A veteran teacher sent me the following e-mail and agreed to let me publish it without her name. I thought it spoke to what a lot of veteran teachers are feeling, so here it is:
I had a first-year teacher use the phrase “burned out” regarding some of the veteran teachers in my building recently. I take offense at the fact that some members of the current crop of newbies have been brainwashed (fed codswallop) into thinking that they are going to come riding in on a white charger and save the children from the existing teachers who are sorry old burned-out nags.
I have been teaching middle-school math for 20 years. I feel like a veteran of a war. Almost like the veteran sergeant in an old war movie who is still standing after numerous campaigns and is there to greet the new group of raw recruits. I have seen administrators come and go. I have seen curriculum ideas come and go. I have seen all manner of policies come and go. I have taught students who were considered unteachable. That being said, I feel that I am at the top of my game this year.
In an effort to align my instruction with the Common Core State Standards, I am incorporating Singapore Math into my daily lessons so that students who have poor number sense can become better math students. We don’t have a textbook I am using my years of experience and knowledge to pull material together that I feel will best serve my students. I use daily assessment to guide my teaching. I share data/test results as feedback with my students when they take yet another standardized test. I have control of my classroom and can cover the material I need to cover in the 50 minutes allotted without spending half of the time doing crowd control.
There are lots of new teachers who are great to work with. They have a lot to offer and their input is appreciated and applauded. But there are new teachers coming in who believe that just because I am old enough to be their mother in some cases, I have no value. I am more than ready to listen to their ideas. If they are good ones that I feel will benefit the students great. But if I don’t greet their idea with pomp and fanfare (because we’ve already tried it with little success), it doesn’t mean I’m burned out.
But I am tired of bright new teachers of whatever age, coming into my building and just from looking at me, assume that it’s time to shove me to the side because they’ve been brainwashed that veteran teachers have no value in this “grand new world of education.”Read full article >>
My wife surfs the Internet more than I do and delights in sharing her discoveries. “You’ll like this comment,” she said last week. A reader wrote that the rising number of students failing Advanced Placement tests “could be a response to Jay Mathews’ ridiculous Challenge Index.”Read full article >>
One of the first things Vincent C. Gray did when he was elected mayor in 2010 was decide to keep Cathy L. Lanier as police chief. By nearly all accounts, it was also one of the smartest things he’s done.Read full article >>
Most federal holidays are clear-cut. On the Fourth of July, for example, Americans celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. On the other hand, Presidents’ Day is a slightly strange holiday for three main reasons:Read full article >>
Arne Duncan may have missed his calling: The 6-foot-5 education secretary was the star of Friday night’s NBA All-Star Celebrity Game in New Orleans, “winning” the MVP award with 20 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.Read full article >>
Called “Stand Up4Public Schools,” the campaign’s goal is to persuade association members to be more forceful advocates for public schools and locally controlled school districts at a time when, in the name of reform, many school boards have lost their power to mayoral and even state takeovers and traditional public schools have come under attack. As an example, consider this: John Huppenthal, the reform-minded superintendent of public instruction in Arizona, is sending a message in robocalls promoting a voucher program that lets parents use public money to send their kids to private school, according to the Phoenix New Times.Read full article >>