10 August 2009

Your New Teacher Is...

Why does it have to be a mystery? This article states the obvious, that the school wants you, dear parent, to have as little input as possible in the selection of your child's teacher. The administration will not let you know who will teach your child for the next nine months until the week before school.

Do you ever get the feeling they're trying to pass off shoddy goods on the least squeaky wheel sometimes?

Oh, but see, unlike in other professions, teachers can never be unfit for their positions. I know this is something like my third pasted "comment" in a week, but this one was just too fun to pass up:

"...We see people everyday try to tell schools and teachers how to do their jobs. You don’t tell doctors, lawyers, car mechanics, judges, politicians, street sweepers, hamburger flippers, etc. how to do their jobs. Do you cashier shop at when you go to Target? Or do you just get what appears to be the shortest line? Do you mechanic shop when you take your car to the Ford dealership for maintanance? Or do you just give the service manager the keys to the car and let them handle their business?"

"Please 'moms', cut out the foolishness over what class your child is assigned. I, an insider in the system, am telling you that these people are BASICALLY THE SAME. There is no difference between Ms. Simpson, Ms. Harper, Ms. Zimkowski, Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Elliot, or Mrs. Brown. They are all the same."

OOooooo, goody, insider opinion! I feel almost like an insider myself, reading over precious secret information not meant for laypeople's eyes. All teachers are basically the same. So, like, if your teenage son got "Mrs. Mary Letourneau" for a teacher this year instead of "Mr. Jacob Smith," that there would be absolutely no difference. Wow! I didn't know that. How stupid of me to think that!

Ok, cheap shot. Most teachers aren't molesters, and most homeschool moms don't live in urine-drenched hovels, ok? But equating moms who complain about their kid getting Mrs. James instead of Mr. Jones with crazy people who inspect cashier credentials at Target is a bit... strange. If I were a compliant sort in Target, the worst thing I'd get is a bit of poor service. Sort of a different thing altogether if I feel the teacher isn't a good fit for my child.

And yeah, when I take my car to a Ford dealership, I AM mechanic-shopping. I take my car there when it needs special Ford work as opposed to the generic change the oil and filter and get me out in seven minutes-type place. And I pay the difference.

And we don't tell politicians how to do their jobs???! What planet is this lady from?

Come on. This doesn't have to be a "personal" thing. It doesn't even have to be a "professional" thing. Some types of children do better with some types of teachers. I think we all know they spread the difficult kids around to the various teachers in any given grade. But if YOUR kid were one of the tough ones to teach, would you want him in Mrs. Patient or Mrs. Grumpy, One Year From Retirement's class? I thought so. It doesn't mean that Mrs. Grumpy isn't a great teacher. Just not for your kid. Patrick actually does better with the Mrs. Grumpy types, if they are strict rule enforcers that don't deal with girly gossip. Elf? Sometimes he needs a minute to "transition" from one activity to another, and Mrs. Grumpy doesn't bend very well on that.

That being said, are some parents picky? Yep. Are some parents overly picky? Yep. I mean, I've been on line behind some insanely picky people at various Customer Service departments. There is just no pleasing some people, and in fairness, it isn't as though the public schools can weed out the riff-raff. It would be nice if a reasonable approach would be taken sometimes, though. I really couldn't see myself complaining about a teacher unless I foresaw some obvious discord. And you know, while there IS something to be said from learning from people who are not like ourselves, there are limits to that. I know plenty of people who have looked for new jobs because they couldn't stand a coworker. But we expect students to do something we can't?

I think we do, sometimes.

8 comments:

  1. Um, confession time. I do *chasier shop*. I know some cashiers are faster & more efficient at their jobs. I know some will give me our family discount & others have no idea who I am & others just can't be bothered.

    Ditto teachers. Several of mine got teachers who couldn't stand them. Might have had something to do with the dead snakes they were fond of bringing in for show & tell. Whatever. I've sat in enough classrooms to know there's a huge difference in the way teachers teach. Some are just waaay more efficient at their jobs than others. To imply anything else is a downright lie. I really hate being lied to. It brings out the conspiracy theory in me because then I start thinking they're all out to get me. Trust no~one. If it moves shoot it with your water pistol.

    Some people are nongs. What planet does this person live on again?

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  2. That comment was so funny. I'm like Ganeida--I cashier shop too. I go to the friendly one who always dotes on the kids instead of staring at us with a weird look on her face--dying to ask why my kids are brown. That commenter was not being truthful about anything, because she obviously likes to tell people what to do. Very, very funny! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Um, I shopped several doctors to find mine. And while I don't tell my doctor what to do, I make lots of well-researched suggestions. (And sometimes just tell her what to do). Why? Because while I adore and trust my doctor, I know that (1) I know my body well and (2) she does not have the time to read every single study. Kinda like kids - parents probably know their children better than anyone else.

    I imagine a teacher would actually be insulted by someone saying that they are all "basically the same." Even if they have to stick to a mandated curriculum, teachers are not drones; each has his own style. Parents tend to know what style works with their kids and what does not.

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  4. I guess they figure they can get away with it since there is only one area in life where they think choice ought to rule . . .

    I hate poor analogies . . . even in a small, rural town, when I open the phonebook, I have a choice of where I shop, which doctor or dentist I see, and which mechanic we use. Not only that, while in said store, if cashier A gave me lousy service, you can bet I will get in a different line the next time.

    I guess the writer is suffering from a case of "group think."

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  5. Ganeida, our friends who are fond of conspiracy theories out here use real guns. Um, you stay home. :P LOL

    Bonnie, I'm rude like that, actually. Most of the time people love telling their stories. Yep, I even asked a single woman with her Chinese-heritage daughters if she would go back and get some more kids soon. She was such an awesome mom. Anyway, I think adoption is kewl, but obviously the "look" you were talking about wasn't an excited for ya adopting look. Like Ganeida said, people are such nongs sometimes! Or other times they're just plain nosy like me. :p

    Allison, I think that is just the right balance. Unfortunately, not all of us can advocate for ourselves or have read the latest studies, either.

    Tammy, not only that, but you could complain about cashier A and if enough complaints are received, something will actually be done. Teacher A is in a union, so it probably is likely the commenter really is suffering from "group think."

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  6. It is appalling (sp?) how many people send their kids off to ps with no clue who is teaching them or what they're learning.
    Thank you God for the vision to homeschool. :)

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  7. Basically the same? I've worked too hard over the years to NOT be the same as other teachers. I've searched out teaching methods that really work for kids. Maybe I'm becoming full of myself, but if some parent brings their child to my class thinking I'm basically the same as other teachers, I will do my best to demonstrate that what I do is better than what the other teachers do.

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  8. Dusti, I know I used to not really give it much thought. Most of the teachers in the younger grades seem to keep *those* (you know) opinions to themselves. In the upper grades? I'm amazed that these are the same parents that didn't let little Joey play with toy guns... and they're letting him wear WHAT??! And listen to WHAT??!

    It isn't just school. Actually, Patrick and G are in 10th and 9th grade and have opted to stay in public school with their father's blessings. I just pray protection over my children, but more than that, I know that we can come up with so many influences that are not of God. I'm so glad that homeschooling IS an option (should my husband D wish it) if things get too out of hand. *Right now,* we see way more good teachers than crummy ones, and the older children at least are of an age that they can not be too heavily influenced unless they want to be.

    (So hard as they grow to strike that balance of protection/launching into the world, isn't it?)

    Harry, I hadn't thought of it as INSULTING, though of course now that you mention it, I sure see it! I had simply looked at it as, this is probably some union teacher lady who wants to justify the "don't ask questions, and shut up and volunteer, parents!" mentality that too often I see when it gets right down to it in the younger grades.

    Older grades? They're just happy to see a parent sometimes. (How sad.)

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)