Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Those Who Can't Teach

I'm fascinated by this post at EdNotes Online. Norm Scott, who seems to be everywhere doing everything, quotes a Unity chapter leader saying the following:

I gotta be on the side that's going to get me out of this lousy teaching position.

This is an incredible statement, to me at least. I've always been kind of amazed by people who aspire to "get out of the classroom." There are several ways to do that. One, of course, is to go into administration. Another is to seek a job within the union.

Please forgive me here if I seem to be targeting either administrators or union employees, because that's not my intention. I've met both administrators and union employees ranging from brilliant to awful. I try to judge people one at a time.

Here's the thing, though--people who want to "get out of the classroom" tend not to be good teachers. Otherwise, why would they be so anxious to leave? The classroom is the very best part of my job. I love it. I've got enormous respect for good teachers. Those are the people I want leading us, both in admin, and as part of my union.

When I hear CTU President Karen Lewis speak, I've no doubt that this is someone who can inspire kids just as she inspires me. I don't believe for one minute she got involved to get out of the classroom.

It's my opinion that most people who wish to get out of the classroom ought to follow up by getting out of education altogether. Don't waste another minute. No teacher wants to be judged or led by people who can't teach. That includes the five-minute wonders who run E4E with Gates money, every small-minded fussbudget administrator I've ever met, and everyone in the union who doesn't care to understand what it is we actually do.

Teaching is hard. Not everyone can do it. You have to be thinking on your feet all the time and ready to go wherever it goes. People who are rigid, humorless and unimaginative can't hack it. That's why they have such a burning desire to "get out of the classroom."

So here's my advice to those who want to get out of the classroom--do it, and do it now. Find a job more suited to your talents. Doubtless it's your dream to score a gig with the clueless panelists above.

Do the world a favor--get a real job instead.
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