#ReadMissionPossible Giveaway

“Stagnation, being unable to accomplish one’s job at a high level, is one of the greatest sources of low teacher morale.  Why do you think this country treats teaching so differently than it does other professions?” I’m participating in a sponsored campaign with #readmissionpossible and the SITS Girls, to answer this question and host a giveaway.

The last year that I taught 5th grade, I saw something in two of my students that I hated seeing.

It wasn’t troublemaking or bullying… it was boredom.

They had already mastered all of the 5th grade math objectives.

And so I decided to teach those two 6th grade math instead, to make their boredom go away.

Until I was informed that since 6th grade math was not on the state standardized test at the end of the year, I was not allowed to teach it.

I tried reasoning that the students had to know the 5th grade math in order to do the 6th grade math, so I wasn’t concerned about their performance. But, that was it: everyone could only be taught the standard 5th grade curriculum.

*SIGH*

Unable to accomplish my job at a high level? Check.

But as to why this country treats teachers so differently, there are many factors. I’ll just touch on two for now.

Teachers’ performance is a matter of public record. You can see the standardized test score averages for any given school or grade or sometimes even class(though of course, student names are not released). There’s not many jobs out there where your job performance is available for anyone to see.  But test scores don’t tell the full story.  One year, one of my students received a Level II on her Reading state test(Level III being what is proficient), but what that number didn’t tell you is that she had grown the equivalent of 4 grade levels in reading since the beginning of the year. Having a test score be the determining factor in teacher success is frustrating.

And since almost all of us went through the school system, there’s a tendency for people to think they know how things should be done and even how teachers should be teaching. But let me tell you: there is a WORLD of difference between knowing how to do something and knowing how to teach someone else how to do it. For that reason, I think kindergarten teachers have one of the hardest jobs there is.

Giveaway

Mission Possible was written by Eva Moskowitz and Arin Lavinia. This book provides practical, class-room tested ideas for improving teaching and learning, along with how to use the Success Academy Charter Schools’ THINK Literacy program. A companion DVD provides related clips and interviews.

To enter: Leave a comment below telling me one thing you like about your child’s school(we focus a lot on the negative in American schools- but it’s not all bad!). US 18+ only, please. Giveaway winner will be selected and notified Thursday 8/9, after 9pm ET.

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Comments

  1. says

    this is not my childs school but my friend is a teachers aid at the best school ever. the entire school is for special need children. so amazing. it is not a huge scool. the kids are so loved. when I hear the teachers talking to themselves or to the students you hear love and not annoyance.

  2. Rachel Horne says

    My daughter’s elementary school offers Spanish and English classes for both kids and parents. I think it’s a fantastic resource!

  3. says

    My grandson’s school is doing a fabulous job helping him as he deals with Asperger’s.  They talk with his parents and listen to what he needs. They created an atmosphere where his different learning needs are met and exceeded. They understand it is not productive to try to make him fit into their little mold of what a child should be how how he should learn. 
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  4. says

    I am so frustrated with the public school system right now.  If you require anything extra, you’re fighting an uphill the whole way.  

    When I heard parenting was hard, I assumed people were referring to the actual job of dealing with my job.  I never knew they meant being an advocate for what they deserve.   
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  5. says

    The school I was just let go from, I enjoyed that each classroom in some shape or form had an teaching assistant to help with the class size.  I also like how 3 times a week they received Spanish instruction.  It was pretty neat.
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    • Shell says

      TAs are now practically non-existent in our area. Used to be every teacher had one at least for half a day and the younger grades had full day. Now only kindergarten and first have them and have to share.

  6. Crystal says

    The school my daughter attends is the best. There are many students, but it still has that “everyone knows everyone” atmosphere. The school encourages reading, math and science. The students are happy, and always smiling. The teachers make learning a fun experience, and the kids love them. It’s a very open door school that truly encourages parental involvement. I love it!

    • Shell says

      Sounds like a great place! We are happy with our boys’ school, too- which makes it harder to look for a new house- we don’t want to leave this district!

      • Crystal says

        We’re lucky that our county allows us to take our daughter out of district. Of course, riding a bus is not an option when going out of district, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. As long as she’s at school on time and has someone to pick her up in the afternoon, they have no problems with kids not going to their “home” school. I guess that’s another great reason to love this school!

  7. says

    We love our school. My daughter is entering the 3rd grade this year. We find out Thursday who her teacher will be, but we are more interested in fining out what friends will be in her class. Why is that? Because all the 3rd grade teachers at our school rock! Haven’t heard a single negative thing about one of them. I know whoever we get will be awesome.

    Have you seen Waiting for Superman? And, if so, what did you think?
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    • Shell says

      Oh, that’s awesome! I feel that way about my oldest going into second. 

      I haven’t seen it yet, actually.

  8. says

    I think it also has to do with people resenting taxes and thus teachers’ salaries. It is also a historic prejudice because the one room schoolhouses were staffed with young girls teaching until they found a husband. This made teaching a “woman” thing thus less in the eyes of the men who domainated other professions.
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    • Shell says

      Oh, the number of times I heard from parents about how their taxes pay my salary… ugh.