I think I'm speaking for many teachers when I say, "We're tired of bribing kids with toys and candy." Okay, I've said it. So... I might as well say a bit more. We're tired of negotiating. We're tired of defending ourselves to prove our innocence while misbehaving kids get away with every type of misbehavior you can image. Would it help if My Mom called the principal to complain? Maybe I should ask her to call and say that the kids are picking on me. Maybe I should tell her to call the board of education and complain about the work I am expected to do. Do you think any of them would be afraid of my little mom?
Maybe I should get the attention of the 'groups' that come up with these ideas. I haven't figured out HOW to get their attention yet. Nothing has worked. So far. I don't have enough money to get their attention. I don't have enough influential friends in the right position for them to give me the time of day. But, hey! maybe someday someone will get the bright idea to listen to a teacher about teaching. Who knows? Stranger things have happened.
So in the meantime, teachers are subjected to using singsong voices in order to get through to kids who are throwing temper tantrums. We're forced to assure them that everything will be okay, when we have no control over their lives outside of our four walls. We are expected to focus our attention on one while we have to teach test material to everyone else so that test scores go up. We're compared to private institutions. We're given inferior (or inaccurate) teaching materials and then blamed for their inaccuracies.
I don't know about you, but I'm tired of it. Want us to do our job and teach the next generation? Then support us. Give us the backing we need. Stop being afraid of parents, kids, and companies and start listening to us. We need discipline in our schools, not a cutesy little program that gives our kids sugar and stickers. Get a backbone. Remember that we're on the same team. We want to teach kids. But we can't do it alone.
(For more of Kim Frencken's writing, check out her blog, Chocolate For the Teacher.)