Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 25 2009


I have been angry about this for a while but I am going to officially rant here.  Maybe one day this will all change.

So when you teach in a school with a poor grade (we grade schools A-F here in Florida) you are subject to mutiple visits from the region, district, and state.  This is in order to make sure that schools are being held accountable for what is happening to the students.

Yet this “accountability” time and time again is complaints that our board is not configured properly, that data binders are not placed out in the open, that student work folders are not filled to the brim.  It has nothing to do with actual lessons or how the teachers are interacting with the students.

We also hear the major complaint that we are not in line DIRECTLY with the pacing guide.  This means to the EXACT day.  Well, unless you have taught to a classroom full of 8th graders who are nowhere near middle school level and you want me to teach them a whole unit in 5 days…well you are plain out of your mind.

Where is the compassion for the students?  Where is the BEST INTREST for them?  I am sorry to say to these people that my students do not give a damn what is on the board and I know they surely appreciate the extra time I give to objectives they aren’t quite grasping as easily because they tell me they do.

What upsets me even more is when I went to go observe an “A” school.  I was told by my school and others at the A school that I was observing the best math teacher in the school — and I was shocked.  The lesson was absolutely boring.  The teacher stood at the front of the classroom and taught from the book.  All of his lesson plans indicated that this sort of thing takes place every single day.  There was no writing in the cirriculum and no pressure on the students to be pushed toward a higher level of thinking.  It was all purely skills and applying them.

When he told me that the region had come to visit I was excited to hear what they had to say about his school and the math department.  Nothing, besides that it was great.


Honestly that’s only a bit of it.  I am just sick and tired of the pressure of already having to pull my children up to be on an equal playing field with the rest of the country and then having to worry about some bull because our system can’t seem to get it straight on how to evaluate teachers and schools.

This pushes me even more to want to work in politics and policy to change these things.  It’s disgusting to me that teachers and students have to be subjected to this. It’s no surprise, on top of the low salary and disregaurd our country has for the teaching profression, that people with amazing educations (and hearts just as great) do not go into education.  Something needs to change — and fast.

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    a Teach For America teacher’s blog

    Middle School

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