... being a public school teacher. We are often vilified in the media. The general public must think that we like the state of public education right now. Teachers know what's wrong, and we have ideas, but we don't get to make the decisions.
Let me tell you something you might not know... Teachers don't get to make the decisions about how the schools are run. That is all determined by local school boards, state legislatures, and even the Federal government due to laws such as FERPA and IDEA. As a teacher, I get to decide HOW to run my classroom within limits that are set for us. I get to decide how to present the curriculum within the limits that are set for us. Teachers don't just go into the classroom and run it however they wish, at least not in Texas.
I wish parents would realize that it's the NON-Educators who make the decisions regarding the education of our children. Believe me, if decisions about textbooks, curriculum, discipline, etc., were made by educators, our public school system would run like a charm. Often, our hands are tied due to local, state, and federal laws and regulations. There is only so much we can do.
Instead of blaming teachers, do something that could make a change! Demand that your school board, state legislators, and Federal Department of Education listen to your voice. Instead of blaming teachers, blame the parents who do not do their jobs which make it difficult, if not impossible, for us to do our jobs. Instead of blaming teachers, consider that we chose this profession knowing that it is a thankless job because we want what's best for children. We were trained in pedagogy, curriculum, and child development. We are required to get continuing education in meeting the needs of our diverse student populations as well as best practices, meeting our children's emotional needs, learning styles, and so much more. I would love to be able to make decisions that would best meet the needs of students, but, sadly, as a teacher, that is not one of my privileges.
We always hear about the "bad" teachers; the ones that cheat, the ones that commit indiscretions. I wish the general public would try to remember that most of us are not only professional and knowledgeable, but truly want what's best for the children that you share with us.