1. I used to be one of those who slammed the public schools. After I retired, I decided to give back to the next generation, and be part of the solution instead of just complaining. I went out and took the exams, becoming certified to teach high school Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. This is my fourth year as a teacher.

    I discovered that the problem is more complicated than you would believe, and the blame mostly lies with the students and their parents.

    I assign homework, even giving them time in class to get it done. Only 40% of them even bother to turn the assignment in, and half of them copied it from the other half.

    On average, my students only come to school 3/4 of the time. I had one student who was absent more than 120 days last year. The school year is only 180 days long.

    I have to keep the bathroom outside of my classroom locked and only give the key out to only one student at a time, because I am constantly catching them fornicating in the bathrooms. Now the administrators have to watch the stairwells for the same reason.

    Catch a kid cheating? Parents laugh and think it is funny. The parents of one of my students, a student with ADHD, send their kid to school with an MP3 player around his neck. How can a kid with ADHD be free from distractions when the parents send him to school with a distraction around his neck?

    Just this morning, I asked a 15 year old girl to put her phone away and stop texting. She told me to fuck off. It wasn't the first time she had done so this school year. Contact the parents? Yeah, they called me a stupid cracker and also told me to fuck off.

    Last year, I was physically attacked by a student when I confiscated his cell phone after asking him 4 times to put it away. $4000 in legal fees, and a DCF investigation later, I don't confiscate phones any longer.

    Tell me again how it is the school's fault.

  2. DriveMedic – It's the school's fault because it allows all that to happen. Because it doesn't back you up. They allow such behavior. They allow it because schools have become a socialist system where there are few consequences of consequence for the people who are a real problem, and huge consequences on those who only screw up occasionally. It stems from a legal system that treats government-school education as a right, not a privilege, and it's defined by seat-time and funding.
    There are a lot of good teachers out there, yourself among them.
    They are ham-strung by the admin, which is hamstrung by our legal system and the school-district admin, which are ham-strung by a perspective of being "owed" something without any responsibility, and people looking for a pay-day because of some mole-hill screw-up they can blow up into a mountain of tax-money coming their way.
    I say this as a teacher trying to find a district that isn't blipping insane with their basic guiding policies and attitudes.

    In short, the incentives are not aligned with the desired outcomes. And that is a school district issue as much as a legal issue, because the school districts can drive the laws… *if* they wanted too.

  3. Amen, Rolf. But divemedic has a point, in that the parents – who support or don't support the school administration/district – affect (but are not able to control) the operation of the schools. Especially as they are a product of the same sorry system from which they became parents – who are as f'kd up as they are making their kids these days.

    Just as the Left is a minority with far more influence than their numbers should be able to dictate, so it is with the bad parents of school children. They allow – even encourage – their children to disrespect their teachers, and they sue at the drop of a hat. With as many socialists in robes as there are teaching in the schools, their law suits often are won. However, even if they lose the law suit, it has cost the teacher thousands of dollars (unless he is defended by the teacher's union, which won't happen if he is conservative, pushes for appropriate behavior in class, grades by performance, etc.).

    It only takes a few parents who are able to get their kids off in spite of behavior that would have gotten us knocked on our asses when I went to school before the rest of the kids understand _they_ can do whatever they want as well.

    What is the incentive in being a teacher, even with some of the ridiculously high salaries in some of the bigger cities, if you have to shut up and look the other way no matter what the kids do in your classroom? The hope that you can pass on some of your knowledge to the few students who really want to learn? Go find a job in a private school, then. You _might_ find a few more students who actually enjoy getting an education. At least until they get to one of our socialist training camps called universities.

  4. Divemedic, a short story. Many years ago, 1971, I was doing my first year of Radio training in the R.A.A.F., it was very very hard, 12 solid months of long days and night studying. There was a Radio Technician's course that paralleled mine, so we students got to know each other pretty well. One of them, a bloody smart bloke named Eric Hammer, (true), lived off base and unfortunately, had a real prick of a next door neighbour, a civillian, who took great delight making noise whilst Eric tried to study. As it turned out, Eric was very good, he graduated near top of his course. Anyway, he came up with a beautiful 'get back' at his neighbour, a real classic. He made a small, but high powered 'variable frequency jammer', and it played out like this. Eric would be sitting and relaxing on any given weekend, watching his T.V., as would also be the neighbour. Eric could see next door's screen, and whenever he was watching anything he enjoyed, particularly football, Eric would simply wait a short while, turn on and tune his jammer and obliterate what the arsehole was watching, and this would go on for pretty much the whole weekend. Watching this going on was an absolute scream, which is what the neighbour ended up doing after a few hours, almost every time Eric pressed the TX button, it was very hard not to cry laughing believe me!. This went on for close to 6 months, until we graduated, and as a parting gift, he left the battery powered jammer switched on, (just one frequency), and secreted it in the roof cavity of the house he vacated. Good times back then!.
    Now I'm not suggesting anything, but it's not too hard to do the same in a small school-sized room, Radio Shack or it's equivalent might be worth looking into maybe?. Just sayin'.

  5. One thing I am eternally grateful for is that the parents and administrators at my school back teachers and believe in discipline. And in doing homework. That is one major advantage of a private school that is often under-advertised. Academics are played up, but for some students, having a firm structure and hard boundaries are exactly what they need to stay on target socially and academically.


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