Apathy & Accountability

Education, as a profession, is distinctly unique in that the people who are most responsible for student success (teachers) both love and hate being teachers.  Generally teachers love teaching.  They love learning and implementing new ideas.  They enjoy collaboration. And they even find joy with the most difficult student.

However, teachers, as a rule, HATE the administrative part of teaching — data mining, enforced team meetings/collaboration/site/staff meetings.  They hate the work of advocating what’s best for children only to be bound by red tape and double speak.  Teachers dislike being given curriculum with no clear direction, only to be told later their attempts at implementation are all WRONG.

Essentially teachers dislike those people in education who seem to be there for the wrong reasons — you know, like those plaques that read “June, July, and August.”

The fact is, in many districts across the United States, there are teachers being dragged under like they’re toddlers at Disney World only without the warning signs.

The very people many districts are employing to support student education are not supportive.  In fact, it appears that their only job is to question what happens in the classroom without managing to be supportive whatsoever.  And when questioned, the pat answer lies in, “You’re a professional; that’s your job to figure out.”

I believe quite firmly that if these “educators” were forced to re-enter the classrooms and to be accountable for student achievement on the same level a classroom teacher is, they would probably do what should have happened a long time ago. They would QUIT.

Just like the dirty little secret about how teachers rarely read, there’s the dirty little secret about how many “educators” don’t care about kids, achievement, or being support staff to the people on the front lines.  Many educators have found they can make the same, or better money, not dealing with kids, parents, colleagues, principals, or evaluations with far fewer headaches and the same “time off”.

If we’re really to advance education we should start looking at the number of “teachers” in a district who don’t actually teach and hold them accountable for the growth of the district as well.  I think we’d find that we’d save a lot of educational dollars ridding ourselves of apathetic educators who have no interest in being accountable.

In other words (and rather racist ones at that) — We have too many chiefs and not enough Indians.


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