Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Teacher Morale Low? Forreal??

Washington Post's Political Blog..."DC Wire" reports that DC teacher morale is low...

Real talk? I would have thought that much at least was obvious in the failing public school system of DC. In a position where we get no respect from Michelle Rhee on down to the kids who taunt teachers with "I'll get you fired." And after a colleague of mine was reported and is under investigation for allegedly choking a kid. Which I cannot say that she didn't although she denies the claims. But the fact is that the child, who is a bitter opponent of this teacher, only needs to say the word and her teaching career is in jeopardy and her life becomes mass chaos.

There is little respect for the profession and Rhee's dictatorial tactics have scared teachers and administrators into doing what is not necessarily best for their particular school community. School policies made in downtown DC, which may work brilliantly at Rhee's prized Oyster Bilingual (which her daughter attends) might not work down on my side of Southeast where resources, funding and staffing all still remain prominent problems.

Maybe....just maybe...these are a few reasons for low teacher morale. After reading the post I drop down to the first response, which says exactly this:

"Who cares about teacher morale. Chancellor Rhee is attempting to get results. Teachers are not used to accountability. If I suddenly had to work for a living after years of skating, it would lower my morale."

Posted by: swordboat | January 17, 2009 10:18 PM

You don't care about the teachers? Fine. But when you have a low morale with your employees it is PROVEN to affect their performance results.

The low morale of teachers at my school has led to the loss of 2 first grade teachers, leaving the first grade class to be taught by the Computer Resource Tech. The low morale of teachers has led at least 3-5 20 year+ DC teachers to state to me, "Get out while you can! I'm going to Maryland!"

And personally for me, coming into this negative environment with a low morale for the teachers brings me down every single day.

It could be bearable that the temperature is outrageous at nearly 80 degrees. Fine, I'll whip out the summer clothes while I'm in the building.

It could be bearable that I miss close to every drop of daylight in the windowless building, coming in at 8 and leaving out at 5. That's fine I'll bask in the sun on weekends.

But it is not bearable to be coming into work everyday and have the feeling that most everyone there does not want to be there. I know that. The kids know that. And that is an ineffective way to teach and not the supportive, learning environment that is supposedly endorsed.

Its even harder to do a hard job when it feels as if no one gives a damn about you or what you are attempting to do in the face of what is definitely not a perfect system (hello, we still don't have a contract?). Show some appreciation, respect or at least try to understand the impossible tasks that are demanded of many of us every day. The community of parents, children and children's advocates and the community of administrators, education policy makers and Rhee's office are able to function as well as they do together and attempt to enact change on each other because of teachers. We make this shit work.

Read the Blog and the ignorant responses...

1 comment:

Hope Fuller said...

Whoa! Sounds like you have a battle that you're up aganist in D.C. So, whatcha going do about it? Join the fight in improving the school system or "get out while you can". It only takes one to begin making a change and I'm certain that if you ... well, I know this is probably the wrong thing to say, but have you tried talking to dad? I'm finding that he can be quite inspirational in his age now. :-)