Taking Teachers for Granted

In my occupation I work with kids and I’m married to a teacher in the public schools.  I am a parent as well, so I hear the complaints about homework load and occasionally become irritated with the 13th fundraiser, 8th group project, and additional supplies needed.   On the other hand,  I haven’t met many teachers I thought were overpaid. Actually, I can’t think of any, but I’m sure they exist.

I admit that I struggle a bit when I see “Innovative Technology” apparently funded somehow – offered as a sale pitch if you will. Yet at the same time I’m also well aware of the percentage of my wife’s salary which she uses to fund her classroom. She does it because she loves her kids. It seems so obvious to me that the push to get the ‘best bang for our buck’ in education, isn’t on the same level as getting the best bargain on a carwash or an IPad or getting my carpet cleaned. Accountability should be a part of every field, but there are limits to how much you can quantify a child.

Generating numbers from assessments provide one significant perspective of many. However, the trend among education policy makers is to fund according to achievement – measured by primarily if not solely by assessment numbers. Somehow we are going to put kids in front of computers or hand them a tablet, with less staff, less resources, and less time, and yet better prepare them for the future.  Perhaps it is true that educators who can’t teach end up making educational policy, somehow. Anyway, I think that will eventually all work itself out and the sooner the better.

Last week teachers in Connecticut stepped between kids and bullets… heroes in a tragedy of tragedies.  Like it or not, right or wrong, as a whole we parents delegate a huge portion of  “ownership” of our kids to their teachers, every school day. We expect a lot of them. Sometimes we help — more often we just expect.

It’s a far different thing than getting their hair cut or their teeth cleaned.  I’m grateful for the people who teach my kids and I don’t want to take them for granted. I want them to see more in my child than an assessment number equivalent to funding. That’s going to take some change from policy makers, and it’s going to take some change from parents. I have to wait on certain time frames on the policy maker thing, but me, I can work on that right now. How about you?

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