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What do Americans have against education?

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bagano1 bagano1 is offline
 
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What do Americans have against education?
Old 01-12-2020, 04:29 PM
 
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I'm still in my nightmare long-term job, though it's getting better. I just feel that sometimes, some of the kids in the rougher parts of town just do not understand what an education is for, that the government is paying for it. You present a lesson to the class and just see frowns, angry looks and resentment. I had a really bad day last week where some kid complained to their mother about other kids in the class, and she called the principal complaining about it. This kid isn't from that culture and came from a suburban school but ended up in an alternative program for some reason. It reflects badly on me, but short of expelling everyone there, what can I do?

I never wanted to be a full-time teacher but I'm basically trapped here as one, dealing with all the BS. I worked managing a restaurant when I was younger and it was a nightmare. You basically realize very quickly why all these factory jobs are outsourced. You always hear people talk about how they're working two to three jobs, but when I managed the place, no one would ever come in if I called them. I never had anyone ask me if they could get extra hours by calling them in. Then there is the attitude that all authority is to be defied, no matter what. It's very unhealthy for a society and productivity.

But here we are, no one wants to teach anymore, basically. I know better than anyone else to actually plunk down thousands to train in that field. It's insane. A few of my coworkers also discussed how all that training could go down the drain if you get in a fight or are even accused of something. Doesn't feel right to me.


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OK, so you've been
Old 01-12-2020, 09:20 PM
 
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in this long term that was supposed to last a month or so since close to the beginning of the year.

It's been a nightmare all along, you've gotten no to little support, the students are difficult, and administration is no help.

You've stuck it out for the first semester (and maybe longer). This is a good time to do what I suggested back a few months ago. Come up with a reason to leave for a few weeks and then be unavailable to return. Go work in another district. Find a different job for a few months until the end of the year--likely there are other jobs that are the same or higher paying without the stressors. Do you really think you'll get any sub perks for staying in this job? Many administrators don't have loyalty to subs, they just need warm bodies to fill slots. Go back to day to day subbing next year. Or maybe you'll find an appealing job you want to do for years.

If you don't want to be a full time teacher, stop being one. Misery is optional. Save yourself.
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I don't know the whole story, obviously...
Old 01-13-2020, 04:08 AM
 
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"Life's too short to drink bad wine." I agree with broomrider; misery is optional, save yourself.

I love teaching. I'm not sure I'd want to do it full time as a public school teacher and, fortunately, it's late enough in life that I don't have to make that career decision. But some of my best days happen when I hear a kid say, "Now I get it!"

I do know that we have plenty of social ills and problems affecting education and, perhaps more importantly, our collective view of education and learning as a society. (Including the fact that most people don't distinguish between the two. A lot of kids would love a college education; they'd prefer not to have to learn much to get it. And their parents would be thrilled if they didn't have to pay for it.)

I also know that my focus affects my feelings and that one of the things I should be teaching is a love of learning. Yep, there are days when it feels like I'm shoveling crap against the tide and my shovel has been taken away. But I'll keep trying.
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:18 AM
 
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I don't understand it either. There is definitely a cultural stigma nowadays against being educated. Other countries respect people who are intelligent and well spoken, but here in many places it's seen as snobbish or something negative when it's taken in a direction that we feel is too far. There is a perceived comedic adoration associated with being clueless about things. People will proudly proclaim "I don't know that ####!" like it's a badge of honor. Then they'll retreat into their phones where you can't reach them.

I don't have kids. But some of the things I've seen while teaching in public schools makes me genuinely nervous about what I would do if I had one, regarding its education. I know a few people born and raised in China who came here a few years ago, and all of them have told me they'll ship their kids back to China to be educated before they'll have them set foot in an American classroom, because they don't feel like we have any respect for education here. And I can't even argue against what they're saying. It's seen at every level. We defund educational systems, demonize educators, have some of them working second and third retail jobs after hours to make ends meet because we won't even pay them enough to survive, and then when the kids act up and fail, we pressure the educators to pass them anyway. Some days it feels like a joke. To quote Lee Mcnulty: "We are ruining a nation, and no one cares."


I wish I could end this on a positive note. I want to. But I can't see any positivity regarding this subject. In about 30 years, the nation is going to be passed over to people who have shown, on the whole, that they can't even stay focused for an hour on something that benefits them directly. I get depressed when I think about this too much. I want to believe we make a difference, but I don't really know anymore. Lately all that keeps me going in (besides the bills) is the thought that maybe I'll be the one good part of some kid's day or something. It doesn't have anything to do with the subject of this post, but I'm trying to find something to be positive about here, lol.
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:55 AM
 
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Social promotion deserves most of the blame. They learn at a very young age that they will be promoted to the next grade whether or not they do the work or learn anything.


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Old 01-14-2020, 11:15 AM
 
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I wonder if all of the other countries try to educate their entire population, though, and go the efforts that we do, to the extent of making it by law, that students go to school.

I hate it when I hear how teachers don't get paid anything. I thought I got paid pretty well. People know, and have known, what it pays, since time began. It's not like it suddenly changed, or something. If you don't like what it pays, do something else.
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:17 AM
 
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People know, and have known, what it pays, since time began. It's not like it suddenly changed, or something.
Um, actually it did, at least in some areas. When I began teaching in this state (Wisconsin) 30 years ago, nobody went into teaching to get rich but it was possible to support a family on a teacher's salary. Some of the shortfall in salary, compared to other professions requiring the same level of education, was made up with other forms of compensation, primarily retirement and health benefits. Now, 30 years and one union-busting governor later, salaries are stagnant and benefits are lousy.

Statistics show that, while it varies from state to state, overall teacher salaries and benefits have been trending downward throughout the country and at the same time working conditions have deteriorated.

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I wonder if all of the other countries try to educate their entire population, though, and go the efforts that we do, to the extent of making it by law, that students go to school.
Most developed countries have some form of compulsory education although there are differences in how long they have to go to school and there are exceptions. Even in this country, students can apply to be home schooled and Amish children can't be required to go to school past 8th grade.

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It reflects badly on me, but short of expelling everyone there, what can I do?
You can expel students? My experience has been that it's very difficult to expel any student from school and if they have an IEP or are under a 504 plan, it's well-nigh unto impossible.

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Social promotion deserves most of the blame. They learn at a very young age that they will be promoted to the next grade whether or not they do the work or learn anything.
I disagree. Schools are now full of kids who really don't care whether they are promoted and don't see any point in graduating from high school. I think what deserves more blame is this trend that there can never be any type of negative consequences in school, only positive language, positive reinforcement, rewards for acceptable behavior and minimal effort. We now have a whole generation of PARENTS who never expected to hear a harsh word no matter what they did at school and now demand that their children never experience a negative consequence. Not only that, but teachers now have to teach in an environment where, in the name of "least restrictive environment" they may have students who hit, kick and throw furniture but can't be disciplined for that behavior. But teachers are still expected to magically keep that from affecting all the fragile little darlings in their care.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:02 AM
 
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Tori58: you are so right. There are NO consequences! I had a sixth grade math class recently -- most were throwing things, yelling, giving me lip, etc. Guess what their consequence was? A lunch detention! Very typical. My mention of social promotion as a villain was meant as, what do we expect when we expect nothing, and reward everything?
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Tori58 Tori58 is online now
 
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:36 PM
 
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A lunch detention! Very typical.
Oh, it can get worse than that. I once sent a 5th grader to the office for being repeatedly disrespectful and defiant, culminating in shaking her fist at me. Guess what happened? She came back with a treat.

Last edited by Tori58; 01-17-2020 at 03:31 PM..
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:48 PM
 
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Tori58's Message:

Oh, it can get worse than that. I once sent a 5th grader to the office for being repeated disrespectful and defiant, culminating in shaking her fist at me. Guess what happened? She came back with a treat.
There must be an education consultant doing seminars on giving out treats for misbehavior. A local middle school gives out lollipops to kids sent to the office for misbehaving.


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Old 01-17-2020, 03:30 PM
 
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There must be an education consultant doing seminars on giving out treats for misbehavior.
I suspect this may be part of trauma-informed practices. Probably the thinking goes that that some students in trauma suffer from food insecurity and may be acting out because they're hungry. This is a reasonable thing to consider but then give them a piece of fruit or a packet of crackers, not a piece of candy!
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I find it interesting
Old 01-17-2020, 05:32 PM
 
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that in an era where we are told to reward/reinforce desired behavior in order to have it repeated, admin is reinforcing with primaries (food) behaviors we want to stop.

If reinforcement works, use it wisely.

I also have difficulty with administrators who use threats and punishment for teachers while requiring them to use only positives. Ummm, modeling anyone?

Last edited by broomrider; 01-17-2020 at 05:38 PM.. Reason: clarify
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