I haven’t blogged for a while. I haven’t blogged because I’m confused. I work hard to be a good teacher. I do all the things I’m supposed to: I read professional articles, look to other teachers for ideas, reflect on my practice, plan lessons that encourage kid to think deeply, tie what I do to essential questions and real-life applications, and differentiate my instruction as best I can to meet every kid where they are regardless of how or why they are there. So what am I confused about?
I don’t know when I became the enemy.
Look at Wisconson. Sure it’s easy to criticize those lazy teachers for wanting all that money when we in a recession (teachers being paid so well and all), but here we also bargain for planning time and the amount of extra duty we are required to do in order the give us enough time to build solid lessons and to give adequate feedback to students on their work. We bargain to limit the amount of preparations teacher need so that no teacher is stuck planning superficial lessons because they have to plan four or five different lessons for each day. Part of our bargaining is so we can be better teacher. Affordable health care and a living wage is only part of it. I’m not gung-ho about unions, but I’m frustrated by the way I’m being portrayed by people who are supposed to respect what I do. I’m tired of education reform being about cutting salaries and firing teachers.
But it isn’t about education; it’s about money.
States need to cut funds and teacher make easy targets becasue the rhetoric politicians use is so easy to buy into. Tell me one teacher you respect that doesn’t want what’s best for students? One teacher that thinks believes teacher’s needs trump student needs? We believe in everything they are saying…but what they are saying isn’t what they are doing.
And I have become the target.
Perhaps I’m taking it too personally, but I’m not used to being the enemy. I’m not sure what I did to get there…or how I’m supposed to stay here and still be good at what I do. I’m starting to think the answer lies in the test prep workbooks in my closet.