Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Turn That Frown Upside Down

Yesterday, I waxed poetic about my love for (most) reality TV - much to Big Mama Mimi and my doctoral program's chagrin.  Whatevs.  Girlfriend can not be serious all the time.  And by "girlfriend,"  I mean me. 

Anyhow, I moved on to tell you about the potential new program Classroom Intervention and how I am very a-feared that such types of programming will only lead to more teacher bashing.  It seems to be the sport every season these days. Many of you brilliantly suggested that the fine peeps over at A&E also think to include profiles of AMAZING teachers to, you know, have a more balanced and accurate portrayal of what goes down in classrooms.

Because, really?  Aren't we all sick of our sucky colleagues making the news and bringing us all down?  Talk about weak links...

Besides throwing a little bit of humor, a dash of fist pumping and all my support your way, I've been thinking of what I could say to put a different spin on all this teacher bashing, all this negativity, all this...if I may speak plainly...BULLSHIT.

And then, in my doctoral wanderings, I stumbled upon this little quote and although they are only words, they made me feel better. 

"Ironically, 'blaming' teachers for the failure of American education reinforce[s] the idea that teachers could be powerful agents in the education scene, able to make a difference by virtue of the decisions they [make] on a day-to-day basis" (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999). 

(I know, I know...my citation is SOOOOO not in APA 6th, but honestly?  Do we really want me to put a picture perfect reference list up on this site?  Is that what you want to look at at the end of a looooong day?  I didn't think so.)

So, did this help at all?

Granted, it was totes eleven years ago, but those words give me the courage to continue to speak out for teachers everywhere because (steps on soap box) we DO have the power, the ability and the BALLS to continue to fight for what we know is right in our classrooms no matter what the Douches That Be (aka the Powers That Be) want to say about us to deflect the attention from their own mistakes and short comings.

(drops mike)  (pours a little out for my homies)  (walks away)

4 comments:

NYC Educator said...

You're absolutely right. As the show plans to focus on failing teachers, it's not much of a stretch to assume the already highly anti-teacher press will exploit it, make stereotypes of its subjects, and further demand even more preposterous "reforms" that serve to do nothing but hurt working teachers.

Rebecca said...

Amen, sister. I've seen the same exact kid on the same day, in two different classes, one with a skilled fabulous teacher and one with a not so skilled teacher and it looks like two different kids. In the good teacher's class, the kid is learning and in the other, looks like he has raging ADHD and a major behavior disorder and isn't learning a thing. Now tell me the teacher doesn't make a huge difference.

I hope A&E shows a balanced view. They probably won't, because drama and dysfunction sells more than positive and effective.

sheldinski said...

This show is just a bad idea. There is something sacred about a classroom. Besides it being just another obvious chance to teacher bash, it seems like a total invasion of the privacy and learning environment of the children in our classrooms. As a teacher, I personally feel like having a safe and trustworthy learning environment is absolutely necessary for children to learn. This type of invasion to that environment will be bad, bad, bad.

This sounds like the kind of reality tv that's painful to watch, like Wife Swap. It saddens me that the media is portraying teachers as uneducated fools.

Lisa said...

I really appreciated your quote. It is true - teachers might get some of the blame for when their students do poorly, but then they can claim some of the credit when their students do well.

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