I have been reading about a slickly produced documentary called, "Waiting for Superman." I have to admit I haven't seen this and frankly, I am pretty sure I don't want to. You see, in twenty-four years of teaching, I have grown very tired of the constant attacks from the media and misinformed politicians.
Here is what I know to be true, despite what you may have seen or read:
*Most teacher work exceedingly hard to help kids be successful. Yes, there are exceptions.
*Teacher unions might be protecting some bad teachers, but I guarantee they are presenting more good teachers from bad administrators (who potentially judge effectiveness on almost anything BUT what kids learn).
*Children today are different from when we are kids, because the world is different. However, some things always stay the same....like right and wrong. For example, standing atop your soapbox of amassed wealth and shouting down good teachers doing good work with all their heart is wrong. Shame on Mr. Gates and Ms. Winfrey for using their wealth and platform to show a one-sided swipe at something they know nothing about. Again, I have to admit I didn't see the debacle, partly because I was still at school working at the job that makes the world a better place. (Mostly because I can't stand watching Oprah. I was in New Orleans three weeks before Katrina and absolutely loved every single person I met. Watching Oprah parade into the Astrodome with her arms up as if she were the messiah made me sick to my stomach.)
*I am very passionate about what I do. I wouldn't rant so much here if I weren't.
*If one more person tells me that some other country is 'beating' us at some random test, I am going to yell at them in a very loud voice. Other countries to NOT educate every child and most do not educate children to the level we do. That comparison is old and tired and borne out of fear mongering. Knock it off.
At the end of the day, I AM SUPERMAN. I may not reach every kid, and it's plain to see I haven't, I am going to go down swinging. I posted this on Facebook last night, "No more waiting, "I AM SUPERMAN". All educators who care about kids and learning are Superman(and woman). We can leap tall bureaucrats in a single bound. We are able to outrace critics who have never been anywhere near a classroom. Strong enough to keep doing the job, despite all the cheap shots from moviemakers and lawmakers."
And, Ms. Winfrey and Mr. Gates, if you want to judge me, hop down off that pile of money and come follow me around for a few days. You are not fit to carry my cape.