Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What does it really mean?

This morning on Good Morning America they rolled a story about a teacher who blogged in very uncomplimentary ways about her students. She said she had intended the blog to be read only by her friends, but now she is suspended with pay while the school district for which she works investigates. Wow!

A: On one hand, anything you put on the internet is public property. Be it facebook, twitter, blogs or even e-mail. What you say is what gets read by who-knows-who. If you air your dirty laundry on the internet everyone is going to see it. If you air someone else's dirty laundry they're probably going to see it, too, and that, in my opinion, is a violation of trust.

B: On the other hand, perhaps she wasn't airing others' dirty laundry, but rather her own. One can argue that good teachers tend to command respect from their students, and uppity students (especially a relatively green one like her--she's been teaching only about 4 years) tend to get the best of one whose capacity to control the classroom isn't stellar. Skillful teachers don't lose control of their classrooms like this woman obviously does.

C: On another hand yet, perhaps she really has bad kids this year. The green teachers tend to get assigned the bad kids because administrators tend to reward good teachers and teachers with seniority with teaching conditions they do well in...ask a teacher, it's the "I'm too new to have anything but the s***y kids." If so, a place to let off steam might even help...she just chose a s***y place to do it.

D: Or again, perhaps the reason she can't control the kids in her room is because her hands are tied by anxious legislation that is administered by an anxious administration afraid of law-suits, so that her real beef is with the people who got upset with her about it--maybe she has picked the real fight after all!

My wife is a teacher of 20 years. She's really good at what she does. I would vote for some of B, which results in C, but mostly D. I think the response of the administration is evidence of where the problem really lies.

Solution: Get teachers to write the education policy for the state, not legislators bent on policies that will get them re-elected!

No comments: