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Old 11-30-2010, 06:58 AM
 
210 posts, read 230,067 times
Reputation: 93

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobo View Post
I usually stay out of the education mind-numbing battles on message boards. I don't like to have discussions with people who think they know everything about how to fix a problem, yet they are so completely clueless about what it's like out in the trenches. That's why I suggest you spend some time in a classroom and see what it's like. Try substitute teaching for a month and then get back with me on why you think the schools are substandard. After you've done that, we can have an intelligent conversation and not some one-sided hogwash about who is to blame. I have my own beefs with the administration, but overall what really matters is what I do with my students in my classroom.
I respect teachers Lobo and want to thank you for the efforts you make each day for your students.
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:00 AM
 
1,301 posts, read 2,308,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobo View Post
I have my own beefs with the administration, but overall what really matters is what I do with my students in my classroom.


Lobo, I'm a retired teacher. I taught in northern California. A long time ago, I visited Taos and considered teaching there until seeing the salary schedule. I stayed put, then retired to NM.

Could you briefly describe what you like about teaching and what you dislike about it? If you were in charge of your school, what's the first improvement you'd make?

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 11-30-2010 at 07:21 AM.. Reason: Fixed quotes
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Marlborough, MA
1,783 posts, read 2,598,385 times
Reputation: 713
I'd also like to point out that, as a parent, I feel that I really have no voice at my child's school.

The PTA exists SOLELY as a volunteer and fundraiser entity ( and this seems to be true at most schools ) at a local level ( and as a lobbyist group on a national level ) and the school principal is about as approachable as a wall.

So the parental involvement that APS wants ( and all they want ) is volunteer time in the overcrowded classroom, helping my child sell things so the school can buy things, make sure my child does her homework ( 30 minutes in first grade? Really? ) and otherwise leave them alone.
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:40 PM
 
210 posts, read 230,067 times
Reputation: 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by karmathecat View Post
I'd also like to point out that, as a parent, I feel that I really have no voice at my child's school.

The PTA exists SOLELY as a volunteer and fundraiser entity ( and this seems to be true at most schools ) at a local level ( and as a lobbyist group on a national level ) and the school principal is about as approachable as a wall.

So the parental involvement that APS wants ( and all they want ) is volunteer time in the overcrowded classroom, helping my child sell things so the school can buy things, make sure my child does her homework ( 30 minutes in first grade? Really? ) and otherwise leave them alone.
I cant even pin down ten minutes with the principal to talk to him about doing a heroin seminar at Eldorado like they did at La Cueva, the parents on the committee would do it and no cost to the school
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:33 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
910 posts, read 1,247,454 times
Reputation: 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwest liberal View Post
I respect teachers Lobo and want to thank you for the efforts you make each day for your students.
Thank you!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nmguy View Post
Lobo, I'm a retired teacher. I taught in northern California. A long time ago, I visited Taos and considered teaching there until seeing the salary schedule. I stayed put, then retired to NM.

Could you briefly describe what you like about teaching and what you dislike about it? If you were in charge of your school, what's the first improvement you'd make?
I don't dislike teaching. I love it. I love the kids. Today I was greeted in the morning with an excited student who lost her 3rd tooth in that many days. I got to look in her mouth and "ooh" and "ahhh." Another student was having a hard morning because he hurt his elbow. I got to get out my "magic wand" and make his elbow feel better (It really is magic. ) I love helping a child learn to read, learn to tie his shoes, or help her see herself as an author. I could go on and on.

I do believe that teachers are grossly underpaid. My daycare provider made more than I did and she didn't teach at all. Just supervised a few kids playing and provided lunch. When a pay scale is so low compared to the amount of work required, it scares off people like you who might be an excellent teacher. Instead, it attracts people who can't find a job doing something else so they "settle" to be a teacher and froth at the mouth over having the summers off.

Low pay does not attract quality. Others say higher pay doesn't improve the schools. I've always been underpaid, so I can't answer that question. I don't think paying me more could make me work any harder. I teach students with special needs and give 100% every day. I haven't had a pay increase in 4 years. I put in extra hours of my own time every day. I continually work at learning new things. The day I think I know everything about teaching is the day I need to think about retiring.

Teachers are given more requirements (ie. paperwork) which ends up taking valuable teaching time away. I've seen many an older teacher retire because they didn't want to have to deal with all of the paperwork, new technology, behavior problems, etc... that are more prominent now than when they taught years ago. Those who think the schools were much better back in the day, are fooling themselves. Actually schools are much better, but overall society has deteriorated. When I was a kid, we had workbooks. The assignments were written on the board. The teacher sat in her desk at the front of the class. We did our work and went to her desk if we had questions. She graded papers, knitted, or whatever. We didn't have computers, Promethian interactive boards, manipulatives, standards, goal setting, data/charting, we (kids) didn't have to prepare and lead our own parent-teacher conferences, and parents were rarely seen at the schools, but they did help with homework. There were 2 parents in most homes, mom had a hot meal ready each night, kids had breakfast in the morning, and families talked to each other. Teachers didn't have to compete with the entertainment and flash of xbox games, availability of watching rated R movies at home (many young children do), facebook/myspace, cellphones/texting, name brand clothing labels, dvds, 300+TV channels, numerous after school activities, homelessness, drugs, etc... If a kid got in trouble at school when I was a kid, they didn't tell their parents because they'd also get in trouble at home. Not so these days.

So, in summary, it's not that I don't love my job, it's the "let's blame the schools/teachers" for everything that I'm so sick of. There's a much bigger picture here. Everyone has an answer, but "everyone" hasn't been in a classroom.

I do acknowledge that there are low-quality teachers out there, as well. They are burnt out and didn't get what they bargained for, so they just pull the short straw every day to make it through the day. However, please don't paint us all with such a broad brush.


Quote:
Originally Posted by karmathecat View Post
I'd also like to point out that, as a parent, I feel that I really have no voice at my child's school.

The PTA exists SOLELY as a volunteer and fundraiser entity ( and this seems to be true at most schools ) at a local level ( and as a lobbyist group on a national level ) and the school principal is about as approachable as a wall.

So the parental involvement that APS wants ( and all they want ) is volunteer time in the overcrowded classroom, helping my child sell things so the school can buy things, make sure my child does her homework ( 30 minutes in first grade? Really? ) and otherwise leave them alone.
As a parent, how would you like to be involved? I know a bit about your school situation and do understand what you are dealing with.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:55 AM
 
1,301 posts, read 2,308,112 times
Reputation: 1536
Lobo,

Thanks for providing an inside view of what it's like to be a teacher, describing its joys and pitfalls.

It's a rewarding, sometimes thankless job that is extremely complicated and demanding.

Back in the day, teachers simply taught. Now, as you point out, they must combing teaching with parenting, which adds a whole new dimension to the occupation.

I like your story of the magic wand.
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
2,805 posts, read 4,410,647 times
Reputation: 1639
One thing I've never been able to understand is how appropriate teacher pay is never quantified; it's either "way too much" or "not near enough" with people.

I've also not understood how teaching Art and teaching Calculus pays the same, even though qualified teachers for both are not in comparable quantities.

What amount is a market-driven salary for someone who has a B.A. + 15, teaching certification, little direct supervision, 5 years experience, and works 40-hour weeks with weekends, holidays, snow days, and summers off?
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Marlborough, MA
1,783 posts, read 2,598,385 times
Reputation: 713
I don't blame the teachers, I just tire of the argument that it's either the teachers or the parents, not a little of both plus a whole lot of political and financial game playing that gets in the way.

I know that some kids at DD's public school come from low income homes but not many should, considering the area that the school serves. This makes me wonder...if the average home price is 180k, and you need to have the means to afford these homes, where are these low income kids coming from? There are 2 apartment complexes in the area, but these can't provide the school with all of these children, so is there some kind of address faking that's going on? These are the kids who likely cannot afford lunch and who don't eat breakfast at home, how are they qualifying for that? If the parents don't take an interest in these kids, are they really jumping through the necessary hoops to transfer them in?
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
2,805 posts, read 4,410,647 times
Reputation: 1639
Quote:
Originally Posted by karmathecat View Post
This makes me wonder...if the average home price is 180k, and you need to have the means to afford these homes,
There's a failed assumption going on. Whether multigenerational (Grandma still lives at (or owns) home and only has to pay the property tax), divorce-related (mom got the house and classifies as low-income even though she makes ends meet through low-paying jobs and/or alimony/child support), multifamily (2 single moms with 2 kids each should have no problem making a $800 rent payment for a 3br house), "rocket-and-feather" (engage in a cycle of qualify, fall behind, don't pay, foreclosed, stay until eviction which takes years, bankruptcy, repeat) or house poor (>50% of family income goes toward making the mortgage), there are many many ways low-income can afford neighborhoods even three times as expensive.

Haven't even tackled off-the-books employment like waitressing, construction, or dealing, which keep lifestyles up but aren't reflected in low-income numbers.

Quote:
There are 2 apartment complexes in the area, but these can't provide the school with all of these children,
Sure they can, or at least most of them. People raise kids in apartments (two or three to a room) all the time.

Quote:
so is there some kind of address faking that's going on? These are the kids who likely cannot afford lunch and who don't eat breakfast at home, how are they qualifying for that? If the parents don't take an interest in these kids, are they really jumping through the necessary hoops to transfer them in?
Probably not much out-of-district business going on.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:03 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
910 posts, read 1,247,454 times
Reputation: 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidberg View Post
One thing I've never been able to understand is how appropriate teacher pay is never quantified; it's either "way too much" or "not near enough" with people.

I've also not understood how teaching Art and teaching Calculus pays the same, even though qualified teachers for both are not in comparable quantities.

What amount is a market-driven salary for someone who has a B.A. + 15, teaching certification, little direct supervision, 5 years experience, and works 40-hour weeks with weekends, holidays, snow days, and summers off?
When you have teachers whose children quality for free lunch, you know something is wrong!

Quote:
Originally Posted by karmathecat View Post
I don't blame the teachers, I just tire of the argument that it's either the teachers or the parents, not a little of both plus a whole lot of political and financial game playing that gets in the way.

I know that some kids at DD's public school come from low income homes but not many should, considering the area that the school serves. This makes me wonder...if the average home price is 180k, and you need to have the means to afford these homes, where are these low income kids coming from? There are 2 apartment complexes in the area, but these can't provide the school with all of these children, so is there some kind of address faking that's going on? These are the kids who likely cannot afford lunch and who don't eat breakfast at home, how are they qualifying for that? If the parents don't take an interest in these kids, are they really jumping through the necessary hoops to transfer them in?
In your area, those with low incomes are renting cheap houses that investors from California bought years ago when lots were selling cheap. The investors planned to build the homes and then turn them in a sale and net the profit. They didn't count on the economy taking a nose-dive. Some of the homes out there are lived in by renters getting a good deal. Sometimes large extended families live in one home.

Did anyone catch this story about the 17 malnourished children that were removed from a home in SW Albuquerque? And who gets the blame when these kids have bad test scores?

17 kids found malnourished, neglected | Albuquerque, New Mexico | KRQE News 13
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