9 votes

Denver Teachers Strike Back

4 comments

  1. [3]
    kfwyre Link
    Good for them. Something has got to give in education. The current climate is toxic. I entered the field over a decade ago, eager and excited to educate. Now there's not a day that goes by where I...

    Good for them. Something has got to give in education. The current climate is toxic.

    I entered the field over a decade ago, eager and excited to educate. Now there's not a day that goes by where I don't fantasize about career change. I used to believe in teaching and in education as an ideal. I used to be inspired. I used to feel like I was making a difference.

    Not anymore. Everything is now so standardized, focused on data, and accountability-driven that it has completely sterilized what should be joyous and exciting. Day in and day out I'm stuck teaching curriculum I don't believe in using methods I don't believe in to promote outcomes I don't believe in to students who have stopped believing in me.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      momentmaker Link Parent
      Plus you got those helicopter parents who boils their kid and think they deserve a top grade too. I'd bet the constant barges from them are stressful as well.

      Plus you got those helicopter parents who boils their kid and think they deserve a top grade too. I'd bet the constant barges from them are stressful as well.

      3 votes
      1. kfwyre (edited ) Link Parent
        By and large, most parents I interact with are patient, kind people who tirelessly and selflessly support their kids. They are good people doing a thankless job. This is not the dominant narrative...

        By and large, most parents I interact with are patient, kind people who tirelessly and selflessly support their kids. They are good people doing a thankless job. This is not the dominant narrative you'll see online, but teaching has made me gain respect for parents. I think a lot of the proverbial friction between us comes from the fact that we are both put in difficult situations, and that often leads to pointing fingers.

        I see a lot of commonalities between us. We both care about their kids. They're often as tired and burnt out as us. Sometimes moreso. I have the privilege of not having kids, meaning I go home from my job to a lack of significant adult responsibility. Most of my students' parents work full-time jobs all day and become full-time parents for afternoons, evenings, and weekends. I admire their drive, tenacity, and care. I'm burnt out from doing half the work. I don't know how they can manage both roles.

        That said, there definitely are some parents that can be difficult. Helicopter parents have been a household name for a while, but there was recently a viral post about "lawnmower parents" that struck a nerve. While no parent wants their child to face adversity or hardship, some parents take this to an extreme, seeing even regular academic challenge or everyday hiccups as an obstacle to their child's success.

        I had a student with a lawnmower parent a couple of years ago. The student would not do any work during the school day and would instead bring it all home for their mom to do. Our attempts to get the student to complete work were futile, and our attempts to get their mom to stop were equally fruitless. A perfect summary of the situation was captured in a short exchange we had one afternoon. I was checking to make sure the student had written all their homework down for the day. As they looked at their planner, they commented "this is too much homework for my mom to do." The student was completely serious and saw nothing wrong with this. "No," I replied, "this is your work. You need to do it." They looked at me and simply said, "No, my mom has got me covered."

        This student was 14 years old. The mother certainly wanted what was best for her child and would never, ever let them fail. Even more, she would never let them face even the regular challenges of schoolwork. Academic rigor was too threatening to her child's happiness.

        This is developmentally unhealthy and, by denying immediate short-term failure at all costs, she was setting her child up for long-term failure. Kids need to develop resilience and deal with failure, dashed expectations, and unfairness. This is part of life. Certainly we don't want to intentionally subject students to these, and we should actively work to make sure that everyone has pathways to success in spite of obstacles, but removing all obstacles themselves keeps the child from overcoming anything, which will make the first major struggle they eventually have insurmountable.

        3 votes
  2. alyaza Link
    update: the strike appears to tentatively be over now, which proves yet again unions are important and that strike actions work

    update: the strike appears to tentatively be over now, which proves yet again unions are important and that strike actions work

    Union representatives said a "breakthrough" came Tuesday night when the two sides were able to find some "common ground," and eventually reached a tentative agreement that will need to be ratified by the union's membership.
    Under the agreement, teachers would see between a seven to eleven percent increase in their base salary and a "transparent 20-step salary schedule," the DCTA said. It would also end "exorbitant five-figure bonuses" for senior administrators.