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Topic: Confessions of a Bad Teacher
Message: Posted by: landmark (Aug 30, 2011 07:34PM)
Confessions of a Bad Teacher:
by John Owens

"During a three-decade career as a writer, editor and corporate executive, I traveled to more than 100 countries, met heads of state, and picked up wisdom that I thought was worth sharing. When I left publishing, I was senior vice president/group editorial director at Hachette Filipacchi Media (the bulk of which was recently sold to Hearst Magazines). Now, I was determined to make an impact directly with kids in the classroom, and I set out for the South Bronx.
Little did I know I was entering a system where all teachers are considered bad until proven otherwise. Also, from what I saw, each school's principal has so much leeway that it's easy for good management and honest evaluation to be crushed under the weight of Crazy Boss Syndrome. And, in my experience, the much-vaunted "data" and other measurements of student progress and teacher efficacy are far more arbitrary and manipulated than taxpayers and parents have been led to believe.

If Mayor Bloomberg's team is determined to get rid of "bad teachers," they've succeeded on at least one count: They've gotten rid of this bad teacher. Join me on my short and unhappy experience in the New York City public schools.

The Job Hunter

"You here interviewing for a teaching job?" a little guy in his late 40s with a thick Indian accent whispered.

"Yes," I said chirpily, sitting up straight on the vinyl seat in the waiting area. "I'm an English teacher."

"Run away!" he said, crouching next to me. "Really, run away! The principal will give you a U. She gives everybody a U! I've been in the System for 22 years, and I've never seen anything like it!"

More here: http://www.salon.com/life/education/index.html?story=/mwt/feature/2011/08/29/confessions_of_a_bad_teacher
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Aug 31, 2011 12:39AM)
A pretty sobering story.

My own stint teaching at a vocational school was also a disaster. I am simply not competent to maintain discipline in a classroom of young teenagers. And unfortunately, that is the most fundamental part if the job, whether in New York, Germany, or wherever. It is the dirty secret of education.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Aug 31, 2011 10:06AM)
.Stone? You too?
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Aug 31, 2011 10:09AM)
Teaching is a wonderful and fulfilling career. I know, I have been a teacher for 21 years. Politicians and Administrators have managed to screw up the profession so badly, that many really good and inspiring teachers are leaving the profession, or being pushed out. Today, at least in California, a good teacher is a successful paper pusher. So much of it is just bull spit.
Message: Posted by: critter (Aug 31, 2011 10:55AM)
I had a bad experience on the opposite end of one of those high school age vocational schools.
I was taking a commercial art class. I had long hair and wore all black. I also had a pentagram because I was into Wicca at the time.
My instructor was an extreme religious lunatic who took me into his office alone and read me biblical passages about killing witches. He also encouraged the other students to make satirical drawings about me which he posted to the bulletin board. If I complained, he forced me to do push-ups. (The fact that I was good at push-ups was a shock to him and maybe the only thing he liked about me.)
I really should have reported that guy instead of just dropping the class. Guess I was so used to this sort of stuff by that point.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Aug 31, 2011 11:01AM)
On 2011-08-31 11:55, critter wrote:
I had long hair and wore all black. I also had a pentagram because I was into Wicca at the time.

Good thing you didn't grow up in West Memphis!
Message: Posted by: critter (Aug 31, 2011 11:09AM)
Probably one of the reasons I was so interested in that case. I could have been one of those kids. Luckily for me, once I got out of the public school system I got better ;)