Re: Kid tells teacher like it is
I work as a Classified staff member (after school program) and I am going to be a history teacher at the secondary level.
In response to the video: I agree that as a student it can be very very frustrating when no one around you takes as big an interest in your education as you do. Even if you don't care, it is the educators job to make you care. I would have been hesitant to applaud the kid since it's a short video and you have no idea if he was being an idiot beforehand, but her response to him made me believe that all of his points were valid. That kind of teaching gives educators a bad name, it makes the students check out, AND they don't learn shit. Even as just a ASP leader I have a personal, vested interest in the education of my students.
History in particular frustrated me because it's often the laziest form of teaching. But if I get on that track you won't get me off so...
As for the pay of teachers: teachers, or I should say, good-great teachers, at every level are underpaid. These are the ones who not only pour everything they have into their actual contracted hours, but also spend countless hours of their own personal time, and also their own money to further enhance their abilities as a teacher. It takes serious dedication, and patience. I love the field of education, I love my students, and I really want to teach history, but even I have considered very strongly doing something else because of the money. That shouldn't be the case.
There needs to be a greater emphasis put on education in our society. And there needs to be more incentive for the right kind of people to go into teaching. It really is a thankless job. I would love to higher salaries, and merit based evaluation (opposed to seniority). The only problem is what is the metric for a good teacher? It's not always concrete. The standardized testing is, imo, straight bullshit, and creates a culture that discourages real good education.
Finally, we cannot have misplaced teachers. I want to teach history because I love the shit out of history. It fascinates me, I drive those around me crazy talking about something I've read or my ideas on a current event, etc. I have a serious passion for the field, and I hope that as an educator my students will be able to notice that, and in turn I will be able to inspire a passion in them. If I go somewhere and they're like: "Oh we need you to teach theater." that won't work. I'll be competent, I'm a smart guy, I can figure it out, but without that passion for it I will not be nearly as effective as I should be.
I have written such a long post because the topic of education is one I care very much about. I feel all over the place when I write about it on ISH because I have so much I want to say, and so many ideas I have a hard time cutting it down. But this student is right, even if they all show up. Even if they are the smartest kids in school. Even if they do all of their work diligently, without the teacher giving their all it's a moot point. I have rough days at work with my kids, it happens, but if it becomes a consistent problem you have to take a step back and reevaluate it all.