Sunday, August 22, 2010

Why Does This Make Me Soooooo...


"Obviously what I need to do is to look at what I'm doing and take some steps to make sure something changes," he said.

Ok, I'm not a "real" teacher yet, so as I read this article I must attempt to compare it to what I do know, and I although I get emotionally charged regarding poor teachers/education systems/etc., I am hopefully able to maintain some sense, a bit of logic, an iota of let's give him the benefit of the doubt...

I get the sense the Education field generally, much like the all-powerful monopoly that is the NFL, chooses to see itself as special and unique, and considers itself incomparable to any other profession/vocation/entity. I get that teaching is not like the business world (except that it is) and that successful teachers cannot be measured like successful chefs, fire fighters, grocery clerks... (except that they can).

What I do know is that in the business world, I could never have 2, much less 10 plus, years of poor results without losing responsibilities, advancement opportunities, the support of my superiors, much less cold hard cash: no profit, no raise, and no excuses: can't blame failure on rude or non-existent customers (read "unsupportive parents"), or unmotivated, unwilling, dishonest employees (read "kids these days"), and certainly not on uncaring, egotistical, out of touch, money- and power-driven upper management (read "administration" -- unless you're thinking of offering me a job, then read "role models and heroes whom I worship above all else"). 

What I do know is most of us would not have anything to do with a business or a person or even a means of entertainment that failed to succeed, improve, or maintain an acceptable level of performance.  You don't shop at the same store that gives poor service or product, you don't have the same boyfriend that can't remember dates and hits on your sister, you don't still listen to Vanilla Ice, word to yo mutha.  In fact, we spend countless ways rating and measuring and comparing lovers, movies, restaurants, running backs, and every single little facet of the business world.

Why not teachers?


Theresa Milstein said...

I get your point. But I think there are so many factors to take into account. Companies accommodating to meet the needs of their customers isn't just about the employees.

If we want to improve test scores, longer days and a longer year would make a big difference. Did you read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell? In one chapter, he makes a really good case for those kinds of changes and explains why.

Joel said...

Companies don't accommodate their customers unless it results in profit; what results from accommodating ineffectual teachers? Or by Principals keeping teachers that cannot produce positive results?

I just picked up the Gladwell book from the Library, will dive into it tomorrow.