Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spin Cycle: A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes....


If wishes were horses,

beggars would ride....

The Spin Cycle this week is "wishes."

I believe in dreams, in hopes, in prayer...

But, sometimes bad shit just happens. Perhaps, in the bigger picture we will understand why.

So far in this life, I have had to work exhaustively and still never seem to get ahead.

However, I can also be content for the little moments of grace, of beauty, of joy, and of love.

I can be thankful for my health, my family, my home, my freedom, the fact that I live in paradise.

But Jen asked us to make a wish so here we go......

If I could wish for something I would wish that the teaching profession stopped being a punching bag for negative commentary in this country.

That parents talked about the good teachers that their children have had as much as the shitty ones.

That those who send their children to private school would realize that the state of public education and those kids in it will still effect their lives and their children's lives.

I would wish that along with this, the colleges of education would make it more difficult to become an educator.

That it would be less difficult to get rid of shitty teachers (however, I have had my share of shitty doctors, so it is NOT just the teaching profession where it is difficult to get rid of the riff raff).

I would wish that teachers were paid enough so we could stop defending our choice to be a teacher (even to our families) and not have to work second jobs just to make ends meet.

I would wish that the educational political pendulum would stop swinging back and forth and find the middle ground.

I would wish that some parents would see the benefit in parenting their children instead of fighting to be enablers of their kids' worst habits.

That those same parents were old school and understood that sometimes the hard lessons are the best.

I would wish that friends knew it is not cool to say things like,

OMG Pseudo! Don't ever tally up how many hours you work and divide it by your salary. You'll get too depressed.


Well, YOU are an exception, you have to admit, MOST teachers don't work that hard...

I will end this by saying that most teachers work very, very hard. That for every hour we spend in front of our students we spend at least another hour prepping that lesson and another hour assessing that lesson. We go to endless meetings and make endless phone calls. We read to keep up with our profession.

I work an average of 55-70 hours during the school year. During the breaks I catch up on my grading and prepping.

During the summer I take classes and workshops. I read young adult literature and I prepare lessons for the next SY.

K. I'll get off the soapbox now. Don't blame me, Jen said we could make a wish.

For more spins, head on over to Sprite's Keeper.


Brian Miller said...

thank you for teaching and being a good teacher...my mom was one..i know it has its rewards...but i also know there are many hours most never see...thank you

Kristan said...

I second your wish. Mostly that the good teachers got the pay and the respect that they deserve, and that the bad teachers were gotten rid of.

I also promise to be the good kind of parent (like my parents were).

That Janie Girl said...

Thank you for your service to tomorrow's future leaders. People like you make a huge huge difference.

I am grateful.

Joanie said...

Thank you for all that you do! I know a lot of really good teachers.

I had 2 very favorite teachers. Mrs. Krebs taught World Cultures 2 when I was a sophomore. She was a bitty little thing and came off as a hard-ass the first day of school, so we'd know who was boss. That woman made me love learning about Russia!!

My other favorite was Sr. Peter Claver, who taught me Spanish 2 and 3. She made learning the language easy, and it was not too hard to get her speaking English and talking about when she was in high school!

I will remember these 2 women all my life!

Michele said...

Firemen, police officers and teachers are the most under valued members of the public workforce but especially teachers. Which makes me so mad. Mostly when I think about other members (cough cough politicians cough cough) of public service that get paid a lot of money, get the best health care and the most vacation time but spend most of their time cutting the budgets of education. Didn't those people get to be where they are because they could read? Who taught them that skill? A teacher!!!

Jan said...

The problems with public education are definitely NOT the teacher's fault. In fact, much of it has to do with parents who do not understand that education begins at home, and that you can't teach anything without teaching ethics, morality and MANNERS.

And I'm one of the old-school parents. Tough love may be tough, but it IS necessary.

Sprite's Keeper said...

If I could grant every wish you've made, I would do it instantly. ESPECIALLY the one about parents actually parenting their kids and not becoming advocates for their terrible habits. I completely agree!
Right now, in my old county, teachers are being let go left and right. The new hopefuls who have been there 2 years or less are now looking for jobs or reverting back to subbing since the permanent positions have disappeared. The tenure has also disappeared.
Meanwhile, the school board pays their boardmembers more every year while the teachers get less and pay more in insurance. Where the hell is the fairness in that?
You're linked and this wish is going to the top of my list!

hillgrandmom said...

It seems to be that all over the world teachers are poorly paid! And then folks complain about poor education.

TechnoBabe said...

Why is it that in our country teachers are given low priority in many ways. First of all, teachers salaries need to be higher than a congressman's salary. The high salaries must attract the best teachers so they will teach children to become intelligent, informed, thinkers of the next generation who understand the importance of their children being given the best educations available and on and on.

Dumbing down on the cycle of education is not the way to build a strong country, or strong families.

Mama Badger said...

If only I had a wand, Pseudo, it would all be yours.

And to the old people who vote down every tax levy with the thinking, "I don't have kids in that school anymore!" Please don't bitch when the cashier at Target can't figure out your change. You voted down remedial math, remember?

I'm old school. Education starts at home. And I know that good teachers change a kids life, and need to be thanked and rewarded.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Amen to ALL of that!!!! And thank you for being such a great teacher.
xo jj

Anonymous said...

Lets see. I have 2 sis-in-laws who are teachers and one sister who is a special ed teacher - I love teachers. Oddly enough I can only remember two teachers who loved me and I them, never had the awe and relationship that my husband reports with his teachers but I think that had a lot to do with my reserved personality with authority figures. I went to school during the "groovy teachers smoking pot with the students" time:)
Now I find myself in a vulnerable position in re: to education so I am grateful.
I love your wish Pseudo. Right on!

VandyJ said...

I know what a difference a good teacher can make. Turbo had a excellent teacher this year and he did so much better. Good teachers make all the difference and can balance out the poor teachers.

Anonymous said...

I love your wishes. I hate defending my career to my family. I hate that our culture has priorities entirely screwed up.

(I almost blogged an entire post in your comment section, my dear friend. Thank you, Delete key.)

I am a teacher because I'm called to do so. It breaks my heart that people don't understand that we (many of us) pour our lives into this work.

Patty O. said...

AMEN, AMEN, AMEN! I taught high school English in Chicago's inner-city before having kids and I agree with every. single. word you wrote!

I am so sick of people putting down teachers and saying that they are overpaid because they get the summer off. Because, like you said, most teachers put in tons of hours. I would work my regular hours, then prep new lesson plans, grade piles and piles of terribly written papers, agonize over how to get one kid or another to catch up, etc. And it doesn't count committee meetings and all that stuff.

Now as a mother (especially a mom of a special needs kid) I so appreciate the teachers who work so hard to educate my kids. They should definitely be paid a lot more money!

CaJoh said...

I find it difficult to see that many teachers are put through so much and yet it is one of the first things people think they can cut to balance the budget.

I wish that we could emphasize student interest in the subjects more and focus less on them passing the state exams.

Very thought provoking spin!

gretchen said...

Well said, woman! I am not a teacher, but I am certainly a supporter of teachers. The state of education here in Californian is pretty lousy, for many, many reasons, not the least of which is lack of funding. Teachers are paid squat.

Kate said...

Amen! It's funny because if I had to list my favorite teachers and my worst teachers, the good list far outweighs the bad. The meh teachers are the most(for me at least).

When I taught there were always a couple people who were not my fans, but all my kids liked me (at least when they weren't in trouble). That's the great thing about teaching 2nd grade!

Also, I HATE when people who don't have kids in the schools refuse to pay for it. Someone paid for them when they were in school and they need to pay it forward. On a purely selfish note, they should realize they can pay for school or prison, it really ends up being that simple. However, I certainly hope most people want to pay to educate kids because that's the right thing to do!

secret agent woman said...

My Mom was a teacher and a good one. (My stepfather, however, fell in the shitty teacher category.) But boy, my profession takes its share of knocks, too, and many of us earn FAR less than people think.

DuchessOmnium said...

That seems like a pretty good set of wishes to me, but I wish you luck getting very far with most of them! But well done fighting your corner. BTW, almost as you wrote British teachers are out on strike (I disagree with that - it hits working mothers hardest) because the government dared to suggest that teachers might get full pension at 66 with the rest of us, instead of the current 60.

Michelle Wells Grant said...

My good buddy Fragrant Liar sent me over and I'm so glad she did! Also VERY grateful for teachers like you! Thank you! You've been added to my blog roll!

Kathy said...

I wish I'd had a teacher like you when I was in school :) You're awesome - and I think that teachers deserve to be among the highest paid - you are the ones that shape our little minds.

Melissa B. said...

I share your hopes, your dreams, your wishes. Watched "Waiting for Superman" the other night. And while poignant, I can't help thinking that even this well-made documentary was blaming the teachers for all the bad things in this world.