Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Learnin'

It feels like just yesterday that I typed up my reflections of my first day as a teacher, but believe it or not that was nearly six years and several hundred students ago. All these years later, the one thing I can say -- even in the face of the endless uncertainty about whether I'll have enough classes from term to term, and whether I'm making enough to get by -- is that I love my job. I love going to class, I love engaging with my students, and I love sharing with and learning from them. That said, I also consider myself blessed that I'm able to teach at the college level, because I know that there are plenty of public school instructors who got into it because of their love of the profession, but as this story from former NYC literature teachers John Owens demonstrates, they quickly lost the will after being ground underfoot by a Kafka-esque system that seems indentured more to stats and scores than actual learning. In this age where teachers, tenure, and unions have become such easy targets for politicos looking to score quick and easy points, this makes for a sobering read.

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