Teacher as Savior
Yesterday I spoke of a forum I attended in the Bronx. An interesting conversation ensued between audience and panel about recruitment for TFA and Moskowitz Academies. Evidently the pitch is that children of color must be saved and only you, the students, can get it done. Oh, and also we can give you a job after you graduate up to your neck in debt.
There are a number of striking points you could make about this particular argument. One is that there are plenty of public schools right there in the Bronx, and if you wish to branch out there are four more boroughs nearby with kids who could use your assistance. Another is that working in an NYC public school still beats the hell out of doing test prep for Eva and watching your hapless kids pee their pants rather than pause one moment from studying. She treats those kids a lot worse than I treat my dog (and in fact I love my dog, treat him well, and take him out whenever he asks).
Then, as one of the panelists pointed out, it's not exactly within our means to change everything. You know, there's poverty, there are learning disabilities, there is environment, and there are newcomers who speak no English. And make no mistake, Eva talks a big ballgame, but she doesn't take the same kids we do. 100% of the students I teach are beginners. They are most definitely not ready for intensive bathroom-free test prep, and that's not to suggest that anyone else is. If Eva takes ELLs, they are certainly on a higher level. Special education runs the gamut as well. Just because someone has an IEP doesn't mean she's alternate assessment, like a group of kids at my school. Alternate assessment kids are not expected to graduate. We take them to worksites and train them for jobs, and their stats count against us at year's end. And, of course, self-purported savior Moskowitz has a reputation for dumping kids that don't help her test-score-based bottom line.
As for TFA, sure you can have them pack you off to anyplace in the country. Sure you can help poor students whether or not you've got training NYC Educator: Teacher as Savior: