Conditions in North Carolina have been harsh for teachers in the state. For one thing, they have discontinued the longevity once a year paycheck that was a bonus for working for ten years or more with the state. The rest of the NC State Workers get a longevity check yearly. Why not teachers? I’d finally worked long enough to get a decent longevity check when the state decided teachers, and only teachers out of all the state employees, no longer qualified for the yearly longevity bonus.
Teachers are also required to take Professional Development Classes throughout each year. They are shown “new ways!” to teach, even though the old methods are working. They spend that year and perhaps part of the next year learning all the new ideas and techniques that go into teaching before lo and behold! a new even better way is introduced and taught to them for the next couple years. This cycle continues until older teachers, like myself, who are called “dinosaurs”, have had enough and shun all the new “methods”.
Teachers are told they must not teach anything that isn’t listed in the Common Core, and IF caught teaching anything not on the Common Core list, they are fired.
I just watched a video about a teacher in Florida who handed out a survey to her students in her class which was about accepting differences. The survey asked questions about how they felt about certain situations. I can see the value of a survey of what they enter the class believing. It will show the teacher where the prejudices are and how to better focus on the ideas that need to be included in the future lessons. What happened? The teacher was fired. They had a twelve year old girl on the video saying what SHE (in all of her twelve years of wisdom) thought should have happened to the teacher. Her mother was also there (does she even work outside the home? does she know anything about assessments teachers use to guide instruction?) but the mother was SURE the teacher should be fired. More intolerance from the ones screaming TOLERATE EVERYTHING!!!!
I regret going into education. I did not know that I wouldn’t be able to afford the health insurance for my own children when I was studying to be a teacher. True, health insurance for myself was low cost, BUT to include my children on the policy meant an additonal payment monthly of about 20% of my paycheck. I also didn’t know that innovative ideas I came up with would be shot down so quickly by others who preferred to read from the teacher’s manual as they taught the lessons. I didn’t know the rules for teaching would become so rigid or that the respect for teachers would become so low.
The best and the brightest are leaving and will continue to leave the profession. It’s just a matter of time before the all-knowing parents become the main educator for their children.