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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Not Our Usual Fare

We know you come to this site for a laugh but some things are just NOT funny. Here's a non-satirical editorial from Students Last.
How nice to be told by the presidential candidates, during their last debate, that they "love teachers." Too bad it's bullshit, like the flowers a woman gets the day after her abuser gives her a black eye. And it's not just the candidates who are "loving" teachers to death. America itself has, at least as of late, quite the abusive relationship with teachers - claiming to love teachers but repeatedly disrespecting them in a myriad of ways. What teachers need is fewer meaningless words and a helluva a lot more deeds of respect.

When teachers tell you that standardized testing is robbing instructional time, narrowing curriculum and encouraging cheating but you act like their concerns are a ploy to avoid accountability, you are NOT showing love to teachers.

When you hold education conferences and there are no public school teachers on the panel but there are five CEO's, you are NOT showing love to teachers.

When the solution to turning around a failing school is to fire half the staff, you are NOT showing love to teachers.

When you accuse teacher unions of protecting child molesters, you are NOT showing love to teachers.

When teachers tell you that generational poverty hangs over the lives of their students like an impenetrable fog dampening desire, fostering anger, distracting young minds and you think they are making excuses, you are NOT showing love to teachers.

When you refer to teachers as "professionals" but then dilute their ranks with those who have ten-watts of enthusiasm and five-weeks of training, shoving them into the neediest schools where they cut their teaching teeth on defenseless children, you are NOT showing love to teachers.

When the most well-known names in education today are people who taught for three years or....never, you are NOT showing love to teachers.

When, despite teachers' knowledgeable objections, your idea of measuring teaching and learning is to administer more and more flawed bubble exams to younger and younger students, you are NOT showing love to teachers.

When you laud the test results of charter schools that cherry pick their students, receive extraordinary private funding, create an aura of fear with high suspension rates coupled with the expulsion of under-performing students, you are NOT showing love to teachers.

When those who make policy send their children to private schools while shoveling mounds of unvetted nonsense onto the overburdened shoulders of public schools, you are NOT showing love to teachers.

Perpetrators of domestic abuse tell their victims they love them and moments later clench their fists, preparing to strike another blow. So candidates, so America, hold onto your amorous bouquets and stop mouthing words you clearly do not mean or understand.

"Love" us less. Respect us a helluva a lot more.


  1. That was a mind-blowing and powerful analogy comparing the treatment of teachers to the treatment dished out by domestic abusers. Kudos to you! My career teaching, which I loved doing, ended when I was forced to administer false grades (I refused = I lost my job). Your blog is incredibly funny. I love the satire. But it is also troubling. It's time for an uprising in this country. This behemoth that is educational bureaucracy is spinning out of control.

  2. Months ago I also used the "battered spouse" analogy. In Indiana, as the election nears and we have an opportunity to speak out against our abuser, Tony Bennett, I believe I will emulate your post in an upcoming blog and use the battered-spouse analogy again. Please consider it flattery.

    Thanks for sharing this important, powerful, and well-written piece.

  3. Wow! Don't you wish all those who want to criticize teachers would teach for two weeks in an "under performing" public school?

  4. Student Last,
    Would you be o.k. if we asked tons of people to e-mail this to The White House? I believe we can only 2500 characters so if you are o.k. with it, we could choose the parts that resonate with us. Of course I'd make sure to let people know they have to include where it came from.

    1. You have our permission to reprint and send where you want to. We would appreciate formal acknowledgement that the words are ours.

  5. Good post. Like anon.said - we need to have THEM read it.

  6. I enjoyed reading this post but I do not believe that being a long term educator is necessary in order to be in a standing position in government to make sound decisions for education. What you need is a representative who will LISTEN to teachers and students, and these people exist. Not all governmental representatives are evil.

  7. If an MD, Dentist, Lawyer, Plumber, Engineer, Accountant performed services for you or your loved ones after 5 weeks of training and messed up, that would lead to litigation. The education reformists think that this can be done for education. What doesa that say about their regard for Educators??