In the Comments to I Hate Reading Logs, a middle school special education teacher wrote about the difficulties teachers face. She calls herself Anonmyous 2010, and I suggest searching for her many comments on that thread. Here’s her first:
Comment to I Hate Reading Logs
by Anonymous 2010
I am an educator, and while I agree with some comments made by both parties on this web site, I truthfully feel that if a parent has tremendous issues with public education, they should simply educate their children at home. That comment is not meant to be mean or harsh. I currently teach middle school special education, but I plan on staying at home with my children through their elementary school years. I don’t have any children yet (I’m 26,) but I know that public school can only provide so much individual attention towards each child in one day. If I want my child to have the opportunity to play, explore, be creative, and have time to truly investigate all the questions they have about the world, I will have to make it my job to stay home and provide that sort of education to them.
The system has changed tremendously since I was in elementary school.
I remember my 3rd grade teacher making apple sauce after we picked local apples. I also remember hav ing eggs hatch in our classroom, and that same teacher played her guitar to us every after noon. I was left in wonder and awe on many days, but now these same teachers (who have not retired) are required to give 2nd and 3rd graders daily geography work sheets and do DIBELS testing every few weeks. I also believe that children are being “worksheeted to death,” but if the principal tells a teacher that they must do certain things or get fired, a teacher only has so many options. It is one thing to tell a teacher to say “Just don’t take the standardized test.” You could tell your child to do that, but if a teacher did the same thing, they would be forced to resign that very day. Public education is more political than working for the government. (Education is a second career for me, as I ran a governmental program previously.) I thought I would have the chance to “change lives” and inspire kids to love reading and writing. But in all actuality, I have less say on what I do in my job in my own private classroom than when I was under the direct line of fire from a politician.
The public education system requries teachers to spend 90% of our time working with the 10% of students who perform the lowest. It’s draining work on the teachers, and the most hard-working, inquisitive, and dedicated children often spend a good portion of their 7 hours at school doing their own thing. I apologize that your child has not gotten what they deserve from public schools, but it is your right as a parent to pull them out of public schools and provide a different learning environment at home. Again, homeschooling has been in my long-term plans since I decided to become an educator. Homeschooling is a freedom and a right that you have as well.