Back to School News for Teachers
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Who Says Teachers are Whiny??
Republican Candidate Kasich’s comments about “whiny teachers” who hang out in the “teacher’s lounge” are getting some backlash from Dr. Chester Goad in the Huffington Post. Goad says in an era where politicians and the media are constantly scrutinizing and criticizing teachers, it’s crucial for educators to remind them of the honor of the teaching profession, and how hard teachers work. Dr. Goad says the problem is that teachers are disengaged from and left out of decision making and policy decisions, allowing politicians to “hijack” their profession.
Goad argues that teachers need to reframe the narrative by following these five steps:
- Don’t hate. Educate. Tell others about how amazing teachers are!
- Engage in academic research and discourse. Do research on policy, testing, whatever suits your fancy, and enter the discussion.
- Change classrooms. Run for political office!
- Protect the reputation of the profession. I think this one speaks for itself.
- Love it or leave it. Teach because you are passionate about it, and once that passion wanes, move on.
To what lengths would you go for the students? In the Upland School District in Pennsylvania, teachers are working at a new pay rate– they are working for free. The Washington Post reports that the struggling school district has been awash with financial and academic issues since the 1990s, and they are essentially bankrupt.
Despite the uncertainty of the district’s future and not knowing when or if they will get paid, the teachers and administrators all agreed to work. John Shelton, a dean of students for 23 years, said he and his colleagues are “dedicated to these children.” The area serves over 3,000 low income students, and Shelton says, “Some of our children, this is all they have as far as safety, their next nourishing meal, people who are concerned for them.”
Governor Tom Wolf’s spokesman, Scott Sheridan, says the district is at risk of being completely dissolved. It is operating at a $22 million deficit that keeps growing. Sheridan blames local mismanagement, cuts in education spending, and charter schools. The Chester Community Charter School, a nonprofit school that is part of a for-profit company, serves about half the students in the school district. By law, traditional schools are required to pay charter schools significant sums of money for students from the district who attend them. The charter also received generous benefits, almost $40,000 each, for special education students in the school. All told, the Upland School District pays Chester Community over $60 million a year, more than they receive in state funding.
Gov. Wolf has moved to reduce the amount of money the district is required to pay charters to bring these schools more in line with public ones. A judge denied the motion, but did approve a recovery plan for the district that includes an audit and a new loan agreement. Wolf is trying to come up with another plan, but he says “We’re reviewing our options… At this point, we don’t have a final plan.”
Shelton, the teacher who will be working without pay says: “I cannot believe the governor or legislature would let public education fail just for the sake of a dollar.” It’s amazing to know so many teachers have faith in their profession, and are so dedicated that they work without the benefit of an income just so they can serve the children.
In New York City, teachers will be allotted $122 for classroom and teaching supplies. With this $122, they are expected to decorate and stock their classrooms for the entire year. $122 is barely enough for a class set of markers, let alone folders, notebooks, paper, pens, books, posters, or anything else a teacher might need. Classroom set up is part of a teacher’s evaluation, so it is something that most teachers take very seriously, and spare no expense on.
However, this small sum is nothing new, and New York City teachers are not alone. Rebecca Klein of the Huffington post reports “All around the country educators are being forced to do more with less. Last year, teachers spent an average of about $500 of their own money on supplies for students.” Teachers interviewed for the article said they spend anywhere from $300 to almost $6,000 on supplies for their classrooms.
Oklahoma teacher DeAnn Moran said: “We as teachers have to find ways to be creative because I’m going to do whatever it takes to be creative for our children, even if that means it comes out of my pocket…Their little faces are just devastated when they don’t have books and colors…It’s amazing what that can do for a child.”
So, how do you use your teacher’s choice? How much do you spend out-of-pocket? Tag photos of your supplies and classrooms, or comments on how to do a lot with a little on Twitter @CtrTeacherEd or Facebook.com/ctrteachered.
CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education . For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train TEACHERS (Early Childhood, Literacy, Special Ed, Grad Courses, DASA); COUNSELORS (School, Mental Health Masters, Advanced Certificate); and ADMINISTRATORS (SBL, SDL, Public Admin, Online PhD) in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, and Long Island.
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