Poor vs Good Teachers-Part One

By: Astrometeor , 11:42 PM GMT on February 03, 2014

Share this Blog
6
+

Well, this is a pretty simple topic on face value. Want to hear it? You don't? To bad, I'm still going to say something.

Good teachers, in essence, make learning fun and accessible, no matter the grade, ability, or socioeconomic status of the student. Everyone learns when a good teacher is in the room. Case in point, my Honors Algebra I teacher from 8th grade. I got, oh say 90s on her tests, but a 98 on the state final (the only Q I missed we didn't learn due to an epic flood canceling school in 2010). Everyone in my grade got a 96 or higher that year of the EOC (End-Of-Course state test), even the ones that were failing her class. She was, and is, a good teacher.

Bad teachers, on the other hand are (usually) easy to make out. They just stand there and drone on, day after day, with no variability in the lessons, and no care for the student populace. This, unfortunately, even happens in my school. Quite visibly in some aspects, too. One teacher (no names for fear of unfair punishment) will even begin to drift into her personal life which the kids could care less about. The Central Office of the district defended the teacher saying "the kids get good scores on the AP test, so your accusations are unfounded." Well, of course the students still got good grades because they belong to the rare breed of students that actually care how well they do in school. These kids took it upon themselves to form study groups, print off old tests, and teach themselves the material. And then they told the principal that the teacher was horribly inaccurate. Against Central Office's wishes, our old principal demoted the teacher (union rules wouldn't allow us to fire her) to a life of teaching art to 7th graders, a subject that is harmless to the students.

The Central Office highlighted its ignorance of the workplace in a series of meetings, by one worker going, "Oh, we just can't fire people for not doing their job sufficiently, that would be ridiculous and the union would throw a fit." Apparently (I was not there), every single parent's mouth dropped to the floor, and my mother responded with, "I could be fired right now for almost no reason at all." Now, it was the Central Office employee's turn for the mouth to drop. Complete willful ignorance, and another example that has pushed my mother to ask for charter schools. Public schools in the South just don't work.

Now, how to fix? First, get rid of stupid union bargaining rights. The "we teachers are underpaid" will only work when I see actual improvement. Earn that raise! If you entered the teacher workforce for money, then you are in the wrong business. Yes, I understand that everyone needs a living wage, however, if you are not fulfilling your basic job requirement (teaching kids), then your low wage is completely justified. Which brings me around to another point. Fire a teacher for not teaching kids anything. Please. Don't force other schools to hire "displaced teachers" unless the teacher was displaced for something that won't affect students, like arguing with principal over dress codes. Try to hire someone who has a degree in the field and a teaching certificate. I don't want to be learning physics from someone who only claims a "teaching certificate", I want to know that my teacher actually knows his/her stuff.

Yes, there are good teachers out there, I definitely don't want to put them in a bad light. But, the nature of how the educational system works down here is simply ludicrous. Run the system like a business, with the product being smart, intelligent students, and progress will be made. Fire the workers (teachers, administrators, counselors) who slack off on the job or aren't enthused by their job.

That's another thing. I've met too many teachers with either short tempers or a disdain for students. If you don't have patience, or if you don't like kids, why are you even here?
Well, this is the end of Part One. Part Two will follow hopefully in the next two or three weeks. I have underestimated how fast time flies when one is busy, it seems. Oh well. Maybe I'll get this series done by the end of summer, if I'm lucky. College might give me more free time than I've had all of senior year, lol. Thanks for reading everyone.

Feel free to leave a comment below.

Locations of Site Visitors

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

Sign In or Register Sign In or Register

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 21 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

21. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
5:30 AM GMT on February 09, 2014
Astrometeor has created a new entry.
20. Astrometeor
4:34 AM GMT on February 09, 2014
Quoting 19. etxwx:
Hi Astro. I ran across this op-ed from the NYT from the college tenure perspective:
A Solution for Bad Teaching



It's interesting. But we don't do much research at the high school level. We just need to let teachers not become lame-duck teachers. That's bad. Do private workers get tenure? No...that would be strange.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 109 Comments: 11289
19. etxwx
6:27 PM GMT on February 06, 2014
Hi Astro. I ran across this op-ed from the NYT from the college tenure perspective:
A Solution for Bad Teaching

Member Since: September 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1660
18. KoritheMan
5:29 AM GMT on February 06, 2014

Quoting 17. Astrometeor:


She (old lady) talks about herself on a pretty constant/consistent basis from what I hear. To the point that my classmates taught themselves the material just so they felt assured they had a chance on the AP test...
Then yes, I would say it was fair to demote that teacher.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 603 Comments: 21863
17. Astrometeor
5:27 AM GMT on February 06, 2014
Quoting 16. KoritheMan:
I fail to see how a teacher discussing her personal life would serve as a deterrent to proper student education, provided it wasn't done on a constant basis.

I already dislike the managers at my Walmart that are all corporate drone/no personality types. I tend to radiate more strongly with people that I can actually have a conversation with.

Rest of your post I agree with.


She (old lady) talks about herself on a pretty constant/consistent basis from what I hear. To the point that my classmates taught themselves the material just so they felt assured they had a chance on the AP test...
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 109 Comments: 11289
16. KoritheMan
5:23 AM GMT on February 06, 2014
I fail to see how a teacher discussing her personal life would serve as a deterrent to proper student education, provided it wasn't done on a constant basis.

I already dislike the managers at my Walmart that are all corporate drone/no personality types. I tend to resonate more strongly with people that I can actually have a conversation with.

Rest of your post I agree with.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 603 Comments: 21863
15. Astrometeor
5:12 AM GMT on February 06, 2014
If anyone is ever interested in a weird illegal alien case...this is it.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 109 Comments: 11289
14. Astrometeor
3:10 AM GMT on February 06, 2014
Quoting 13. Naga5000:
I would agree with you, but there needs to be some safeguard for academic freedom (maybe not so much at the level you are speaking about) and some way to negotiate for better pay, because let's be honest, teachers aren't paid very well for the important job they do. Union's and tenure protect both those stances, but aren't a good way to permanently fix the issue.

This is a tough problem and is highly debated and there is no easy fix. I'm glad to see you pick up on it. Finland has an interesting system that is currently one of the best in the world, although it would be very difficult to translate it to America. Link


Thank you Naga for that link, 1/2 hour of homework would definitely keep me learning. I did well up until a couple years ago, when I had a falling out, so to say, with the school system. Importance is obvious, motivation is lacking. Having 6 hours of homework a night is not exactly a motivator to me.

My mother often talks about her childhood when she gripes about the Southern system. She grew up in a town called Camp Hill, PA (outside of Harrisburg). The school system was run by the town, and because of the relatively small size, there was a vested interest in the town as a hole to maintain good schools for the students (combine that with immigrants who believed in a good education). So, if the teachers wanted a raise, they literally had to convince their neighbors to pay for one. It's taxpayer money, after all. Disciplinary accusations and such were unheard of back then (at least compared to what happens today), so I'm unsure as to what/how her town would respond.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 109 Comments: 11289
13. Naga5000
12:00 PM GMT on February 04, 2014
I would agree with you, but there needs to be some safeguard for academic freedom (maybe not so much at the level you are speaking about) and some way to negotiate for better pay, because let's be honest, teachers aren't paid very well for the important job they do. Union's and tenure protect both those stances, but aren't a good way to permanently fix the issue.

This is a tough problem and is highly debated and there is no easy fix. I'm glad to see you pick up on it. Finland has an interesting system that is currently one of the best in the world, although it would be very difficult to translate it to America. Link
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 5369
12. Astrometeor
3:59 AM GMT on February 04, 2014
Quoting 11. BaltimoreBrian:
The bloodletting map was too intense?


What?

Edit: Oh. I thought I plussed it. Corrected.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 109 Comments: 11289
11. BaltimoreBrian
3:57 AM GMT on February 04, 2014
The bloodletting map was too intense?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 10885
10. Astrometeor
3:42 AM GMT on February 04, 2014
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a telephone interview that the California case echoes the fights she had when she led the teachers’ union in New York, and called the lawsuit “worse than troubling.”

“It’s yet another example of not rolling up your sleeves and dealing with a problem, but instead finding a scapegoat,” Ms. Weingarten said. “They are not suing about segregation or funding or property tax systems — all the things you really need to get kids a level playing field. They want to strip teachers of any rights to a voice.”


1. Property taxes? Huh?
2. Funding...maybe for physical upgrades to the dilapidated and unsafe buildings these politicians are housing the kids in. But if the United States is one of the largest spenders on education...how come we stink so much?
3. Segregation is illegal, lady. What time period are you from?
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 109 Comments: 11289
9. Patrap
3:37 AM GMT on February 04, 2014
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134795
8. Astrometeor
3:36 AM GMT on February 04, 2014
Quoting 7. BaltimoreBrian:
Fight Over Effective Teachers Shifts to Courtroom


The first witness for the plaintiffs was John E. Deasy, the superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District and a staunch opponent of tenure rules and “last in, first out” seniority for teachers. Mr. Deasy testified that attempts to dismiss ineffective teachers can cost $250,000 to $450,000 and include years of appeals and legal proceedings.

^That's ridiculous. Shouldn't happen.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 109 Comments: 11289
7. BaltimoreBrian
3:30 AM GMT on February 04, 2014
Fight Over Effective Teachers Shifts to Courtroom
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 10885
6. Astrometeor
3:28 AM GMT on February 04, 2014
Quoting 5. trHUrrIXC5MMX:

took me a second to change that and yet you caught it...
>:(


Oh, lol. I didn't even know that was a mistake.

What do you mean by getting ahead?
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 109 Comments: 11289
5. trHUrrIXC5MMX
3:27 AM GMT on February 04, 2014
Quoting 4. Astrometeor:


What do you mean by droning?

took me a second to change that and yet you caught it...
>:(
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14875
4. Astrometeor
3:26 AM GMT on February 04, 2014
Quoting 3. trHUrrIXC5MMX:
are you droning or something?
you need to get ahead so badly


What do you mean by droning?
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 109 Comments: 11289
3. trHUrrIXC5MMX
3:25 AM GMT on February 04, 2014
Quoting 1018. Astrometeor:
Yo Brian, look at our comment numbers when you come back on.

;)

Even a depressed Nathan can still post stuff.

Sigh...
are you drowning or something?
you need to get ahead so badly
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14875
2. Astrometeor
3:05 AM GMT on February 04, 2014
Quoting 1. originalLT:
Great read, Astro, couldn't agree with you more. Even my wife and daughter who are teachers in the public schools up here would agree with most of what you say. They see teachers that are only going through the motions, not caring for the students, that can't wait for the day to end. They give no or very little effort, no less extra effort. The only thing that won't happen is for the Teachers Union to go away or disappear. So changes must come about within the framework of the Union situation of being there. The Union does serve some useful purposes, like protecting the teachers from unfair charges brought by parents, and even administrators, unfair allegations of mis-conduct, among other things that do happen frequently while on the job.


Thanks for reading LT.

I'm not sure about the unions. Down here, if you didn't do anything wrong, then you should be fine. However, there have been exceptions to the rule (mainly criticizing your principal or the district will get you fired). The exceptions unions can't stop, because those are usually things that will get you in trouble no matter what happened.

At least in my school, the students know generally who is a good/bad teacher. So, if a good teacher gets unfair charges...the students will make the accuser feel quite unwelcome.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 109 Comments: 11289
1. originalLT
12:44 AM GMT on February 04, 2014
Great read, Astro, couldn't agree with you more. Even my wife and daughter who are teachers in the public schools up here would agree with most of what you say. They see teachers that are only going through the motions, not caring for the students, that can't wait for the day to end. They give no or very little effort, no less extra effort. The only thing that won't happen is for the Teachers Union to go away or disappear. So changes must come about within the framework of the Union situation of being there. The Union does serve some useful purposes, like protecting the teachers from unfair charges brought by parents, and even administrators, unfair allegations of mis-conduct, among other things that do happen frequently while on the job.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 8011

Viewing: 21 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

Top of Page

About Astrometeor

Age: 18, b-day is 8/27. Graduate of MLK High in Nashville, TN. Attends MU in PA. Loves football, soccer, Frisbee, Scouts, Science Olympiad.

Astrometeor's Recent Photos

Personal Weather Stations

Union Hill
Goodlettsville, TN
Elevation: 902 ft
Temperature: 66.4 °F
Dew Point: 66.1 °F
Humidity: 99%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 0.0 mph
Updated: 4:48 AM CDT on August 30, 2015
RiverGate
Goodlettsville, TN
Elevation: 515 ft
Temperature: 69.4 °F
Dew Point: 63.0 °F
Humidity: 80%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 0.0 mph
Updated: 3:32 AM CDT on September 01, 2015
Braxton Lane West
Hendersonville, TN
Elevation: 617 ft
Temperature: 67.6 °F
Dew Point: 46.1 °F
Humidity: 46%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 0.0 mph
Updated: 3:32 AM CDT on September 01, 2015

About Personal Weather Stations