AJPlus.net recently posted the above video, and it's something of a survey of the ubiquitous frustrations teachers presently face in relation to contemporary public education systems. The beauty of the video, in my opinion, is that the various frustrations presented come straight from the mouths of teachers and, toward the end of the video, the speakers make it clear as to why they are able to persevere among frustrations that seemingly could be overriding.
As 8th Grade English Teacher Stephanie Anderson states in the video, "There is a certain amount of demonization of teachers that goes on. Knowing how hard we work, and knowing what's actually happening in a classroom, it's hard to hear people put down [the] profession."
"In somebody's class is the next bioscientist. In somebody's class is the next discoverer," says Charles Chip McNeal, Curriculum Specialist for the San Francisco Opera. "It's so important that we renegotiate what we think about teachers."
"I would say on a national level, it's too much politics involved in public education," says Whitney Dwyer, a high school humanities teacher. "There's too much money tied to policies and ideas about what education should be and how education should happen. There's not a lot of actual educators in that conversation, which I find extremely problematic."
"It is difficult, especially when you teach in communities of color, or low-income communities," says Stephen Leeper, a middle school ethnic studies teacher. "They bring a lot of trauma into the room."
"And it just seems like a recurring thing that's happening over and over again. Let's try a new test, let's try new standards, let's mandate them, let's see what happens," says Dwyer.
"We've been putting Band-Aids, and we've been trying to backtrack and replace parts," says McNeal. "Why don't we look at a way to create a more holistic education which includes social, emotional content and curriculum?"
"The kids, right? The students, the young adults. They're the best part of the job," says Max von Euw, a high school science teacher.
"The person sitting in that room is teaching to our future, is teaching to the hope of a nation, is teaching to the potential of a world," says McNeal. "Might we value that more as a society? Might we value that more?"
In relation to the interconnectivity of the statements made in the video, I believe it is incredibly important for us to consider and reflect upon how various paradigmatic frustrations fuel each other; they do not exist in isolation. As such, the isolation of each frustration to its own realm (of politics, policy, economics, or practice) is, as it turns out, a frustrating issue in-and-of itself. But I believe that if we can put kids, their classrooms, and their teachers at the center of the conversation, we can -- as McNeal says -- renegotiate how we approach education and its conditions of primacy.
Posted by Parker Fulton
Credit to AJPlus.net