October 4, 2017

Does Florida not want teachers?

Diane Ravitch - Bob Shepherd has a long and distinguished career as a teacher, curriculum developer, assessment developer, textbook writer, and more. He returned to teaching. He describes here what the state of Florida required him to do:

In order to get a teaching job in Florida, I had to

–Pay for and take SEVEN tests prepared and administered by the Ed Deform simpletons at Pearson
–Complete a 20-page online application form
–Submit letters of recommendation, and
–Provide body fluids for drug testing

On the job as a teacher of English, Film, and Debate, I had to

–Prepare, in the first year, an 800-page binder documenting every aspect of my teaching
–Submit to three formal evaluations and countless informal ones every year
–Complete a yearly Individual Professional Development Plan
–Complete 300 hours of utterly useless online ESL training that seemed, from the factual inaccuracies and grammatical errors throughout the materials, to have been prepared for five-year-olds by people with severe cognitive deficits
–Fill out several thousand 504, IEP, ESL, and PMP (progress monitoring plan) updates
–Prepare Data Walls and materials for Data Chats—exercises in pseudoscientific numerology
–Attend a summer AP English institute
–Proctor absurdly designed, punitive, soul-destroying standardized pretests, benchmark tests, and test tests
–Serve as a crossing guard every morning and afternoon
–Attend parent-teacher conferences weekly, sometimes daily
–Deal with parents who wanted to sue me because I insisted that their 11th-graders put end marks at the ends of their sentences
–Attend ”trainings” (“roll over, sit up, good boy”) for people with IQs of 65 on gang violence, bullying, drugs in school, blood-borne illness, test data, test data, test data, test data, test data, and more test data
–Prepare, for each class, a two-page lesson plan form and have these in binders for review whenever an administrator entered my class
–Keep a log of every parent contact—emails, telephone calls, meetings
–Post my grades and attendance both in a paper book and online
–Coach extracurriculars (speech and debate, theatre)
–Chaperone dances and numerous other evening events
–Prepare materials for and be present at parent nights
–Prepare to teach 22 or 23 classes a week (one year, for FIVE separate preps)
–Print and post reports of my ongoing data stream, in particular formats, with charts and graphs
–Grade, grade, grade, and grade some more. If I assigned my 150 or so students a single paragraph to write, I would have a novella to read and respond to. All day and evening, every Saturday, spend doing this, and often on Sunday as well.
–And somehow find time actually to interact, one-on-one, with my unique students, each with their enormous, unique needs, proclivities, interests, and potentials

And that’s only a partial list. I worked FAR, FAR harder as a teacher of high-school English than I did as an Executive Vice President at a billion-dollar-a-year publishing company.

And all for a salary less than what a checkout person at the local grocery makes.

Who wouldn’t want to do this?

Do you think that Florida doesn’t want teachers?

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