Monday, I had a sub cover my classes for me while I was at a committee meeting. I had planned a fun and highly connected activity for the students to complete. When I returned yesterday, I found out that a few of my students just decided that the lesson was not worth their time and decided to do homework for other classes instead. The justification? Not every lesson from every teacher has a purpose.
When did it become ok for students to decide whether or not that they were going to do an assignment? When did they become the judge of what is a valuable lesson?
This is a slippery slope that I think education has been going down for quite some time. And to me, it all comes down to respect.
In this country, teachers are seen as people who just work from 8-3 pm and go home and have nothing to do. The government has no respect for the profession, the media has no respect for the profession, most parents don't have respect for the profession, so what else can a child do?
This is not true in all countries and it is one of the reasons that I have always wanted to teach in another country. I have heard from friends that have taught in some Asian countries that teachers are treated with great respect. That would be an amazing thing to be a part of; working in a place where you are paid a decent salary (many single income families here in the US are on food stamps and welfare), and treated with respect and as a professional.
I left a very lucrative profession and made a conscious choice to become a teacher. It was my dream since I was a little girl. Education is my second career and up until this point, I have never questioned it. But as the years toil on and we are expected to do more and more with less and less (no raise for four years yet healthcare costs going up 125%), and being held accountable for student learning that they are not even held accountable for, and getting less and less respect - maybe it is time for a change. But who will change? Society or me?