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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
PAposter
Radical Progressive
01:28 PM on 02/17/2010
nml123 I'm a Fan of nml123 I'm a fan of this user permalink

oh well you should have just said that in the first place, because i totally agree with that
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I knew we could agree on something. Nice debating with you.

Peace!
04:30 PM on 02/17/2010
agreed! ultimately its debating topics like this that gives us hope. peace!
01:18 PM on 02/17/2010
I have worked as a substitute teacher, and have taught art privately. Based on my experience, I feel teachers' salaries should be doubled. I decided I did not want to teach, as I prefer working alone, no matter how much it paid.

The parents should be responsible for teaching their kids to read and count, and this must be done before they enter public schools.

In a public school setting, what must be taught is how to get along with people! No matter what, we live in a world of people, and social skills are of the utmost importance and must be taught. Especially as, awash in twenty thousand synthetic chemicals each day, we can expect more and more developmental disorders in kids, which impair their social skills.

How to function as part of a team. How to access information in our new information age, and how to make use of all the technology. Art, music, dance from all the cultures is to celebrated, and gardens must be grown on each campus, with children required to demonstrate basic food growing skills.

Kids should be able to able to enter trade schools at an early age, we need more craftsmen, machinists. A student should be able to obtain all the training they need in order to support themselves in the world, before they leave high school.

When the student leaves public school, they must have a skill set with which to survive in the real world.
05:06 PM on 02/17/2010
I didn't know how to read when i entered school. I was in the advanced reading group in about a week once we started. I graduated from a university in the top 3 in the country.

i agree, parents should be involved in helping their kids learn, but a teacher's job is to teach.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
DSOTM
Legalize it, now!
01:09 PM on 02/17/2010
Firing an entire staff and replacing them with what you think is your "dream staff" is a band-aide over a gaping wound.

In many parts of the country our education system is in shambles and I can assure you its never just a single problem, its a huge system of failures.

This was not a good idea firing those teachers.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
PAposter
Radical Progressive
01:16 PM on 02/17/2010
I don't know...I would love to see a whole slew of teachers dismissed from my district...as well as the School Board Members who are allowed to serve indefinitely. Guess who gets to decide whether or not there should be term limits for School Board members? That's right, the school board....I wonder if they need 60% of the board to pass it?
12:30 PM on 02/17/2010
Wow - my post to BronxTeacher was erased or something along that line.

I did note that BronxTeacher is using "work time" to both read and contribute to the comments section of this article - to the tune of 12 posts on this page alone.

STOP GABBING - START TEACHING OUR CHILDREN
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
PAposter
Radical Progressive
12:33 PM on 02/17/2010
What's that, about 5 minutes...I think a teacher can take a break...just like everyone else.
12:37 PM on 02/17/2010
IT IS SCHOOL VACATION WEEK!!!!! I AM NOT ON THE JOB!

My goodness you are quite ready to attack with NO information.
12:41 PM on 02/17/2010
vacation week. I think this plays right into the frustrations of us all.
12:05 PM on 02/17/2010
The Teachers at this particular school made between $70,000 - $78,000 per year.

http://www.businessinsider.com/henry-blodget-unionized-rhode-island-teachers-refuse-to-work-25-minutes-more-per-day-so-town-fires-all-of-them-2010-2
12:13 PM on 02/17/2010
THATS AN ATTROCITY! if a school is failing, its not the responsibility of the students its the teachers job to teach and the parents job to make sure the kid is well enough behaved to take advantage of this educational oppurtunity. Hello people there are people in the world who arent even able to get an education and now your overpaying underperforming teachers and self entitled parents full of excuses for their bratty kids. well then this is what its gonna come down to.
12:17 PM on 02/17/2010
I keep seeing that figure--$70K to $78K--but not from any credible source. I've only seen it being repeated over and over in the right-wing, anti-union blognetz, without any supporting proof. (i.e., it is not a claim which has been verified.)

Anybody out there know if this can be verified?
12:20 PM on 02/17/2010
the school failed numerous times, as a result of the teachers teaching those kids those things. Its not about the #, regardless, they didnt do their job and dont deserve it.
12:20 PM on 02/17/2010
I assume benefits are worked into that number
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
GandenT
12:03 PM on 02/17/2010
I respectfully disagree with your assertion; the school's systemic problems are management's problems and nothing in the article indicates that management has ably addressed or fixed those problems; all they've done is apportion blame without proof or analysis, ignore the students' and parents' perspective, and kick the problems down the pike to the next batch of teachers who, at the end of the day, will only be able to teach in exactly the same manner with exactly the same materials as the last batch. It's unclear if the money saved by squeezing the next batch of teachers will offset the losses from the firing (and lawsuits for illegal firing) process so the financial aspect has not even been improved, not that it was ever the issue until the superintendent made it into one with her impertinent in intemperate demands. What IS clear is that the students' prospects have not been improved in any way, if they have not been acutely harmed, that is.
12:49 PM on 02/17/2010
I believe the article stated that 50% of the teachers will be rehired. From the looks of their results, i'd wager that no more than 15% of them deserve to be rehired.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
GandenT
01:09 PM on 02/17/2010
That was a reply to another remark asserting the unfounded belief that somehow the teachers, rather than management, are at fault for dropouts and students who don't or can't learn their lessons -- which is a view held by many in these comments although there is no proof of this analysis and from the article the parents seemed to think the students were at fault for not studying. BTW there was no indication that 50% of the teachers would be rehired in the article although up to 50% could be, according to the terms of the superintendent's plans. You are certainly entitled to your beliefs and opinions, but my point was only that the article provided, nor did the superintendent, no proof or even reason why the teachers as a group should be faulted for the poor performance of the students as a group. Nor is there any proof that the actions taken based on that unfounded assertion of blame will help the problem in any way, even if it satisfies the anti-union, pro-authority bias of many of the commentators here.
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11:59 AM on 02/17/2010
When you have a system that basically grants a job for life after just 2 years worth of work (yes 2, courts say if you can do it for 2 tenure must be granted) you are left with nothing but self motivation.

When you have a system that pays the absolute best teacher in a school EXACTLY the same as the absolute worst teacher in the school you are left with nothing but self motivation.

When you have a system that relies almost solely on self motivation the majority sooner or later get the "why should I work so hard when.....)" attitude.

These 3 things are the prime contributor to the issues we see with education these days and it will never be fixed until those 3 absurdities are addressed.
12:22 PM on 02/17/2010
EDUCATION SHOULD BE FREE. and the people who teach it should be passionate enough to be self motivated. period
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
PAposter
Radical Progressive
01:11 PM on 02/17/2010
So, you do agree with me?!
02:18 PM on 02/17/2010
Why stop there? Let people who are passionate about law or medicine practice for free. Writers, actors, architects, police and military, news reporters, bankers---anyone who loves their work should do it for free. And you--you should work for free too. Period.
12:50 PM on 02/17/2010
Nailed it! I'll be your first fan.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
PAposter
Radical Progressive
11:46 AM on 02/17/2010
I believe teaching is one of the most honorable professions one could pursue. However, I do not believe all educators are honorable people. I also do not believe they are all qualified nor effective teachers.

Anyone can teach a smart kid, all you have to do is show up. The real test is what you can accomplish with the kid that comes to school hungry, unable to read, no desire to learn, lacking a reference point for the lesson, no support system, no help with homework, no responsible adults to turn to, disrespectful, unruly, disruptive. What should happen to these kids? Should teachers use these disadvantages as an excuse for not being able to teach these students?

Every student has the capacity to learn...every single one of them. The only question now is are you willing to teach the student that doesn't fit into your perfect mold of expectations? Having a loving, two parent, healthy, supportive household would be ideal, but it is NOT a requirement to be a successful student.

Teachers, alone many times, are the only constant in a student's life. These students need to know their value, potential and promise. I have great respect and high expectations for teachers, because I firmly believe they have the ability to impact students in a way no one else can.

If you were looking for an easy gig...this ain't it...and you should be honest about whether or not you can truly be effective in this role.
11:56 AM on 02/17/2010
You are not very bright, are you? Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about....
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
PAposter
Radical Progressive
12:08 PM on 02/17/2010
I know this...you are every student's worst nightmare...a miserable, angry teacher.

How you could take offense with my post, is beyond me.
12:12 PM on 02/17/2010
Do YOU have any idea what you are talking about? PAposter is describing the vast majority of my students, and I would never presume to think that just because of their outside lives, they are incapable of being incredibly strong students. While the outside forces may be against you, if you do your work in the classroom, you can engage students meaningfully and get them into academic inquiry rather no matter where they come from...I have seen it happen many times, and I've seen it fail many times. I do not believe 100% of a child's life or ability is in a teacher's hands, but a good teacher can engage a student no matter what is going on- or at least see that the student needs some help and guidance, and that can matter more.
12:02 PM on 02/17/2010
Thank you so much for your post. I completely agree with what you said (which is why I am personally opposed to TFA and other such programs). Many people are not fit to be teachers, and do not understand the emotional toll it can take on you. As a teacher in the type of environment you describe, not only do I know every student CAN learn...every student WANTS to. When many of these kids are choosing (for many of them, it is a choice, as mom or dad could care less often), to be in school instead of on the streets or at home, they are showing how much education means to them- even when you think they arent paying attention or doing your work. The important thing to remember is that students do have different capabilities, and sometimes home life DOES seriously impact a students ability to function in the classroom-but not their intelligence. Flexibility and caring are necessary, and without them, you should not be a teacher.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
PAposter
Radical Progressive
12:14 PM on 02/17/2010
Thank you so much for what you do, I know it's not easy. I absolutely agree that the kids most teachers complain about want to learn, or they wouldn't keep showing up. Being the one to help them realize they can learn is priceless! There will be many students attributing their success to teachers like you...you honor the profession.
12:19 PM on 02/17/2010
yo back up, no body should be having any children if they think its ok for their teacher to be there biggest impact. Lady you just made yourself the poster child for sterilization. If you wanna procreate, wonderful, but do so with the intention of raising that child properly, meaning exercise, eating healthy, behavior control and a positive contribution to society etc, NOT dumping all those responsibilities on the teacher. Thats horrific.
11:40 AM on 02/17/2010
This is a really depressing thread... but there is obviously a problem

I am told by a relation who works within education in CA that the major problems are :-

1) A lack of student discipline, with teachers having no tools to address this and getting very little support from administrators.. the few disruptive kids who negatively impact on the majority
2) The student mix with many cultures and language groups within each class making communication difficult and sometimes resulting on open class conflicts
3) Unwarranted parent support for kids when there is a teacher/student dispute, undermining the teachers authority
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Warrior89
12:02 PM on 02/17/2010
agree, agree, agree
11:32 AM on 02/17/2010
As a teacher in the South Bronx, this article truly scares me. What the article suggests about my profession (and yes, teaching is a profession), makes me feel as though very few people have a true understanding of what a teacher does. My day (and that of many of my colleagues), is hardly that of your 'typical' 9-5 office worker: I get to school by 7:30am, to prepare for my classes which begin at 8:30...I teach 3-4 academic periods (55 min each) throughout the day, and on my 'breaks' have administrative duties, such as hallway monitoring, IEP meetings, mentoring meetings, and when I have a free moment- paper grading. I also have an 'advisory' group of 15 students whom I am directly responsible for, and that eats into any free time I may have dealing with any issues they are having. School ends at 2:50, but my school has tutoring time in all subjects/grade levels until 3:30- this never actually ends at 3:30 for me as the 12th grade English teacher (especially during college application time). By the time I stumble home between 4:45-5pm, it is time to get starting on some grading of the 5 page essay that was due a few days ago, and my kids are just starting to hand in, because NO ONE is home supporting or guiding them. Parents are often not around in the community I teach in, especially fathers to be accountable. This is my job.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Mystic01
Proudly pro-union
11:38 AM on 02/17/2010
Thank you for your work. Fanned.
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11:41 AM on 02/17/2010
Let me ask you one question. Is the daily routine you just described yours - or ALL the teachers in your school. I would bet it is yours because of yuor motivation but hardly the norm for most.

I firmly believe there are great teachers out there. The only problem I have with them is they rarely get involved in pulling up the performance of the other teachers. You may work hard but do you turn your head when your peers don't in your school. Do you knock heads with the union that allows them to perfrom marginally? Doing a great job on your own won't fix what's wrong with the system.
12:08 PM on 02/17/2010
In response to your question- my daily routine is that of the vast majority of my colleagues, but no, not all. My school is certainly an exceptional one, where the teachers are hired by committee (made up of teaching staff- only after they pass through that do they go to the administration), so the committment to teaching as a profession and an art is higher than in other schools where teachers are hired far less personally.

I believe that administrations need far more flexibility to fire or excess teachers who are unable to meet job requirements/do GOOD work (not just hand out worksheets everyday), and I am lucky to be in a school where the administration does its best to get rid of non-performing teachers. It is the union that makes this task difficult-but lets just say the rest of the staff makes it clear to teachers who think they can take many days off/show up late/not create lesson plans or good work that they are less than welcome to be around the following year. In the environment we work in, we have enough challenges without bad teachers making it harder for all of us to hold our students to the highest standard possible. So while we may not be at 100% committed excellence, we certainly do our best to weed out teachers who are in the profession for the wrong reasons/are clueless as to what 'good teaching' really means.
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karela
11:10 AM on 02/17/2010
If they had made the changes temporary and dependent on turning the school into a good educational institution, it would sound a bit more fair to me. As the worst school in the state, teachers should have been willing to work to change that. And as responsible employers, the school board should have understood that making such sweeping extensions of the work load without linking it to an ending when things improved was bound to cause serious resentments. I wouldn't want to be a student in that school with all that anger floating around. Having said all that, I doubt that they'll have much trouble finding new teachers. And I'm sure that they'll have to defend their decision in court.
11:08 AM on 02/17/2010
I have to disagree with many of you on here. Teachers do not make enough money for what they do. I wouldn't want that job, especially dealing with high school students today. What would you do if your boss told you that you would have a bunch of extra work without much extra pay? I for one would fight it if possible. Reading some of the teachers post and the hours they are putting in is ridiculous. We all work way too much in the USA. Who came up with the 40 hour work week anyway? We should all work about 20-30 hours a week. I don't think they should increase the school days or years either. As I recall the school day lasted forever when I was growing up. Let kids enjoy their lives before they are stuck working all the time like the rest of us corporate slaves.
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11:18 AM on 02/17/2010
You drank the kool-aid. Not only is the school year only 180 days - the teachers still get personal days and educational days. Then on top of that their "day" consists of 5 teaching periods (at least were I am) which totals 3.33 hours/day. Do they need to prepare and deal with homework, tests, etc - YES! HOWEVER, if you are teaching the same grade/course that you have in the past your planning is "tweaking" and therefore minimal. The remaining hours of their workday provides MORE than enough time to deal with the other duties teachers love to say that have to do at home.
As to the resistance to doing more work without more pay - WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD!!! Most of us are doing more all the time - and many of us got salary REDUCTIONS over the last 18 months. Couple that with the losing 1/3 of our retirement while teachers retirements are GAURANTEED.
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lcr999
scientist
02:21 PM on 02/17/2010
My response to people who think that other people in xxx profession get paid too much and dont work hard enough, is ....well, what is stopping you from getting such a job. If it is so darn easy, quit your job and become a teacher. Then we will see what you think about working "3.33 hours a day for < 180 days"
11:19 AM on 02/17/2010
Mike you are not up on what is happening now. Folks are working 12 hrs a day. Many work two jobs. Because of high school taxes are loosing their homes. Our country is behind every major country in education. Teachers should be looking how to give our students more time in a classroom not less.
11:02 AM on 02/17/2010
Great idea. The zero dollars they had to spend on improving schools can now be used to fight illegal termination lawsuits.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
PAposter
Radical Progressive
11:52 AM on 02/17/2010
I'm sure they had a meeting with the school attorney about legal ramifications.
10:51 AM on 02/17/2010
STEP UP PEOPLE! To those of you who think that the Sup. is "right" and the teachers deserve what they get....Step Up! Go back to school and spend $100,000 to get a masters degree and come replace these teachers who get fired. Experience what it's like to be a teacher; have your summers "off", work "only" 8 hours a day, "lounge" in the teachers workroom all day, get paid "above" the median wage, "save" on childcare by being home when your own children are home, get showered with gratitude and respect and add 25 minutes to the school day, provide tutoring on a rotating schedule before and after school, eat lunch with students once a week, submit to more rigorous evaluations, attend weekly after-school planning sessions with other teachers and participate in two weeks of training in the summer. And if you can do this successfully year after year without killing yourself.....then I'll listen to your insensitive, delusional comments.
11:01 AM on 02/17/2010
Answer this Q How many hours a day are the students in your school actualy in a classroom?
How many hours a year?
11:03 AM on 02/17/2010
Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize that teachers are the only group of highly trained professionals some (certainly not all) of whom have masters degrees, work more than 8 hours per day, only get paid "above minimum wage, submit to rigorous evaluations, and have to participate in continuing education. Get real. May of us highly trained professionals are in the same boat, only we don't have generous pensions, or get summers off, nor do we have the luxury of working 8 hours per day. Fact is that teachers' salaries are not as lowly as they used to be (we have a horrible third grade teacher who make $86,000 per year at my son's school), they should be more, but low salaries are not the reason for our failing American schools.

We all make our choices. If you choose to teach, you should be prepared to be a professional, uphold the standards of your profession, and not gripe about the professionally required aspects of the job.
11:29 AM on 02/17/2010
To echo your comment. If you like the summers off go into politics.
11:47 AM on 02/17/2010
I know quite a few teachers, and it is a complete misperception that they work short days. I'm in business, and yes, I work a long day... and most of the teachers I know appear to be home before me. But the reality is, they 1) are at their school at 7:30am or earlier and 2) work until anywhere from 6-7pm, after which they go home and still do more work grading, prepping the next day's materials, etc. Many work as much as 15 hour days every day... depending on the school, what they teach, how much help they have.
10:43 AM on 02/17/2010
"Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning."
--- George W. Bush, Yale and Harvard graduate
10:47 AM on 02/17/2010
The B School has large classes and pretty "flexible" standards. They even admit legacy loafers from Yale.