The City Wants to Destroy Great Teachers
By Jim Vail
As the screws tighten with the increased surveillance of public education via the Race to the Top tying everything to test scores and formulas, great teachers are being driven out.
Teaching does not just come from a book. Teaching is an art.
You are an artist - where you inspire the children to reach new heights and see the potential they have in each and every one of them.
But how do you measure this in today's world of measurable results via value added tests and what not?
Here is a story I heard of one such inspiring teacher on the south side.
A friend who works at his school said this male African American teacher has been working for over 20 years. He is the essence of an amazing teacher who inspires the children despite their rough surroundings.
He assigns a student to lead group discussions where they essentially run the class as he sits back and watches. This student will ask the questions, assign the tasks and even met out any punishments as necessary, while consulting the teacher of course.
It is the essence of building a community of learners who take control of their education to become responsible leaders.
The students love this teacher. They cry when they hear the next day there will be no classes because of a professional development day. They want to come to school to learn, my friend tells me.
That is how much this teacher inspires the children to take ownership and love school.
So then one day the teacher tells my friend about his latest rating from the principal.
He said he is considered an unsatisfactory teacher, he is in need of "remediation."
The essence of an amazing teacher who does things like this is not needed in today's corporate data driven education reform nonsense of Race to the Top.
And there are so many other amazing teachers out there feeling the pain.
When you really care about teaching - you don't focus on paperwork and delivering data reports, you focus on the children and delivering inspiring lessons that promote critical thinking via questioning, inspirational writing and community building.
But today's world and its 1% say they do not want that. They want robots who promote a factory of test driven future robots, more concerned about their test scores, then becoming beacons of light in a dark world.