Friday, February 26, 2021

NYC Educator: The Teacher as Living Martyr

NYC Educator: The Teacher as Living Martyr
The Teacher as Living Martyr

That's the idealized version of what we do, and this is a great piece going into chapter and verse as to why. Who hasn't seen Stand and Deliver and decided, wow, that's what a real teacher does. Of course, if you get into the story a little deeper, you learn that not everything was quite as the film portrayed. This program didn't, in fact, materialize out of thin air with a bunch of kids who didn't know arithmetic. And it didn't last once Jaime Escalante left the picture either.

It's true, I guess, that there have been children who sat and composed symphonies before they were ten years old. This notwithstanding, the fact that you haven't doesn't precisely suggest your life is a failure. I'm sure Escalante was exceptional. I'm not sure he was as exceptional as that film portrayed. What I'm absolutely sure of is that he's not someone I'd use as a role model.

You're not a criminal because you want a life. You're not a criminal because you want a family. Sure, you may love teaching, but that doesn't mean you need to neglect absolutely every other aspect of your life and do it 24/7. Now there are people who want to be like that, or who at least want to appear like that. 

Maybe you have a colleague who gets up in front of the PTA and tells them what awful jobs the teachers in your school do. Maybe this person is the principal's favorite. Finally someone who will get up there and say exactly how much the staff sucks, and tell what a great visionary the principal is. This is a valuable employee, so naturally there has to be some comp-time job doing who knows what, because how could you let a talent like that go to waste teaching?

Of course, people who walk around tossing their brothers and sisters under the bus are hardly role models. I wouldn't want them teaching my kids, or yours. Of course, they won't be for long. Folks like that are on the administrative CONTINUE READING: NYC Educator: The Teacher as Living Martyr