There was a wicked, evil woman. Her name was Renee’. Renee’ was a teacher. Renee’ had become a teacher because it was such an easy job. Earning money by pretending to teach the poor village children. Renee did not even work a full day and she had summers off. Renee’ held several degrees but it was known throughout the land that she could not really “do” anything, she could only teach. Poor sad, wicked Renee’.
This is the the story that we continually hear on the news. It is pretty much the only story. If people understood the sheer magnitude of work a teacher does, would they still begrudge them their pay? If they came in and tried to run a classroom where nine of the kids with IEPs have been pushed in (without any of their aides), where many of the students cannot follow directions; would they understand how hard the job is? Would they understand that the failure of a school is not all on the backs of the teachers?
Teachers tell themselves a story too. – It is the parents fault. I have a good lesson. I should not have to adjust. Those kids are just bad. If I had more (fill in the blank) paper, help, crayons, books, support it would be perfect. The other teachers before me didn’t do their job.
There might be some truths in these, just as we might find some truth in a stereotype; but it is not the whole truth. It is easier to listen to just one story. Then we don’t have to weigh the pros and cons, think about the moral dilemma, reflect on our own shortcomings.
If we believe the “one” story, we believe that there is one reason for school failure. Listening to the other stories helps to unlock all the issues.