A friend and I were grousing about ignorance run amok.
“Americans get their information from internet memes,” I laughed. “And in the true spirit of democracy, dullards who have never cracked a book will cancel the votes of people who actually have a clue. What could go wrong?”
“You know what the problem is?” Tim challenged. “Our country’s a mess because teachers suck.”
Although I’ve been out of the classroom for a number of years, once a teacher, always a teacher. Plus, I have family and friends still slugging it out in the trenches. I know their battles and the wounds they carry.
“Dude, do you know what teachers endure on a daily basis?” I asked Tim. I found that, no, he didn’t. I fear most Americans might be as clueless.
I emailed a former colleague (she’s two years from retirement) and asked one question: “How has education changed since you first started teaching?” A week later I received six, single-spaced pages.
When Susan started teaching thirty-one years ago, she had six class periods (about twenty-five kids per class) and two “preps” (subjects to teach). “We were expected to do all the usual things” like developing lessons, grading homework and tests, handwriting grade cards, and contacting parents “if and when necessary.”
(That last part made me snicker. Teachers will get the joke.)
A lot has changed over three decades, and though they haven’t broken her, many of those changes have bent Susan to the point where she is ready to retire.
While Tim condemns Susan as America’s problem, her own words reveal why she and teachers like her suck …