Public School Teachers Should Take a Stand
nondual teacher as well as anyone that the Education Establishment often promotes foolish theories and inferior methods. It’s time to fight back.
Many teachers feel they have to go along to get along. That’s fine if the organization you belong to is smart and benevolent.
But our public school system is more likely to be accused of incompetence, even malevolence. Many critics repeat Charlotte Iserbyt’s famous accusation that American public schools “deliberately dumb down” their students.
Education statistics suggest that far too many public schools have moved over to the dark side. Kids aren’t learning. Parents are baffled by what they see. Teachers themselves are not having any fun. Many burn out after a few years and are discarded.
The underlying, often elusive problem is that our schools are devoted to goals that are not intellectual in nature. The larger frame of reference for almost everything in the schools is social engineering, indoctrination, so-called social justice, and other politically correct slogans.
As a consequence, public schools create three sets of victims: students, parents, and teachers. Teachers should not imagine they are any less the victims than the other two groups. All are sacrificed to ideology.
It’s time to move in the other direction. For too long teachers have allowed themselves to be co-opted by the system. Directives, stated and unstated, come down from on high. Teachers are coerced into doing things they know are wrong.
A brief comment left on American Thinker, a highbrow site, reveals the degradation throughout the system:
“The more I learn about public education the luckier I feel that I went to parochial schools. I will never forget the tongue-lashing my wife and I took from my son’s 4th grade teacher at a parent-teacher conference when we let slip that we made our kid memorize the multiplication tables through twelve just as we had to do in school. The gist of her gripe was that our kid got the answers too fast and was thus ahead of his peers. That conversation illustrated everything wrong with modern education for me.”
Imagine a teacher berating a parent. And why? Because the parent is doing the job the teacher refuses to do, and has probably been ordered not to do.
This behavior is grotesquely unacceptable no matter whether the teacher was acting on her own or felt she had to put up a front for administrators. Nothing changes the fact that this school is engaged in anti-education.
Bottom line, the Education Establishment does not treat education with sufficient reverence, or teachers with proper respect.
First, the Education Establishment doesn’t use graduate school to ensure that teachers are highly trained in their particulars fields. Rather the time is wasted on Mickey Mouse activities. It’s as if the Education Establishment wants to make clear to teachers that not much is expected from them, and they in turn should not expect much from their kids.
Furthermore, the school system wages war directly against teachers: piling on unnecessary paperwork; knocking teachers around from one Professional Development Seminar to another; and constantly changing the official theories and methods, often going from bad to worse.
For example, Common Core requires a complete flip-flop from what teachers were told a few years ago. Then you had to teach to each child’s differences. Now Common Core wants every teacher to teach the same thing in every classroom, every minute across the country. What the bureaucrats care about now is making sure every teacher jumps through the same hoops.
The anecdote about the rude teacher shows a school system separated from the community and from common sense. What can teachers do? Broadly speaking, the main antidotes are to be more informed and to fight back whenever possible.
Take an interest in the many dysfunctional theories and methods used in public schools. Understand them so you can help get rid of them. Reform Math is a math-killer. Whole Word is a reading-killer. Constructivism is a knowledge-killer. See how the system works? The Education Establishment will let professors jury-rig a lot of so-called research which purports to show that some method works, when it is almost completely useless. For example, Whole Word has never worked; it creates dyslexia and illiteracy. But the education bosses promised that it worked. If they would let children remain illiterate, that tells you the bad news you need to confront.