Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Teaching Hope: Disillusionment

Story seventy-eight really got my attention. I can’t even imagine being in that teacher’s shoes. It isn’t fair when the room isn’t big enough to accommodate the number of students within it. The principal’s reaction to the teacher is the most disheartening part about this whole story. All he can do is mention the fact that the teacher cried. It doesn’t occur to him that he should probably do something to prevent something like this from happening again in the future. I wouldn’t feel comfortable working in a school with a principal who wasn’t willing to help out. It’s too bad the teacher in this story didn’t at least stand up for herself and ask him to make some changes. At the very least, I would have gotten a group of teachers together to go talk some sense into him.

I’m not sure how I feel about story eighty-two. It’s awful how they expect one teacher to watch twenty to thirty misbehaved students for such a long period of time. This teacher was right in saying, “Isn’t there a better way to do this?” (Gruwell, 186). What are the students going to learn by sitting in a room with other students like them? An effective punishment has to somehow be related to the crime being punished. Community service is one example of this. If a student defaces school property, have them clean it up. It isn’t fair to the teachers to make them watch all of the students at once. Discipline should be individualized, much like learning.

Story 107 really got to me. It’s scary that after everything that teacher had done for the school and her students, she was still let go. It seems like sometimes the firing has nothing to do with who you are as a teacher. It’s almost as if it is now a game of luck. It’s unfortunate, but administrators can only do so much with the funding they receive. I wonder if it also has something to do with how long a teacher has taught at the school. Would administrators be more likely to fire a teacher who has done a great job but only been there for one year over a veteran teacher that still refuses to update his or her practices? It just doesn’t seem right. Regardless, the teacher in this story was pretty naïve in thinking teaching was a safe profession. It is competitive and political. These things can’t be ignored.

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