Teachers Last ≠ Kids First

Leave it to Michelle Rhee to find yet another way to mistreat teachers. Publicly. She got sacked in Washington, DC because she mistreated people. What do you do? You start a think-tank-advocacy-group-focus-on-education-make-me-money foundation. And pretend it’s not about you. They’ve got a new video out. It’s three minutes long, and it has real, live teachers slamming other teachers. Sometimes I wonder if people realize what they are saying. Here are a couple of examples of “educators” who love the Rhee philosophy:

Allison, a 10th grade math teacher, put it this way:

We’re raising our next generation. We’re raising our next doctors. We’re raising our next lawyers. We’re raising our next politicians.

Are we raising the next generation of teachers? Who cares? Right, Allison?         

I have a better one:

When we have to contract out how many hours a teacher spends, how many hours they get paid for after school if they stay after school, how many hours they’re required to be on school premises, that’s not putting kids first.

                                                                                –Barbara, Learning Specialist

Seriously? Teachers don’t put kids first if they want to be treated as, well, HUMAN? My good friend Barbara here thinks that teachers must spend whatever she decides is necessary.

That’s the difference between TSTA and Michelle Rhee. See, I’m a Teaching and Learning Specialist. As her title implies, she flat out doesn’t care about teachers. She doesn’t care whether teachers get paid to work or not.

Therein lies my key belief on the teacher shortage. Teachers are often treated this way in Texas. If an elementary teacher has to report at 7:15 a.m. each day and stay until 6:30 p.m., they should do that. After all, that’s putting kids first (never mind if the teacher has kids at home). This lack of respect, this lack of commitment, this lack of caring, puts teachers last.

And that’s not putting kids first.

About Paul T. Henley, Ph. D.

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