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"I am a teacher in Florida."

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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:53 PM
Original message
"I am a teacher in Florida."
No, not me. This short excerpt is from http://www.schoolsmatter.info/ and is very powerful. Read it.

I am a teacher in Florida.

I am expected to differentiate my instruction to meet the needs of my 24 learners. Their IQs span 65 points, and I must account for every shade of gray. I must challenge those above grade level, and I must remediate those below. I am but one person within the classroom, but I must meet the needs of every learner. I generate alternate assessments to accommodate for these differences. My higher math students receive challenge work, and my lower math students receive one-on-one instruction. I create most of these resources myself, after-hours and on weekends. I print these resources so that every child in my room has access to the same knowledge, delivered at their specific level. Yesterday, the school printer that I share with another teacher ran out of ink. Now I must either purchase a new ink cartridge for $120, or I cannot print anything from my computer for the remainder of the year. What choice am I left with?

I am a teacher in Florida.

I went to school at one of the best universities in the country and completed undergraduate and graduate programs in Education. I am a master of my craft. I know what effective teaching entails, and I know how to manage the curriculum and needs of the diverse learners in my full inclusion classroom. I graduated at the top of my class and entered my first year of teaching confident and equipped to teach effectively. Sadly, I am now being micro-managed, with my instruction dictated to me. I am expected to mold out-of-the-box thinkers while I am forced to stay within the lines of the instructional plans mandated by policy-makers. I am told what I am to teach and when, regardless of the makeup of my students, by decision-makers far away from my classroom or even my school. The message comes in loud and clear that a group of people in business suits can more effectively determine how to provide exemplary instruction than I can. My expertise is waved away, disregarded, and overlooked. I am treated like a day-laborer, required to follow the steps mapped out for me, rather than blaze a trail that I deem more appropriate and effective for my studentsstudents these decision-makers have never met.

http://www.schoolsmatter.info/
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thunder rising Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. You ARE a day laborer. The adminstration is the real hero. Getting you to take a sub-par salary so
(s)he can keep his. Cut a budget, lose a teacher or a program or both, but the admin remains.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Or they can shitcan you for stupid reasons and keep a negligent administrator anyway.
Unbelievable what goes on in public education.
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wcast Donating Member (78 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. That is the truth!!!
In my district in PA, we are cutting 4 teachers, plus 3 library aides, all because somehow our district is a million dollars plus in the hole. No one knows why. Salaries have not gone up as we have been working for almost a year without a contract. Insurance costs have not gone up in 5 years(we are in a consortium of 13 school districts that is self funded). We had 14 teachers retire last year, saving the district $400,000, but still have a huge deficit.

In the 16 years I have worked in this district, the size of the administration has doubled, yet they seem to do less and less work, and what is required of me grows every year. When I mentioned this to the last superintendent, she told me that admin team levels were "bare bones". We had one school psychologist, and now we have 3. But I am expected to schedule all 25 of my IEP's, plus write them, do progress monitoring and transition services, quarterly reports on all students, make sure they are successful in the regular class, manage the aides that work with them, advocate for them and make sure they are on track to graduate, all while teaching 7 out of nine periods a day, plus duties.

But don't ever suggest cutting the admin team. They are too valuable.
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femmocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Welcome to DU, wcast!
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 12:57 PM by femmocrat
:hi: Fellow Pennsylvania teacher here!

Our district has been cutting through attrition and by not buying us any supplies. We are not over-staffed with administrators, however. We had one principal for three elementary buildings until last month when they hired another one. Our middle school has one principal; the HS has two. We have one super, no assistants. They do pay the head football coach more than the teachers, though! LOL

Sounds like you are a learning support teacher? You guys do have an extraordinary amount of paperwork.
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. Hey, what's this I hear about *worksheets*????
>>>>>>I print these resources so that every child in my room has access to the same knowledge, delivered at their specific level. Yesterday, the school printer that I share with another teacher ran out of ink. Now I must either purchase a new ink cartridge for $120, or I cannot print anything from my computer for the remainder of the year. What choice am I left with?>>>>>>

She shouldn't be printing *anything*. Learning needs to be hands on , interactive, and experiential. Blah, blah blah blah. Yada yada yada.....

In reality... it's too much trouble ( and makes too much sense)... for the admins to group the kids according to ability level, so they peddle cliches and half-truths to justify making impossible demands on the classroom teacher.


>>>>I print these resources so that every child in my room has access to the same knowledge, delivered at their specific level. >>>>

If the iq span is 65 points, and there are @ 30 kids in the class, this ( the above) can not be done effectively by any one normal human being, no matter how many hours they spend prepping.
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Dinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
5. I Can't Imagine
why any teacher in this country would vote for anyone who supports this, starting with local school boards, to state officials, to members of Congress, all the way to the White House. Maybe the Dems, or so-called dems have the diebold thingie going on. See if they can win without us.
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