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Disrespecting Teachers Detrimental to Everyone

The Chronicle of Higher Education had a great opinion piece recently by Teresa Ghilarducci titled Teacher-Union Bashing Is Simple-Minded.

Let’s say you’re advising a business with varying quality and you want to improve performance. Would you ridicule the workers publicly, cut their pay and benefits, and say that they are the sole cause of the problem and that you want brighter younger replacements who will work overtime and weekends? No new CEO would adopt this as a strategy for success. Attacking your work force is not an effective way to improve quality, produce a better product, and attract top talent—a bright young replacement would notice the disrespect.

So why do people think attacking teachers is a route to education reform?

Read the entire article here.

It’s dispiriting that so many journalists, government officials and so-called education reformers have taken to scapegoating teachers for all of education’s woes.  They fail to recognize the complexity of the issues involved.  And, as Ghilarducci points out, the disrespectful tone too many have taken towards teachers doesn’t do anyone any good.

Ghilarducci concludes by saying, “Those interested in real reform should figure out how to work with teachers, not belittle and attack them.”

What do you think?  Leave a comment.

2 Comments
  1. Cathy #

    Well said Jon. The public does not understand how difficult it is to cater to different needs and still maintain a cohesive class. Just a little venting……these days the more you go out on a limb for kids, I feel like they take advantage of it and feel like they are entitled. Very few understand. Those that do have been educated by their parents or have had a previous teacher that has gone the extra mile for them.

    January 16, 2013
  2. Jon Bayer #

    It is the teaching professions fault that we educators are not respected. We have never stood up for ourselves. We are caregivers, and in addition we do not help the public understand just how difficult it is to take a classroom of students, all of differing learning abilities and styles and get them to perform at a high standard.
    In addition, we do not tell those entering the profession the pitfalls that await them. Constant criticism, lower pay than the other white collar professions, pension fund in jeopardy, insurance given during the lean years in place of pay raises and now taken away.
    We are great at helping students, but as for ouselves we are CHICKENS running around like our heads have been……………………….

    May 25, 2010

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