Monday, May 03, 2010

Teachers Always Show Up - The New York Times

The headline was caught on The NYT's most emailed list, and in my attention as well, but it isn't the usual, 'teachers-wipe-noses, work-grading-papers-until-they-can't-keep-their-eyes-open, and-spend-X-dollars-on-their-classrooms' missive. Instead, the author, Gail Collins, illuminates the rest of the country on the dilemma of Florida election politics and teacher's union endorsements. Most importantly, though, Collins also boils down teaching as a profession when she writes
"...while it’s important to make teachers accountable, telling them their jobs could hinge on their students’ grades on one test is a terrible idea? The women and men who go into teaching tend, as a group, to be both extremely dedicated and extremely risk-averse. The stability of their profession is a very important part of its draw. You do not want to make this an anything-can-happen occupation, unless you are prepared to compensate them like hedge fund traders."
 And closing with
"Meanwhile, all this anxiety cannot possibly be good for classroom performance. Keep an eye on Florida. And give the next teacher you see a smile, or an apple."
Well said, Ms. Collins.

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