Mama, don’t let your kids grow up to be teachers

After 30 years of teaching, I’ve seen it all. The pendulum swings back and forth, with different titles, new programs that are portrayed as “new”, but it’s usually been the same old stuff. Teachers had autonomy to decide what was best for their students and what was the best way to teach their subject area. Several years ago that changed. We saw it first in Florida because of Gov. Jeb Bush. Everything must be measured by a test score. Kids who couldn’t feed themselves were given multiple choice tests. Non-verbal kids were given the test. Kids who spoke no English were given the test. Kids were so nervous about “the test’ that they vomited. And then it got worse.

All curriculum now is tied to “the test”. What does “the test” measure? How well a kid can take a test. What does “the test” not measure? Reading level, math level, vocabulary, grammar, spelling, measurements, creativity, problem solving, history, geographic skills, map reading – you get the idea. The only person who benefits from this is the testing publisher – Pearson Publishing.

Next year, 1/2 of Florida teachers’ salaries are tied to these scores, which bear no relevance to learning or the subject they teach In many cases, tied to student scores of kids they don’t even teach.
You would think that if something so appalling and destructive were affecting so many children the local district would fight the fight. Within a few years teachers will be given a script, students will act like little robots, and everyone will lose.

Discipline is a joke. There are no rules because if there were rules, they would have to be enforced. The local School Board waters down basic requirements. Administrative promotions are based on not getting phone calls from parents. Elected officials must keep voters/parents happy. So kids do whatever they want with little or no punishment. Phones are always on, earbuds are always in, attendance his lousy, butts and boobs prominently displayed, deplorable language, food fights, and too few adults to supervise. Parents and kids make the rules and we just shake our heads.

I am very, very lucky that I can leave. Anyone who has options, is leaving. So who will be left reading scripts to your kids?

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