Increasingly teachers are speaking out against school reforms that they believe are demeaning their profession, and some are simply quitting because they have had enough.
Here is one resignation letter from a veteran teacher, Gerald J. Conti, a social studies teacher at Westhill High School in Syracuse, N.Y.:
Mr. Casey Barduhn, Superintendent
Westhill Central School District
400 Walberta Park Road
Syracuse, New York 13219
Dear Mr. Barduhn and Board of Education Members:
It is with the deepest regret that I must retire at the close of this school year, ending my more than twenty-seven years of service at Westhill on June 30, under the provisions of the 2012-15 contract. I assume that I will be eligible for any local or state incentives that may be offered prior to my date of actual retirement and I trust that I may return to the high school at some point as a substitute teacher.
Want to read more? Please click…
For what it’s worth, last year I went to a 40 year high school reunion. My peers who had gone into (and were subsequently retired from) teaching voiced most of the same issues. This is a sad state of affairs, but idealism seems to have no place in twenty-first century life. It is all analysis and statistics. We’re screwed.
I went to the reunion at Town of Webb, held in Inlet, NY. The same opinions were voiced by teachers who were there. When I taught for about 10 years as a sub, the first year I could have gotten hired on to be a Math teacher for the next year… but they told me 2 days before I was to go on tour! (I felt it more than rude to bailout on customers, some I have had for over 20 years.) Glad I didn’t. Just in case they asked again I looked into it. Our parents bitch about the “new math” in the 60s, which included teaching bases. That was a breeze. They’ve taken a big mixer and mixed up Calc, Geometry, Algebra, Trig and invented terms that supposedly connect all of these. (NOT.) Teaching is such a marionette like position where, just when you think you’ve got it, they come up with something like Leave No Child Behind or really bad ideas like open classrooms (should be called acoustical chaos) or “you can’t use any derivation of ‘no:’ not can’t, won’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t… those last two I saw teachers struggle with at schools I went to every year. We’ve all had bad teachers, but I swear if they’d just let them teach, education would be SO much better. Most teachers are intelligent, caring and determined to make sure students learn. Some of this is pushed by politicians, like NCLB, some by clueless ivory tower types like my education prof when I was studying to be an English teacher. His policy was if a child every misbehaves it’s ALWAYS the fault of an adult. RIGHT. Now if no one does anything about it, I might have agreed, but his policy WAS nothing should be done: punish the teacher.