Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Comment on your post "Why I Hate Teach for America"

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Why I Hate Teach for America":

I have been teaching in a rural, high-poverty school for the past 10years. I am a member of the community, and planned to raise my family here. I have been going to school continuously for 14 years in order to become the kind of teacher my students deserve.
I graduated a year ago with a masters in curriculum & instruction with a reading specialty. And as a result was able to significantly raise my students' reading levels. Unfortunately, this created a great deal of animosity among my colleagues, because, as will always happen in certain close-knit communities, jealousies can run high.
A few years ago, my school began hiring TFA's, but as we had none in our area of the school at the time, I knew little about them. This past school year, a literacy coach position came open, and one of the TFA's was given the job under the table before contracts were given. I turned down other opportunities fully believing I was being considered for the position.
Once everything came to light, this girl approached me requesting that I hand over to her methods I had developed so that she could pass them on to "her teachers," and perhaps they would be more receptive if presented in a "different way." Essentially, she wanted to steal my techniques and put her name on them.
I resent these "teachers," mostly for the fact that they have no qualifications and no training. It is extremely disrespectful to the teaching community to insinuate that these "bleeding hearts" can be lauded as the best teachers in the school, and chosen for positions over those of us who have invested years of our lives to doing what we love.
To call themselves teachers is like saying someone with a bachelors in education can do two years of volunteer work in a hospital and call themselves a doctor. It is insulting to veteran teachers who have lives, families, and children of their own to watch everything they have worked so hard for be trivialized by putting young single college students in their place.
There is one TFA in my grade level this year whom I passed on much of what I had created to help her feel more comfortable, but now I wish I hadn't been so giving, as she too is being held up as an example as "The perfect teacher."
Because of this, and the fact that trying to advance in a career I love is nothing but a popularity contest, My family will be moving away after this year. It's sad really, how these young people come into a different culture and lifestyle for only 2 years, believing they can single-handedly undo the socioeconomic damage of these communities, and effectively drive away qualified, educated professionals who are actually invested in the school and communities. In my opinion the TFA program is unethical, and These "alternative routes" to teacher certification are a joke.
Teaching is a highly underappreciated and underpaid profession, and those who truly love to teach children can succeed in making a difference in communities like mine. If these TFA's want to make a difference they should be willing to be truly committed to the profession and the community for the long-term. Watching these children grow up, and living their struggles with them. That's what being a teacher is; not volunteering for what amounts to short term community service points on their resumes once their time is up and they can move onto bigger and better things.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

you sound like a whiny bitter bitch who can't face that you just weren't the right person for the literacy coach job. grow up.

NYC HS History Teacher said...

Actually, she sounds like someone who is clearly upset over something which doesn't seem fair. I don't know the specifics, maybe the school was looking for someone younger, maybe the girl had some "methods" that interested them more.

Be that as it may, the poster is right about one thing. TFA's don't normally stick around all that long. They see teaching as a way to pad their resumes. Some may decide to stay and that might be good, but I think the majority tend to move on to something else, and that can't be good for a school environment.

Jaimica 121 said...

Teaching is a highly underpaid profession, and those who truly love to teach children can succeed in making a difference in communities like mine.
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