Friday, January 19, 2007

Teaching Update

Some folks may remember my post about Tom Moore, a friend who teaches in the Bronx. He has a really good editorial in the Times, a smackdown of Hillary Swank and of movie portrayals of teachers. One of many problems, he points out, is that we think movie versions of teachers should be the goal of educational policy.

New York Times.

New York City has made some proposals regarding teaching -- making it harder to gain tenure, for example. I don't know Tom's take, but I'm all for it. More to the point, I'm for better teacher training and support, so that it doesn't feel like a dead-end job.


TenaciousK said...

I'm sympathetic - social services is pretty much the same, only the innacurate media stereotypes are less burdened by positive connotations.

I never met anyone in any of the "helping" professions who didn't have a desire to do a good job, and make a positive impact. But it surely must be a lack of character, once teachers, therapists, caseworkers etc. get burned out. Drawing attention to the context in which burnout turns out to seem inevitable is a good way to get scapegoated.

I hope your friend gets rich, writing his book. It seems there ought to be some payoff, eventually, beyond the benefits package.

august said...

Yeah -- I've seen a huge amount of contempt for social services. In some cases deserved, but often people seem to argue (for example) that advocates for the homeless cause homelessness, that foster caseworkers abuse children, and so on.

TenaciousK said...

Bad things happen, and it's a lot more expedient (and desirable, sometimes, for all the wrong reasons) to assign blame than address why. I'm sure this is the same problem teachers face.

It's a way for people to pretend they're addressing the problem without actually having to do the hard work.

Fucking critics - it's all their fault, really.
Oh, wait...