I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Who Cares What Teachers Think?

I cannot tell you all how much this crap makes me nuts:

TED is coming to a television near you.

On April 16, PBS will air the very first televised TED event, TED Talks Education. The event, which will be filmed in New York on April 4, will bring together an hour of speakers and performers with a deep-rooted passion for education. The first three speakers booked: Bill GatesSir Ken Robinsonand Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children’s Zone – and watch for more announcements in coming weeks. With fresh thinking and bold ideas, the speakers and performers will discuss how we can curb the high school dropout crisis.

TED Talks Education will be broadcast nationally in the U.S. and will be produced by WNET in conjunction with TED.  The program is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’sAmerican Graduate Program. It promises to be an exciting, thought-provoking hour of television.
Yeah, so awesome, right? You know, Sir Ken Robinson, whose own biography doesn't mention any time as a K-12 teacher. And Geoffrey Canada, who hasn't run his own classroom since 1977.

And I don't need to provide a link to recount to you Bill Gates's extensive teaching experience, do I?

If you're a teacher who's been putting in time for a couple of decades or more, honing your craft, getting better, making a difference in the lives of kids... you know what the media thinks of you?

You're boring. You're not worth their time. You need to defer to people who haven't spent a fraction of their careers - or any part of their adult lives - doing what you do, because they are superstars and you...

Well, you're just a teacher.

If reformy types really cared as much about great teachers as they said they did, they would beg off of shows like this and insist that the time be spent instead listening to the people who spend their days teaching our kids. They would demand that the teaching profession be shown appropriate respect by showing deference to actual teachers in the media.

But that would mean less TV time for them, wouldn't it?

ADDING: I like Ken Robinson. I like what he has to say. He should be on TV.

But are you telling me there isn't one working teacher in America or the UK who is worth listening to as much as Robinson is?


ADDING MORE: OK, there are more announcements coming. Maybe my rant here will persuade some of the powers that be to give some real teachers as much of a chance to speak as Gates. Wouldn't that be nice?


Mrs. King's music students said...

Since this group isn't actually teaching everyday they have the time and the money to wax eloquent for the media. And while they're doing that, teachers like us are literally shaping the hearts and minds of hundreds and thousands of students. Our ship will come in. The money sucks though. After 13 years, a masters from a Princeton school and my supervisory cert - I'm still making less than the average in 2011? Thanks for sharing that.

Rod viquez said...

I never was overpaid but at least was respected. Now I'm overworked and making less money. Top it off with getting spit on by the public and I sometimes think that I would leave for a museum or corporate job.

Mrs. King's music students said...

On my first day at Lanning Square in Camden 2010, there was a big hoopla followed up with a banner announcing that LS students had made safe harbor on NJASK. I whipped out my new phone and snapped a picture of the banner. However, on 2 occasions in 2012, Himself was filmed at LS referring to our school as a "failure factory" and announcing that we would be replaced with a rennaisance charter. Later, when I asked about the safe harbor banner, some said it was awarded in error. Others had no memory of the event. But I still have the photo on my phone.

I'm telling this story because I think most of the rhetoric against us is no more than this. Just politics and lies for the purpose of dividing and conquering the worker bees and taking the credit for our hard work.