God help us all!
The quote above is from an email from a colleague who teaches 2nd grade in advance of this new school year in a mid-sized urban school district. This teacher is closing in on retirement eligibility within the next couple of years. This teacher reflects the plight of teachers all over the country, teachers who have dedicated their lives to educating our children. Passionate teachers who are now facing retirement have seen countless reform initiatives and never have those initiatives stood in the way of the care teachers have for children. But the current state of education is definitely impeding teacher passion for their work because of the unreasonable and often unfounded choices they must comply with any given school year.
In a recent conversation on Book TV's program Afterwords, between Diane Ravitch and Steven Brill, Brill cites a teacher in New York City barking at students as he shouts inane questions at his students, feet up on his desk. I find it very difficult to believe that this was a firsthand observation, rather than a reflection of someone else's story. I cannot imagine any teacher being so lax while being observed by outsiders.