About Me

I am a second-career teacher. In my other life, I crunched numbers as an accountant. Probably would have made a great math teacher had the thought occurred to me. No matter, I'm where I'm supposed to be; teaching third grade. Before that, 2nd grade and before that kindergarten. I have 2 grown daughters, 2 poodles, and 1 hubby. I live and work on Long Island.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Politics and Friendship

Whomever realized that friendship and politics don’t mix couldn’t have been more spot on than in today’s political climate.

I will admit it, I’m a hothead. At least that’s what my father called me when I was a teenager. My teen years are way behind me but push my buttons and the heat will rise up out of my head faster than you can say “Down with Teacher Unions.”

And so dear reader, that is precisely what a friend told me at dinner last evening. I had a few glasses of wine and wasn’t in my prime teacher mode. Had I been in that mode, I would have explained that unions are not to blame for bad teaching. In fact I truly believe that most of us give blood, sweat, and tears until we ourselves bleed.

Unions are the cornerstone of these United States of America and as such serve as protection for us against the arbitrary exercises of power (Diane Ravitch). 

Had I been in prime teaching mode, I would have invited her to pore through my curriculum binders. You know the ones? From Engage NY (for my fellow Empire State NYSUT members). Maybe she’d like to browse through my Pearson Envision Math textbook and use it try to teach equivalent fractions to 8 year-olds.
 
I honestly believe there are very few bad teachers but there sure is lots of bad curriculum especially the ones called Common Core.

But my dear friend who is a stockbroker making oodles of fairly unregulated money believes the unions are to blame because they protect all those meanies and the inefficient teachers from getting the ax.

How to convince her? I saw no way to do it.  When she believes our unions are the equivalent of the devil with a chalkboard, there is just no middle ground.


But I digress. Really and truly the answer for me is, do not discuss the politics of education with anyone who is not an educator. Period. End of story.

1 comment:

  1. Teaching is an emotional job, and it shouldn't surprise people that we can get emotionally worked up when our profession is attacked! Love how you zeroed in on the moment. In your comparison of curricula, you even squeezed in a side note on child development ("equivalent fractions to 8 year-olds"). Kudos!

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