Thursday, December 17, 2009

Uninterested students

More and more there is a push to punish teachers for students not performing in the classroom. If a person under performs in a job, he or she may get fired, but somehow, high school students are exempt from any blame for coming to school, yet not do any work, and the teacher will be at fault. In the end, more and more teachers leave the classroom for other jobs because they do not get support from either parents, administrators or the public in general. Even president Obama, which I consider a most favorable president, has been poorly advised regarding how teachers are treated. Teachers do an incredible job given the circumstances. They are surrogate parents, since they spend more time kids than their parents do.They have to act as counselors, our school counselors are extremely overwhelmed with the number of of students they now handle, so teachers are doing a big portion of that job.
Teachers have to discipline students, since parents are hardly involved, many do not even show up to parent/teacher conferences, and some simply could not care less if their kids pass a single class. To them, its to late, they don't feel its their job to educate their kids, and they leave everything to the schools.
Now, with budgets being cut dramatically, specially in California, many teachers are being laid off or they are warned that they must take a 12 to 14 percent pay cut or face layoff. It seems that teachers who by the way are highly educated, and are responsible for all other educated citizens of this country are not getting a fair shake. They sacrifice their time after school, on the weekends, yet they get little respect.
Teachers are the most educated, yet the least compensated, they are required to work from 10 to 12 hours per day, including weekend. Much of the work is done during off hours, after school, during the weekend, when they are on vacations.
If you want better teachers, you will find that you already have very good teachers out there, and that much of the hoopla going around is nothing more than political posturing by public officials who seem to use this issue to further their political careers, and make it seem like they are doing something productive.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Well, back to the classroom. I was not a happy camper, I did not get to teach the classes that I want, but then again, I don't remember getting my choice in some 9 years.I had fired a letter to the administrator in charge as to the mistake with my classes, but after a week of waiting, I resigned myself to the schedule I've gotten, believing that given that I am no longer happy with teaching, feeling pretty much, well disenchanted with this teaching bit.The morning started like any other day, except I didn’t care. Hey, it’s a job, I said, just go, do your job, go home and enjoy your time after work.The first bell rang and everywhere students started rushing to class before the tardy bell rang. I did the same, trying not to spill my morning coffee. I have to drink coffee before my first class, or my day will not go well.I stood by the door, students came in, and I started the big decision. Where are they going to sit? I told them, this is your advisory; it really didn’t matter for now.Then this one student came over with her mom, I didn’t know she was her mom, she kissed her daughter and said "see you later". The mother turned to me and said, Mr. Camarena, do you remember me?I said, er.. not really, I get about 120 students per semester. She told me that she had been my student some 14 years ego, and that I had called her mom on her.I did? I said. She told me that she was pregnant and she was going to drop out of school, and I had called her mom and told her that she could not, and should not drop out, because she was one of my smartest students in my math class, and had lots of potential to do well in college. She told me she didn’t drop out, after having her baby, she went back to school, and went to college. She also told me, she never got the chance to thank me. I didn’t know what to say, I told her, kiddingly how old I was feeling right then, but truthfully, I was almost ready to break down and cry, cause here I thought that my job was completely meaningless, and this former student, now a grown woman, was telling that somehow I had made a difference in her life, and her daughter was now my student in my class.After this, my day went surprisingly well.....