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A Teacher's Story

by Jerry Bader

An unidentified teacher responded to the Washington Post's question of how hard is it to be a teacher. She complains about everything, so I'll try to sort out her valid complaints from her whining. Valid complaints:

A school establishment that believes everybody is above average, much like Lake Woebegone.

Parents who want automatic A's and don't teach their children good work and study habits.

Her whining:

People don't realize how hard teachers work. Look, I work 80 weeks too, without overtime and I don't get three months off during the summer. That's what dedicated professionals do. Quit whining.

That teachers cannot be evaluated. She destroys her entire argument with this. The problem isn't rying to evaluate teachers, it's how we've been doing it. And yes, teacher's can be evaluated, in part, on student performance but it that isn't the whole picture.

But here's where she is spot on; teachers take most of the blame for a failed education establishment mentality. But even here, she's not entirely right. It would be helpful to know if she's one of those teachers who hate the status quo but helped perpetuate it by strongly supporting her union. If she is, she should be quiet. And sorry, this would carry a lot more weight if you'd put your name to it. What do you have to fear? You're quitting, right?