a Masters degree and taken the earlier versions of the teacher tests I too would be in her shoes. In the world of education there are many injustices and this is just another one in the pile. You definitely don't go into this profession for the money....I didn't. I had some kind of warped sense of wanting to save the world. I am one of those social worker teachers. LOL. And no matter what the little posters don't go into this job for June, July, or August. Those are just months when we go to training for the job we have for the other nine months. Our school begins at the end of July with a week of teacher training and then the students arrive the first week in August. I usually spend two - three days a week during the summer in my room getting it ready....painting bookshelves, cleaning that the kids can write on them during the school year. I had a parent tell me once that they thought I was way over paid for what little I did. I offered to trade jobs with her for a day.....or better yet...let her come and shadow me for a day.....she took me up on it. She is my biggest fan now. We, teachers, do not set out to Leave a Child Behind....something happens sometimes along the way....and it just happens. It is not always what has happened in school....a good bit of it deals with the baggage they bring to school with them each day......but whatever....a good teacher is going down....and I am sad.

5 comments: said...

Sorry to hear about your teacher friend. That has to be hard. I hope everything works out for the best.

lagirl said...

That is VERY sad.
Any time we have one less good teacher it is sad. Also sad that she is losing her job.

Leigh said...

Very sad!!

Ms. Marty said...

You have hit a sore spot with me. I worked in the local school system for 25 years, the last 22 in the school where I attended "grammar" school as well as my kids, my nieces, nephews and now my great nieces/nephews. TEACHERS DO NOT WORK FOR JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST. There are some that my, but they are few and far between. Most teachers never have a full week off during summer break. If they are in a continuing ed program they are at their school doing work.

When I was a student in school, standardized testing was a once in a while happening and we did not prepare for it the entire year. Our teachers taught reading, 'writing and 'rithmetic and I don't think our generation has done badly. If teachers were allowed to teach and not have to document every time a student breathed extra hard, things might be better.

There a lot of people that freak out on standardized tests but can blow the lid off regular testing. Go figure.

It is time to go back to letting you guys/gals do what you have spent countless years and hours training, to say nothing of the money, to do.

I through now.

Xazmin said...

I'm sad to hear this. I am a firm believer in the school being the place where students and parents are guided, and given to tools for helping the children succeed. But ultimately it is parents and families who are responsible for using these tools to best help their child. I serve on the Board for my children's charter school (actually was part of getting it started from the ground up!)

I get so frustrated when our amazing teachers are criticized and complained about by parents whose children are struggling with learning, when I know darn well that their peformance in school is a direct result of the environment they come from at home.

I'm often telling people that if a student is behind, it is not the responsiblility of the teacher to spend all her time catching this child up. It is the teacher's responsibility to help assess the child's needs, and help put together materials and methods for parents to use AT HOME to help the child get where they need to be.

I'm sorry for your friend, and also sorry for my long rambling post, but public education is something I feel very strongly about.