Friday, November 18, 2011

A question

If I write about how much I enjoyed talking to most of the people on my kids' CST/IEP/504 teams, with one exception, does that mean I'm teacher bashing? It seems as if saying anything bad about any teacher, labels me as one of those legions of bad people who don't understand how hard it is to be a teacher. From my perspective, I think that saying some small number of teachers are just not currently doing a very good job,  reinforces the idea that being a good teacher is hard work. Some people need more training, or more support, or maybe just aren't cut out for the job. I'm not talking about new teachers that are a little unsure. Maybe their first few years aren't their strongest, but you can see that they want to do better, and that they are trying. I'm OK with that. I'm talking about not listening, being inflexible, and thinking that the S in Child Support Team stands for something mysterious and has to do with someone else.

I try to focus on how helpful and understanding >95% of the people were. Even if they had issues or problems with a kid, they could listen and brainstorm about how we could change something to make things work better. I was willing to make a commitment for what I would do, where I could pitch in, and it felt like that was appreciated and reciprocated. And the student, too, was drawn in and contributing. With these folks, we really were forming a team. I truly am grateful for that, but I keep on getting drawn back to frustration with that <5%.

I am not a teacher hater or basher. I truly appreciate that that being a competent teacher is a hard job. I don't expect every teacher to be teacher of the year.  I just don't accept the idea that every teacher is succeeding at their job.

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