Originally Posted by vbactivist
Originally Posted by oaktreemama
A good teacher would not be affected by a parent dropping in.
It isn't the teacher-it is the students who are affected.
And our kids aren't getting any smarter.
The single most important indicator of success in school are involved parents. To lay the blame for our failing schools on the idea of lazy teachers who get fat on tenure is very simplistic.
Well, there have been plenty of studies showing kids can succeed (at places like certain charter school) with better teachers, even withOUT involved parents. Come on - the kids are with the teachers more than they are their parents. It's pretty obvious that teachers would have the greater impact.
I think the statistic is somewhere around 8 or 9% of a child's total life from kindergarten to senior year is spent with teachers. Not just one, but all of them. It's a very small span of time to be responsible for so much. I get 53 minutes a day, times 170 instructional days. Yet consider what I'm held responsible for, not only concerning parent's expectations of their child's academic growth, but also considering expectations of standardized testing (and I'm in a state where you must pass the exam to graduate!).
Originally Posted by Karenwith4
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl
Originally Posted by vbactivist
Originally Posted by Karenwith4
OP I think you should trust your instincts here. Something sounds off in the classroom and your daughter's understanding of the situation (whether or not that is what the teacher actually meant to communicate) is upsetting.
If you have concerns which you don't feel are - or will be - addressed by the teacher appropriately then I see nothing wrong with going to the principal. Helping parents, teachers and students navigate the system is their primary job. A good principal will be able to help both the teacher and the parent come to the workable solution.
As for the commenters that parents shouldn't be allowed in classrooms unannounced I think that is ridiculous, given the schools policy. Yes interruptions of any kind can throw kids off but parents are not the only - or likely even the most common type of interruption a teacher would encounter ina day. And if there are concerns about how a teacher is interacting with a student when they aren't being monitored/observed how is announcing that the parent wishes to observe going to give a true perspective on the situation.
I also take issue with the idea that teachers work so much harder than others. IME in every professional job I have held, my spouse and friends have held there has regularly been after hours work expected and completed. I'm not negating that teachers work hard - many clearly do. But in Ontario at least they are reasonably compensated, have extended holidays, an excellent pension program, paid professional development, and a strong union to address working conditions.
if the clap smiley worked, I would use it right now.
The conditions you speak of for Canadian teachers, are true for American's, too.
I have held both teaching jobs and other professional jobs, and I can tell you although after hours work is expected at both, I have never in my life worked as hard than I did teaching. Maybe its because I'm damn good at it .
What I do not understand about this debate is why people think teachers have it so easy in the first place? And why the resultant distain? Is it the three (unpaid) weeks off in summer? Seriously, WTF? It makes me sad that I spent so much time in school to prepare me for a profession that everyone thinks the world doesn't even need. I should have been a politician instead...well I guess there is still time.
Well I can't speak for the US but in Ontario the annual salary for teachers is somewhere between $47,000 as a start and maxs out around $80,000 (depending on board of ed, location etc). Given that they have 2 weeks holidays at Christmas, a week+ at March Break and are off for 8-10 weeks in the summer that's not a bad gig in my books. Claiming that the teachers here aren't paid for the summer is a bit of a misleading statement. Their have an annual salary range that is at or substantially above the provincial average annual salary for all but the first few years of their career. Were they to be paid for the summer their salaries would range from $53K to $90K (and that is assuming they only took 6 weeks off in the summer - leaving them still with 3 weeks of paid winter holidays and another 3 of summer holidays). Schools here are empty til mid August, meaning that teachers are not required to work for 6-8 of those weeks in the summer giving them 10-12 weeks off. They retire with one of the cushiest pensions in the country for which many are fully eligible at age 55. The teacher training in Canada is 4 - 6 years plus professional development if they choose to which many do because it immediately raises their pay scale.
I'm not negating that it is an important profession, or that it takes training and dedication. It is and it does.
I do take issue with the claims that teachers are poorly compensated, over worked and not respected in Ontario - again I can't speak for the US. I don't know that teachers work any harder over the course of a year than other professions (and I am surrounded by friends and family who are teachers - two siblings, two BILS, a SIL, the spouses of 3 good friends). The salaries are certainly livable - especially when the pension plan, topped up maternity/family leave, regular cost of living raises and job security are taken into consideration. Most of these benefits are not available in the private sector. All professions are a choice which come with pros and cons. Teachers are not the only ones who work hard including after office hours, who have years of training and who contribute to society in meaningful ways and their compensation package is similar or better than that in the private sector for many professions.
Just to put things in perspective, starting salary with licensing but without a Master's in Idaho is 31,900. In Portland, OR, it's 35,000. In Indianapolis, also about 35,000.
Being a teacher is a hard job. Many other jobs are also hard, and deserve respect. The issue here, and why this conversation devolved into a "merits of teaching and are they working hard enough" question is because the OP specifically stated that her child's teacher was a second-year, non veteran teacher and was doing a terrible job and fixing her with looks of pure hatred, etc. Using a lot of subjective language, as a PP put it.
I think it's important to consider that becoming a good teacher takes time and that yes, new teachers make mistakes, are dealing with a plethora of variables, both seen and unseen by parent visitors, and that misinterpretation of the teacher's behavior may well result in her "getting fired." Especially considering arguments above, that many teachers "don't work that hard" or put in crazy extra hours, it's important to understand... If people want good teachers, people have to give them support, not unending criticism. If teachers are being harangued, they'll never become good teachers, and will either a. stop working so hard, since their stakeholders don't feel they do a good enough job anyway, (this is one explanation of the tenure system, though I may not agree with it) or b. leave the profession, and a dearth of good quality education behind them. This would be a tragedy.
This is why my advice to the OP is to pull the child from that class if she's uncomfortable with the teacher or the setting. Sometimes there are personality conflicts. This is also why I respectfully advise against targeting or trying to get the teacher fired. It is up to the principal and/or other supervisors to determine if this non-veteran teacher is up to par or not. It is not the OP's job to judge whether she is a "bad teacher," but only to evaluate if the teacher and classroom are a good fit for her child specifically. Overzealous critiquing on the part of the OP may have way more detrimental effects on that teacher's life than she may ever know. I felt it important to point out the struggles this teacher may be experiencing, while not excusing her from polite parental interactions, which are surely part of her job as a teacher.