When Did the U.S. Stop Seeing Teachers as Professionals? (mini review from HBR)

 

professionals       The Harvard Business Review asks: “When Did the U.S. Stop Seeing Teachers as Professionals?” in an article written 6-20-18 by Robert Bruno and found here: When Did the U.S.  Stop Viewing Teachers as Professionals?

Bruno writes, and I concur, that: “Teachers are seeing their own experience be devalued by policymakers and other officials with little experience in the education field, and it’s not improving the education of their students. In other words, and as others have noted, teachers are balking at the erosion of their status as professionals.”

Bruno goes on to write that today, (and I agree) that “Creativity is squeezed out for conformity and teacher autonomy suppressed…”

As a results of external stressors, Bruno notes that studies are revealing that teachers report feeling highly stressed twice as much as the average American worker, but worse, that

…nearly a quarter of respondents said work was “always” stressful. (emphasis added)

This stress and these outside stressors will lead to “constant battles” and struggles, Bruno contends, with our very democracy at stake.

As he notes, “The outcome of that struggle will assuredly determine the quality of the nation’s schools and, subsequently, the strength of our country’s democracy.”

Because teachers care so much, Bruno writes, teachers will continue to protect their students even while knowing, “To them, nothing less than the education profession is at risk.”

#  #  #

What do I think about this article? If I were not still so burned out from the stress that comes with the deprofessionalization of teaching, with as Bruno calls it, a corporate-styled version of professionalism , I’d tell you.

Wait. I can tell you.

It’s like Bruno has been in the minds of many teachers I know.

It was never about the kids; Bruno does not mention even one time teachers’ concerns about students.  We love the kids.  We love to teach. We are teachers. We are well-educated and passionate professionals.

We deserve to have our well-informed voices heard.  We deserve to have time to use the bathroom during the work day. We deserve time to meet with our colleagues to plan, for we have great ideas and even greater ones when we can collaborate.  We deserve to plan our lessons with our specific students in mind.  We deserve to have fewer non teaching duties, including a duty-free lunch and planning period, less hall and bathroom and lunch room duties.  We deserve the pensions we have paid for diligently and not to be blamed for an entire state’s broken promises.  We deserve to have the public pay for the public part of education and teachers not to have to pay for toilet paper or basic student supplies.  We deserve to be treated like the licensed, educated professionals we are, and not to be evaluated or have our work evaluated by non-educators or those who have spent little time in the classroom.

We deserve to be treated as professionals; since we often are not, many are leaving, and many who remain are stressed, burned out, sad, angry, and profoundly disheartened.

Many veteran teachers are “retiring” early, such as myself.

And I wonder if this wasn’t part of the plan all along–to drive out the veteran teachers who would speak up, to drive out any creativity that might challenge the corporate non-educator reformers.

Could be.  Should I be that suspicious?

I believe so.

Teachers are fighting for the very life of their profession.

 

 

 

 

Writers: a nice feature of submittable.com

typewriter-vintage-old-vintage-typewriter-163116     Writers!  Perhaps you knew about this great feature of Submittable, but I did not until today.   Submittable.com is a site where some publishers collect submissions to journals and contests, reply to the writers,  accept submissions, reject submissions.  It’s a way to read submissions “blindly,” without seeing an author’s name.

I like using Submittable, since it also helps me keep track of what piece of writing I’ve submitted where.

What I just discovered, however, is a great find: the “discover” section of the website.  There I found many journals listing their requirements, deadlines, etc.  All in one place.

I also found sites I now like to read from (is that the term…read from? Read there?)

So, writers, if you haven’t discovered the DISCOVER feature of Submittable yet, here you go: Discover Opportunities Submittable.  If you don’t have an account there yet, you will need to create a free account.

What are some useful writing tools you have discovered?

Thanks for reading!

Laura Lee

Another fun site for learners, Thoughtco.com

Website      As promised, I’ll keep sharing sites I find interesting. Thoughtco.com

asserts its goal as lifelong learning, and that is why I like it.  If you subscribe to posts, each day you receive some interesting tidbit of information, ranging from science to homework, Monet to gas gauges. (I kid you not–how to fix gas gauges!)

I have no idea who told me about this site, but I like learning something new every day.

Why not give it a try?  And do you have any sites you like for learning something new every day?

Laura Lee

 

Foundry (Literary Journal), a mini-review

journal  As promised, I’ll keep posting links to sites I find interesting, important, or both.

A dear friend introduced me to Foundry Journal online, and I was impressed with the superb poems and beautiful presentation of the site.  I read the poetry of love, nature, politics, and more.  I saw carefully selected images that enhance the site.  If you love poetry, why not go there?

It’s obvious Foundry loves poetry and has found fine poets to publish.

From their site:

About

 

Poems are manufactured objects — the intangible cast into forms. ​Foundry showcases poems crafted by writers at all stages of their practice. We are interested in poems as made things, and we are interested in their making. 

Poems published in Foundry have been awarded a Pushcart Prize, selected for Bettering American Poetry, and featured on Verse Daily.

Educators: Diane Ravitch’s websites

Website            If you are an educator in America or follow education issues, you probably know about Dr. Ravitch’s websites. I highly recommend her websites, as Dr. Ravitch dares to challenge the status quo.

As she writes on her blog:

Diane Ravitch’s website

A bit about her background, from her website:

My website is dianeravitch.com.
I am a historian of education and Research Professor of Education at New York University.
I was born in Houston, Texas, attended the Houston public schools from kindergarten through high school, and graduated from Wellesley College in 1960. I received my Ph.D. in the history of American education in 1975.

Rattle, a great site for poets/ mini review

colorful art                If you are a poet writing in English, you might/ probably know Rattle.com and its amazing print journal.  Rattle is the online magazine, and information on how to subscribe to the fine quarterly print journal can be found here subscribe.

The magazine sponsors a weekly competition for poems written in response to current events.  See here: Poets Respond.

But for me, a poet who has always been inspired by other writers and artists, one  of the most fascinating aspects of this multi-faceted journal is Rattle sponsors an Ekphrastic Challenge each month, when poets respond to a work of visual art by writing poem inspired by this visual art.  Details may be found here: Rattle’s ekphrastic challenge.

The poetry is, in my opinion, amazing.  It is fresh and frightening, raw and refined.  It’s really good modern poetry.

But the site says it best:

Rattle’s mission is to promote the practice of poetry.

We feel that poetry lost its way in the 20th century, to the point that mainstream readers have forgotten how moving language alone can be…The pure love of language is one of the most important experiences in the history of human culture, and somehow most of us have forgotten about it.

If you are a poet, you can learn from the best modern poets by reading Rattle’s online magazine, their print magazine, and even their Facebook page.  If you say you don’t like poetry, I challenge you to read there for a few days and come back to me and tell me that again.

Rattle reminds us of the power of poetry.