Sunday, May 15, 2011

Coffee On The Paper

Day 17 of 30 Day Blog Challenge:
I woke up this morning, had a cup of Jet Fuel Coffee, walked out to the mailbox, grabbed my copy of the New York Times and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Today's Journal Sentinel held my beliefs true. I read the following article, "Walk-throughs give school administrators firsthand view of staff in action." I almost spit my coffee out. What a joke! Please read this article before you read the rest of this blog. 
Ten minutes out of an entire school year reflects that you are in tune with district initiates as a teacher? Gross. I sat with friends from the private sector Friday night in my basement. They argued that the current system of education fell upon the teachers in this state not working to their potential. I understood their argument, but at the same time brought up three factors that they had never thought of. The first being parents. Where are our parents today in the current education landscape? How do they affect their child's future? Where are the administrators? Shouldn't these highly paid leaders be present and holding staff accountable on a daily basis? If 10 minutes of your time is all that is allowed for observation of a classroom, I see the fundamental flaw in public education. We expect administrators to make changes, yet according to this article, they only need 10 minutes a year to understand what is going on in a district, without giving feedback about what was observed.  As a teacher, do I need only 10 minutes to understand what is going on with my students? This is an outrage to me. As an aspiring administrator, I am appalled that someone would subject themselves to an article like this. Look at it in reality, this is not how the world functions. this is like saying the WKCE tests are a true indicator of student success. The third point being, where are the elected officials? Where is the school board? Why are they not holding the administrators, teachers, and parents accountable?
I have been observed as a educator once in eight years. The choice to be observed was by my own admission. This is what is wrong with schools. The teachers are not the root of all evil. School boards and administrators allow incompetence to happen just as much as teachers. I have seen many disservices to kids over the past eight years. I have voiced concern with the issues, yet it goes no where. As I argued with my friend who works in the private sector as a finanical planner, the problem is not only the teachers or union, the problem is elected school board members and administrators who decide to do nothing about the problem. 
The point of this blog is not to cast blame, but to open the eyes of those who think that teachers are worthless and the reason our state and schools are struggling. Lets look beyond the classroom and look at those who truly make the policy and decision as to how schools run. When we stop casting blame, and decide to work together, maybe we will progress. Untill then, we will continue to blame.

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