For two years we have worried about our school children, rightfully so. I don’t need to go over the burden that has been placed on them either with virtual or live classes, mask mandates, vaccines, etc.. We all know that.
Events in the past two weeks have been a reminder to me that we are forgetting and even blaming one group for all the ills in schools; teachers.
As a former teacher and central office administrator, you may think me biased. While I won’t deny my biases towards those in the teaching profession, I am also one of the harshest critics of those who choose to use the job to manipulate, miseducate, and indoctrinate children.
I have seen the videos of teachers on Tik Tok, on Project Veritas, etc. who are proudly talking about teaching children to hate their country, to become terrorists, to change sexes, etc. I’ve seen the videos of teachers telling children that their parents are stupid, that they need to be vaccinated, and that if they support Trump they are racist. I could go on and on. These people make me angry. They are not teachers. They are collaborators in the abuse of kids.
I’m angry because I take great pride that I was a teacher.
BUT…it’s wrong to judge all teachers by the actions of other teachers or certainly to curse them for the sins of Boards of Education and school and school system administrators. In many cases, the teachers are being abused as much as the children.
Most people don’t understand how the life of the individual teacher can be impacted by the administrators of the schools and the systems they work in.
From the public’s side, it’s a myth that once a teacher gets tenure, they are set for life. While firing a tenured teacher is time consuming and expensive, when a system wants a teacher gone, they can make life miserable for that teacher. Administrators use teaching assignments, non-stop visits to the teacher’s classroom for evaluations ( which suddenly become extremely negative), and sometimes blatant ridicule and bullying to force a teacher to leave. I’ve seen it first hand. One would think the Union might prevent that. They don’t.
And while we are talking about Unions, there is a myth that the unions truly represent what teachers want. It’s a lie. For example, the unions in several Maryland counties are asking for an extra day off before Thanksgiving and even additional days off throughout the year so teachers can “recover” from stress. Like everyone doesn’t need extra time off for that this year, right? Some teachers might like this, but many just want to stay at work.
In my experience, the teacher’s unions haven’t represented the teachers in at least 20 years. Like many other unions they have become money laundering political action groups for those in government. And, the people at the top line their pockets by skimming off the dues of the membership. They have elections, so you would think that teachers would elect new leadership.
What have we learned about the integrity of elections, especially when the group in power wants certain outcomes? Enough said.
So, the teacher’s unions lobby for ridiculous concessions that infuriate the public, and then blame it on their membership, many of whom have no idea what is happening. Union leadership has a tin ear for the true plight of students and families while promoting the failed policies of lax student discipline, mandates, etc. that were initiated during the Obama Presidency and are back in force now. ( If you haven’t heard of these, read “Why Meadow Died” by Andrew Pollack. ) Unions frame these failures as “what teachers want and need.”
So, we have the idiot teachers on Youtube and Tik Tok and the Unions pushing the boundaries of what the citizens will accept, and teachers look like the bad guys.
The reality? Teachers are under attack both in our country and in our county as much as our children. More and more, teachers are being coerced into indoctrinating their students instead of teaching them the academics and life skills they need. Staff training no longer focuses on learning proven strategies to best teach with, but with shaming teachers by telling them that they are the problem because they are a certain race, a certain demographic, etc. They are told that certain children cannot learn and that expecting them to is racist.
Conversely, Teachers are forced by administrators to pass students even if those students cannot or will not complete the work required for competency at that grade level or subject. I know because they told me to do the same during my last years. The message was clear, either have a certain passing rate or get a bad evaluation. It’s all about appearances, not the truth.
It’s a no win situation for the teacher that is not only frustrating, but demoralizing.
Today, I hear that many teachers want to leave the profession. I’m not talking about those close to retiring, though there are plenty of those who are getting out. And these are good, even great, teachers. You would think it might be about Covid. It’s not. The mandates don’t help, but the main issues are fear and frustration, both of their bosses and even the children.
In my career, there were very few times I felt afraid of students. Not when I taught middle school or high school. Certainly not when I taught elementary school.
That’s no longer the case. Across the county, state, and country we have elementary kids physically attacking teachers, cursing them out and even bringing weapons to school. Middle school kids engage in fights on a weekly basis, and high schools are reporting physical attacks, destruction of school property, and even sexual assaults. In the midst of this, teachers are supposed to keep quiet while the administration sweeps it all under the rug. They are expected to teach in impossible circumstances.
You would think that the county and school administrations would support teachers, address the problems, make sure offending students have consequences and ensure that schools are safe. If only.
Sadly, school administrations either ignore the complaints and plight of teachers or they simply give them lip service. In some cases, teachers who report problems are actually harassed and targeted for telling the truth. Even those who have tenure.
Teachers report what is happening and the Superintendent, Principals, and Board of Education DO NOTHING.
You see, in most systems, the most important thing is to circle the wagons and protect those in power, even when they fail to do their job either by design or incompetency. The motivation is money in the form of federal and state grants, millions of dollars given under certain conditions. The conditions required are the very ones that allow violence, racist teaching, and lack of academic standards. They are built into the grants.
But, as I have said before with the Covid mandates, the money is the most important thing and our children are the collateral damage of greed and desire for power.
What I haven’t mentioned is that many of our teachers are also the victims of these government bribes. The administrations are unwilling to admit it and protect them. The unions actively turn a blind eye to it.
And the public is unaware of it.
Most teachers only want to do one thing, and that is teach our young people so that they can have good lives. Many of them live by this quote:
“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” -Forest Witcraft
Ask yourself, what do we do if all the teachers that believe this are gone?
It’s time to fight for them too.