« My One Cent's Worth | Main | Hit Pause and Reset »

March 11, 2012

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00e552af12578834016302b9883c970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Mood Indigo:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I understand that teachers suffer a lot of pressure, now more than ever. Demands in terms of what the respective countries want from their students (depending on types of work available) shape the educational syllabus, restrictive laws do not help the educational system, and children themselves rarely appreciate what teachers do for them during their educational years. Not to mention some parents' excessive pressure on the teachers. The difficult economic climate contributes to more pressure on education with spending cuts. Dedicated teachers must be kept motivated to perform their duties as perfectly as reasonably possible. Great analysis of the situation in the United States, but I can assure you that the situation is very similar in Europe and elsewhere. It's not easy being a teacher.

I think building tone and leadership make a big difference, too.

If you're in a building where people are constantly complaining, or where there's a high level of fear about how we're getting undercut, undersupported, and there's too much asked of us, it's a lot harder.

If you're in a building - regardless of FRL numbers or class size - where everyone's working together and is willing to meet the challenge as best they can, it feels totally different.

I had much bigger class sizes 15 years ago when I taught in Microsoft Country on the Sammammish Plateau than I do now, in Seattle. Class sizes haven't gone up in every classroom.

And I've gone from buildings that got rid of staff members who supported fragile kids to a building that is adding staff to support these students, so the building-level budgeting can do a lot to mitigate the workload of a teacher.

I have spent my entire decade+ career teaching "the poor kids down the street". Wouldn't have it any other way. They are the kids who appreciate you, look to you as a model of professionalism rather than the snide look down the nose or comments about "just being a teacher" (attitude and comments my husband has gotten at his non-title school). The thing is, that street of the have nots is getting longer-as you pointed out Tom, with the increased free and reduced lunch numbers. Families who cannot bear to self-identify as working poor are experiencing a level of stress that is opening the fault line of our whole social contract. We in the education system happen to be close enough in the ground to see the breaks first.
I'm guessing right about now many of our state legislators are feeling as undervalued and stuck in a thankless postion as many of us do. Does that excuse them from hard decisions? Absolutely not! No matter how polarized income equity may become in this country, I will never be able to give up the idea that a good education is the one investment no one can take away from you. I hope our legislators agree.

Tom, I swear I can feel a difference at the local level that seems to match the tone of the national education conversation. My morale is low but my fight is high. I feel second guessed and incredibly undervalued - daily - on the front lines.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment