I have started this blog as a type of catharsis, for lack of a better word.
Those of you who teach may understand the points I will bring up. Or not. Perhaps some – or the majority – of you will wonder why I remain in teaching if I am so disillusioned with the system of education.
But, you see, that’s just it. I am disillusioned with the system. I am not disillusioned with my fellow teaching professionals or my students. I am not questioning the need for an educated society. There are just specific things in this age of standards and accountability that don’t wash with me as an educator of 30 years. There are things that stick in my craw, so to speak.
I suppose the worst of all of this for me is that whatever happens in the world of education in this day and age seems to be my fault as a teacher. Teachers are at the bottom of the food chain in education – the last in line, and the ones who deal directly with the students. This makes us an easy mark; the whipping boys of a system that has taken all control from us. While I find this unfair, that is the least of it. I find it harder each day to defend what has happened to education. To love what you do at its heart but to despise what it has become is the hardest thing of all.
The job of a teacher has always been hard. I have always welcomed the challenge. However, what is happening in the classroom today is not what I call teaching. In fact, it is not what I would call learning. Our students are being short-changed, and there is nothing we can do about it. I understand the need for accountability, and I agree that it does have its place in the educational system. It should not be the main focus, however.
I praise the grassroots efforts of those small groups of parents who want to see less testing and fewer textbook companies scripting lessons for their children. I appreciate that they want their children to love school or, at the very least, love to learn. There are far too many children who are disillusioned with education. It is not enough to tell students that it is important to learn this and that – we have to show them. Unfortunately, there is no time for showing in education anymore.
It is time to give the art of education back to the professionals, where it belongs.