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This question was posed on Facebook by one of my favorite professors from my college days.  It’s jarring, and it demands an answer.

My answer: I don’t know.

But I will try to figure it out below the squiggle thingy...

It makes no sense to me that the people who have been entrusted with the intellectual and social development of our children are so wantonly demonized.  The only reasons I can imagine is that either many people have carried their disdain for teachers all the way from their school days to adulthood, which seems rather childish and ignorant, or some staggeringly erroneous myths have been perpetuated to the extent that they are accepted without question.

Let me be clear about one thing – teaching is HARD.  Now, I’m not implying that it requires the physical strength of crab fishing or the careful dexterity of neurosurgery.  But, it does require a breadth of knowledge and constant dedication to one thing – teaching students.  And not just any students. Students who sometimes come to school hungry, or without warm clothing, or students who go home to a family dynamic more terrifying and spirit-crushing than you can imagine.  Or students who have anger management issues, or learning disabilities, or physical challenges.  And there are 25-30 per class: all different abilities and personalities and attitudes.  A teacher is required to be an expert in everything they teach, a motivator to every student they teach, a mediator, and a social worker – at the very least.

They face a public that views them as leeches on the taxpayers.  Is any other occupation so universally demonized?  (Maybe politicians and lawyers, but they get paid WAY more than teachers – and have much better benefits)

They face school boards, administrators and politicians who are determined to evaluate their effectiveness through a standardized test of their students, as if teaching a child is the same as producing a widget on a production line.

Are there poor teachers?  Yes, there are.  How do I know?  Because I was one of them.
I taught for 3 years until realizing that I was not serving students well enough to continue.

A poor teacher does not have the dedication and drive to provide what is best for their students.  They lack the organization necessary to juggle the long hours they must spend preparing for their students and the demands and desires of their personal lives.  A poor teacher refuses to sacrifice their free time unless absolutely necessary.  A poor teacher does not engage in professional development outside of what is required by the school district. (Actually, I really liked professional development – I was a bad teacher, but I loved learning)

How many teachers fit that description?  In my experience in teaching, I can count the number of teachers that fit that description on one hand, and that’s counting me.  When I think back to my 13 years in kindergarten through high school, I know of exactly two teachers that I had that I would consider poor teachers. I had only one professor in college that I would consider a poor teacher.    And I don’t believe I was just lucky enough to get all the good ones – I think that is a pretty accurate percentage.

I have never, in 40 years of life, ever heard of anyone becoming a teacher because it guaranteed job security or because it offered good benefits or because you got summers off (I still haven’t met a teacher who had a free summer or break with nothing to do).  I can’t speak for anyone else, but I went into teaching because I loved the subject I taught.  Others I know have gone into teaching because they genuinely LOVED the act of teaching, of seeing that moment when a kid “gets it”.  I have to admit, that is a real rush and a hugely rewarding experience.  Others really love kids and relish the opportunity to help them grow.  And the work that it takes to be a good teacher takes ALOT of time.  I have much more free time now than I ever had as a teacher, including summers.  I almost never take my work home with me now.

But, to hear the loud group of people who appear to hate teachers, you would never guess that 95% of teachers are good teachers.  No, they insist on focusing on the 5% like me, who lacked the drive and dedication to be one of the 95%.   What other occupation is judged based on its bottom 5%?

Ah, they say, but teachers are overcompensated for what they do!  Really?  How much do you pay a babysitter to watch your kids while you go out? $3 an hour maybe?  And that’s usually a high school kid with little or no training.  With no intention on devaluing or demeaning teaching, let’s  say we pay teachers the going rate for babysitting.  $3 an hour times 25 kids (Many teachers would be overjoyed to have only have 25 kids in their classroom!) is $75 per hour.  Multiply that by six class hours per day for $450.  Multiply that by 180 days per year (the minimum mandated in most states) and that brings our total to $81,000.   So, teachers should be making a MINIMUM of $81,000 (I mean, teachers are at least worth the same amount as a high school babysitter, right?  Right?), but yet we hear people bemoan the fact that teachers make an AVERAGE of $51,000.

So, why the hate?  Because politicians and those who hate public education have become expert at playing working class citizens against each other.  They bemoan the fact that we are spending money to play those charged with educating our children, but meanwhile refuse to repeal tax breaks for corporations that don’t pay their fair share of taxes (GE?  Hello?) and continue to spend record amounts for defense, a portion of the budget so filled with pork that it is hard to determine where the contractors end and the government begins.  They point out falling test scores (is there a less valid measurement of teacher effectiveness than a standardized test?) as a failure of teachers, but do nothing when bailout funds are funneled to the very CEOs who ran our economy into the ground.  They demand accountability from teachers, but fill their cabinets and advisory teams with businessmen whose primary accomplishment is avoiding taxes (GE again!!).

Yes, that teacher who taught you the importance of playing nice, who showed you that its easier to add 2 plus 2 than count out four individual things, who helped you realize your potential or at least showed you a way to get there, who opened your world to different perspectives, who showed you why thinking is as important as knowing… yes, that person was a real jerk, huh?

Why does America hate teachers?  Because “Americans” (the group – not individuals, who are generally good people) revere ignorance and convenience and hate is a stupid and easy emotion.

Originally posted to bgm1969 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:14 AM PST.

Also republished by Teachers Lounge and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

    •  No, it's older than that, (61+ / 0-)

      although union-breaking is now a fixed and major component in the mix.

      Some reasons why Americans hate teachers, in no particular order:

      1. It's a feminine-identified profession, suitable for spinsters and housewives who don't really need to be paid money.  And let's not get started on the guys who teach.

      2. Teachers challenge parental authority by teaching ideas that parents don't always like.

      3. Teachers fail to compensate for the inadequacies of parenting, social disadvantage, poverty, etc. It's always the teacher's fault when a kid who grew up in a broken and/or abusive home (and who depends on the school for the best or even only meals of the week -- and considering the typical quality of school lunch programs nationwide, isn't that devastating in itself?) doesn't become an All-American Boy with a B+ average.  (Never an A average, of course; there's something wrong with boys like that -- they may be the kind who grow up to be teachers, dontcha know.)

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 11:50:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's also imo because parenting is really hard (20+ / 0-)

        (especially in our culture) and often doesn't work out the way we want, and we want to blame someone for this.  

        The teachers get the blame for the effects of TV, device-addiction, overworked parents, single-parent families, poverty, general hopelessness, etc.

        •  Parenting is harder today than when I grew up. (14+ / 0-)

          Neither parents nor teachers are supported in their efforts.  Teachers are being asked to compensate for the problems that have been created by our economic decisions in the last 30 years.  

          Our better schools are not really public schools, they are private-public hybrids supported through private fund raising by the wealthy parents.   The schools that do not have these advantages struggle to provide their students with the same quality of education.  Teachers have to pick up the slack by purchasing their own supplies, something that NEVER used to happen.  I showed up to school with whatever my parents could afford, there were no supply lists to be purchased, most of what I needed was supplied to me in class.  

          The effects of income inequality has been showing in our schools for some time.  We blame teachers but they are only dealing with the effects of our decisions .....they are at the bleeding edge of the problem...they did not cause it, they just identified it and everyone involved is trying to blame them for it.

        •  What? (0+ / 0-)

          Parenting is not harder than previously, it's always been hard.  The issue is we are entering into maybe our third generation of parents that find it far more important to be their kids' friend and boost their self esteem than it is to raise a mature, thoughtful and responsible adult.  No teacher can make up for that...

          •  Parenting has never been easy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dfsly, hooper

            but when all the adults have to work, and all the work is tenuous and stressful and poorly paid, and so many kids are growing up without the traditional anchors of extended family in the neighborhood, and when clothing and gadgets must be provided regardless of cost because children without the gear get tormented, and, and, and...

            I taught through the three generations you mention. Most parents were more likely to be at their wits' end from stress than what you describe.  

            •  And furthermore (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hooper

              While I do think the mentality of parents in terms of the value placed on education / and the parent/child dynamic are relevant and important factors that help explain the poor performance at our schools

              I think its naive to discount environmental issues that have changed which make academic success and parenting much more difficult. As foothills mentions the work schedule of adults is much different and demanding than in the past, but issues such as access to fruits/vegetables / sufficient nutrition play a major (and under appreciated role) in academic success, and are also factors that "no teacher can make up for"

      •  nothing makes me madder (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tcorse, wintergreen8694

        than when the hate directed toward teachers is deflected and aimed at parents.  There is good and bad on both sides of this fence.

        The schools have many problems and the teachers are under all sorts of undeserved pressure.  Blaming parents won't solve the problems.  

      •  this this and this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 07:17:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Americans like to think.... (10+ / 0-)

        ....that no one is the boss of them. But in the present economic and social climate, any real rebellion can have drastic negative consequences. So they turn around and kick those who have a shadow of authority, but cannot fight back effectively.

        "They bash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago volume 3)

        by sagesource on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:18:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  also (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AdamSelene, aurora in canada, raboof

        in our typically undemocratic models of schools (unlike democratic schools like Sudbury Valley), teachers are set up by the system to be in the position of controlling children's lives much like an authoritarian-style parent in a home.  How many people rebel against such parenting?  Pretty much most people.  So there is a natural rebellion against teachers and the "system" exerting so much control over children's lives.  And like you said, school often exerts it sometimes in a way that challenges authoritarian-style parents that have different ideas about how they want to control their kids.  The ones that howl the loudest about the schools undermining their ideas are the ones that cling to the notion that they can control their children's minds by their own authoritarian methods of parenting.  

        So I think a lot of it is about control.  And more democracy within schools ( I know you can't replicate Sudbury, but you could move in that direction) would alleviate some of the resentment.  I think at places like Sudbury, the school is very much valued because diverse opinions and ideas are not just tolerated but encouraged to be expressed and debated and everyone is invested in determining how the school is run.

    •  Unions and Privitization (28+ / 0-)

      I agree that it's about breaking unions, but the hatred propagandized against teachers since Reagan  is even more aimed at public schools as an institution. The teachers, then, as the core of any teaching institution, constitute a "regrettable and unavoidable" (/snark) collateral damage.

      When the public schools are destroyed, the propaganda will finally ease off, I figure.  

      After all, polls after polls show that people generally like the local school and the local teachers whom they actually know. It's mainly the abstraction of teachers in general that people may not like.

      None of this makes a bit of difference if they don't count your vote.

      by Toddlerbob on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 06:59:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, the hatred directed at teachers is (7+ / 0-)

        ultimately about destroying the institution of public education.

        It has been under way since Reagan -- since Reagan was elected governor of California almost fifty years ago.

        In part, it's a reaction against the student rebellion of the '60s -- a rebellion that's been blamed on teachers, on the provision (in California, at any rate) of an essentially free and universal public education through college, and on the act of broadly educating students itself.

        Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

        by felix19 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:53:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I see three reasons for the teacher-bashing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Al Fondy, Staceyjo

        1) Resentment by parents who didn't do so well in school themselves.
        2) Teaching is a more feminized profession than it used to be-- so it commands less status and respect.
        3) Elites are salivating at the prospect of making big bucks by peddling an "alternative" to public education.

        •  Actually, it's a LESS feminized profession (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Foothills of Oblivion

          than it was when my grandmother taught in the Chicago Public Schools from about 1915-1960. MUCH less. And Rahm Emanuel just closed the school where she taught because it's filled with Hispanic kids and they don't count apparently.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

          by anastasia p on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:24:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Add Lawsuits against Schools & School Boards and (0+ / 0-)

          ...of course, union-bashing by the RWNJ media.  

          To expound upon the lawsuits aspect, let me first admit that I am 57 years old and a product of public schools.  I hate to use such a cliche, but "back when I was in school," my parents trusted all of my teachers.  It was understood that if I or my siblings misbehaved at school then our parents would approve of, and take further, the disciplinary actions meted out at school.  

          Slowly but surely, as one lawsuit became ten and then became a torrent, our public schools changed.  One lecture I heard on the subject blamed the tendency of School Board attorneys to settle rather than fight the lawsuits over disciplinary actions.  Every lawsuit added new rules for teachers and principals, resulting over time in their authority becoming formally diminished.  I have several friends who are teachers, and here in Florida I don't know of a single public school that allows a teacher to touch a student.  And you can forget about the paddling that was part of my school experience.  

          I have a dear friend, a band teacher, who was suspended (without pay) for two weeks for intervening in a student attack.  This was ten years ago.  He believes he prevented serious injury, but he broke the rule against touching a student when he pulled a big kid off of a smaller kid and restrained the larger student.  The big kid was pounding the smaller kid with a trombone.  My friend has a family to support, so he felt that he couldn't quit his job, but he became very disillusioned.    

          Here is a video of a recent incident in my town, where the teacher used her body as a human barricade between feuding girls until they went around her, and you will notice that the teacher gives up after the fight starts:
          http://www.tampabay.com/...

          The teacher had zero tools at her disposal to prevent the fight.  The other kids in her class were egging on the fighting students.  Finally at the end of the video, some of the kids pulled apart the two girls.  You couldn't pay me ANY amount of money to take on the job of this poor teacher.  I could relate more stories, but I'll stop with these two examples.

          I'm not an advocate of paddling, and I have helped my sister raise her two children, but I do believe that there are times when children have to learn to respect authority.  And authority has to find a way to teach respect.  But when parents don't respect the authority of teachers and principals, either by filing suits against schools or by expressing their contempt for the teaching profession, then children will not respect their teachers.    

          The RWNJ media's attacks on teachers only add fuel to the fire.  Oh, and one more thing: income inequality.  The rich don't bother with public schools any more, so many of them have no interest in saving our schools.  

    •  it's about taxes, too (0+ / 0-)

      Don't know how many times I have heard crap like "show me where in the constitution it says education is a right", or "why the hell should my taxes pay for some kid's breakfast", or "schools are socialist indoctrination centers", or "most of the problems with our schools would be solved if we just got rid of the illegals" or "there has to be more accountability in our public schools. The only way we'll identify the bad teachers is by metrics [i.e. more standardized testing]", or the classic "you can't fix the problems in our schools by throwing money at them"

      "Labor was the first price, the original purchase - money that was paid for all things" -- Adam Smith

      by HugoDog on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:11:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the comments about metrics. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HugoDog

        The public schools like every other institution in this country is for sale and every job from cashier to teacher to office worker is monitored to meet some kind of "metric."
         These metrics are often administered by some MBA who has no idea what teachers actually do and students and teachers alike are just "widgets" - people who someone can make a profit from.
        It's all about making a profit for someone or something, not educating students with great teachers.

        What do we want? Universal health care! When do we want it? Now!

        by cagernant on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:52:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Breaking unions is only part. Right wingers do (0+ / 0-)

      not want people exposed to good teachers, because they teach how to distinguish truth from lies, how to tell what a writer is trying to convince you of, how to use your intellect rather than be manipulated by emotion.  On the other hand, if you just are taught to pass multiple choice tests, you do not learn anything important - you do not learn anything that you cannot look up on wiki in 2 minutes.  
      Being educated is being able to evaluate information.

  •  In thirty-two years as a professional educator (44+ / 0-)

    I have taught everything from first-grade to graduate school.  First, let me say thank you.  I think you are about right about the percentages, and our focus on the bottom 5%.  The other annoying thing is the time I spend dealing with petty policies and procedures that are designed to fix that bottom 5%.

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

    by illinifan17 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:26:16 AM PST

  •  Public Education is a sector to exploit (51+ / 0-)

    The War against Public School Teachers is being done because public education is a sector where a lot more private profits can be extracted.
       Privatize Everything!

     It's not personal. The personal attacks are simply a marketing strategy.
       the same people demonizing public teachers today are more than willing to rehire them in the private sector at vastyly reduced wages and benefits.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:50:03 AM PST

  •  You left out the Right's hatred for facts (50+ / 0-)

    and critical thinking. Teachers teach biological evolution, the chemistry and physics that explain Global Warming, health (including sex education), and sometimes even civics, which explains how laws and governments are really supposed to work. Some civics teachers and textbooks go so far as to explain how they really work, or fail to do so, and what you can do about that.

    This is from my collection of quotes about education in support of the One Laptop Per Child program.

    John Alexander Smith (1863–1939)

        Gentlemen, you are now about to embark on a course of studies which will occupy you for two years. Together, they form a noble adventure. But I would like to remind you of an important point. Nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you in after life, save only this, that if you work hard and intelligently you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot, and that, in my view, is the main, if not the sole, purpose of education.

        Smith was Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford University.
        Statement recorded in 1914.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 11:04:38 AM PST

  •  all kids need to know is the Bible & marksmanship (12+ / 0-)

    That or "hustle".

    Union-busting and opening up markets for private sector "education solutions" is what motivates the leaders and funders of the movement, but the rank and file have very different motivations.

    For them, antipathy towards teachers (and public education in general) boils down to two general beliefs.
      1) the public education system is not reinforcing their own identity and value system: lack of explicit religiosity and/or old-fashioned patriotism, "diversity" anything, feminism for girls and Ritalin for boys, etc.
      2) the public education system is not able to instill what they believe is the true key to success - not mere facts and figures, but nebulous complexes of personality traits that require either a much more rigorous or much more free-wheeling environment than "one size fits the dumbest" can provide.

    Both have a heavy dose of conspiracy theory behind them, in that it's easy for these folks to believe that the whole point of public education is to produce hordes of low-functioning and self-hating drones who will eagerly sign up for the liberal agenda.

    Specific to anti-teacher sentiment, it's perfectly logical to them to blame the teachers for what their children are learning or not learning in that the believe the teachers are ultimately responsible for it, especially when they believe all other Department of Education employees are just typical fungible bureaucrats who owe their employment to affirmative action or "big government".

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 11:06:37 AM PST

    •  Opposition to teaching (19+ / 0-)

      This is really opposition to public education, especially secular public education.

      Back in the 1980s, the Wall Street Journal ran an article about illiterate executives in the business world.  I kid you not.  Even the reporter writing the story didn't believe it until he researched it.  (Had the been the Fox News Journal, I'm sure the article would have been suppressed.)

      It was somewhat anecdotal, but there were people who believed that a senior manager could function without being able to read, and at least a few such people existed in the private sector -- and that they and their enablers thought this was appropriate.  Unsaid was the belief was that basic intellectual skills were not a pre-requisite for management level work.  So much for that MBA.  Understand that this view, probably that of a relative small group of people in 1984, is now commonplace in conservative circles.  (Thus the emerging conservative meme that inequality is caused by discrimination against uneducated white men.)

      Obviously, if you adhere to this ideology, you're going to be loathe to say nice things about teachers, let alone be willing to pay them a living wage.

      •  the "leadership" myth (10+ / 0-)

        That being a strong and effective leader - and more broadly being "successful" - is not about knowledge, but rather is about personality: some ineffable quality that makes some people sharper and bolder than others and makes those others want to follow them.  Expertise and procedure wearing deep grooves in people's brains (and hearts) versus sheer aggression guided by keen social instincts; books and tests versus sports and parties.

        It fits neatly with the converse: that you can teach some people (mostly minorities) until you're blue in the face, but they'll never amount to anything because they're either racially inferior and/or belong to a culture that systematically devalues education and "acting white" (i.e. self-control, strong work ethic, future time orientation, etc.) and defines 'success' almost exclusively in terms of athletic prowess and sex appeal.

        Some conservatives with intellectual pretensions really do have a problem with the "fact" that "Educated people are all liberals!" when in their minds the most able would be the most conservative, since conservatism is all about creating opportunity and rewarding accomplishment blah blah blah.  Setting the whole "liberal brainwashing" theory aside, they conclude that it's not enough to simply fill people's heads Taylorist style, and that formal education instead only really teaches people to follow rules and orders and perform to obtain a reward from on high.  Thus the people who flourish in the classroom are going to seek (and impose wherever they can) that same dynamic so they can flourish everywhere else, while those who flourish on the playground and in the lunchroom are going to want and benefit from a very different environment.

        Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

        by Visceral on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:50:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The converse is true (0+ / 0-)

          "Success" tends to correlate to doing slightly better, statistically, over time, than the runner up.

          The best example comes from sports.  A baseball player who hits .225 is medicore.  A .260 hitter is about average.  A .300 hitter is considered one of the batting stars.  So the ability to get on base 1 time in 3 adds hugely to a hitter's value relative to one who gets on base 1 time in 4.  (And, ignoring steroids, it takes a huge amount of skill and hard work to close that gap.

          And being well educated (as opposed to being stuffed with factoids to make you a better corporate drone) tends to provide that 0.075 advantage.

          One of the problems is that risk-based rewards (e.g., cashing out the successful business you started) are being supplanted by random-luck rewards on a "heads I win, tails you lose" basis.  Hedge fund managers get to keep 40% of the gains when they win (the rest goes to fund investors) but the fund investors bear the loss when they lose.  It's even more pronounced for CEOs.  Most conservatives neither accept nor understand financial models of risk, even though they explain reality fairly well.  This is because conservatives consider investment outcomes to be morality plays (e.g., "he worked harder, he is more devout/stable" and so on) and that they are basically deterministic.  They are replacing an economic model (financial and/or business risk being rewarded) with a cultural model.  They are also eliminating the value of concrete skills (a determinant of successful outcomes in the real world) with "soft" skills driven by the same sorts of cultural conservatism.

  •  why? because 1200 radio stations have been attacki (22+ / 0-)

    ng them, unions, public education, and all efforts to fund it for 25 years at the behest of ALEC and the other forces of privatization.

    and it only worked because the left gives those stations a free speech free ride.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 11:16:32 AM PST

  •  America hates teachers because.... (47+ / 0-)

    1) They belong to a union and America hates unions.

    2) They get paid out of tax money and America hates taxes.

    3) They tend to skew more liberal than America and America hates liberals.

    4) They teach the value of living in a fact-based world and in the value of critical thinking and America hates people who think for themselves and demand facts to back up assertions.

    5) Some Americans don't have children in schools and America hates paying for things America doesn't benefit directly from.

    6) They sometimes teach things America doesn't agree with and America hates it when people say things America doesn't agree with.

    7) America thinks education is job training and America hates anything that takes away from children becoming compliant workers.

    And that's why "America" hates teachers.

  •  because each of us had a teacher that (8+ / 0-)

    disciplined us.
    So while we had many good and some so so teachers. Most of us as a group of children didn't like "the teacher".  She may have even been sweet and pretty.  But sooner or later you get a jerk or some one whom you think is a jerk and you remember that vividly.
    Teachers are the first judges, family spies, tattle tailers, and just generally get you in trouble with Mom and Dad.  

    •  Yes, exactly. (6+ / 0-)

      A person could have 99 good teachers and one mean one, and guess what? They are going to have nightmares for years about that one nasty teacher and forget all the rest of them. We tend as human beings to remember the outliers, and most everyone had at least one bad teacher. So we don't like 'em. It's not about unions, kids don't even understand the concept of unions. It's about (for me) 5th grade teacher Mr. Simon (that fucking asshole).

  •  Part of it is the lack of wage growth ... (15+ / 0-)

    since the 70s. Because they are organized teachers now make better money compared to when I was a child. Not great but they haven't been screwed as badly as the average working person. Given the constant propaganda against them, the failure of others'wages to keep up and the human tendency to jealousy and envy,they don't get much of a break.  

  •  It's FOX and other propaganda that makes (18+ / 0-)

    people resent the taxes they pay going to teacher pay. I talked to a man who was doing a repair for us and he credited a teacher he'd had who made sure he and his fellow students did their work and behaved themselves. It was apparently a fond memory that he saw as part of his formative years. Later he excoriated teachers for essentially being leaches who were undeservedly sucking up his tax dollars.

    Propaganda so confuses people that they can have concrete memories that refute the BS pushed by propagandists and not be aware that there is a conflict. Joseph Goebbels and others knew the power and propaganda and that ugly tradition continues today.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 11:36:03 AM PST

  •  You make some excellent points (10+ / 0-)

    Carried-over hostility from childhood, conscious or unconscious

    While we can call this childish or ignorant, at the same time, there are some adults who have genuinely bad memories of being shamed by certain teachers or in certain school situations. Some remember being made to feel incredibly frustrated, stupid or even valueless.

    Not many teachers would create such a situation on purpose. I think this tends to be more often the fault of the overall education system than individual teachers. It does happen, though, occasionally even with malice.

    One teacher who enjoys power a little too much can poison a year of school for thousands of pupils over a career of teaching.

    Even without malice, if these experiences are routine in a school or district, some people are left with a legacy of toxic shame and inferiority feelings that can last a lifetime. I think that's where the reverse-snobbery originally comes from, on the part of the proudly ignorant.

    Also, I understand teaching today is much more professionalized, but in my day, not that long ago, there were still teachers in our system who were relatively underprivileged and ignorant themselves, and who got (and stayed) where they were by patronage. It is pretty frustrating to have a junior high English teacher who knows less than you do about literature, writing and even the fine points of grammar.

    Having undegone a fair amount of both shaming and less-than-competent instruction by age 16, I might be pretty sour on teachers myself, had I not luckily been exposed to a series of brilliant and caring teachers at the high school level. I certainly did my share of fantasizing about payback in the earlier days.

    So I think those negative sorts of experiences probably contribute to a subconscious feeling in a fair number of adults that they don't much mind the spectacle of teachers being made to suffer in some way.

    That has always been the case since the beginning of pedagogy, however. As far as political climate, I think it's all about the Right's long-term, in-depth plan to get rid of ALL labor unions. In this effort, ALEC etc. can and will appeal to any motivation, conscious or subconscious, that they get can their hands on.

    Childhood frustration is just one, of course.

    Christie shaking his finger at a teacher?  How many times did a teacher shake her finger at you, and now thanks to Christie, you are seeing her paid back in kind! Great guy, Christie! He's a bully, sure, but he's OUR bully. (That is how the subconscious works.)

    If I were public relations counsel to a group of teachers, I would be wanting to do everything possible to put a competent, caring human face on the teaching profession at every opportunity.

    As just one example, grab any chance to get in-depth, personally-oriented stories out there in every type of medium about the outstanding (and even just good!) teachers in each community. Not overtly political. Not about unions. About individual teachers personally, in a way that shows examples of their  professionalism, competence and caring. That just one example of a thing to do. Every newshook shold be used to get that message out--not with rhetoric but with examples. Are teachers buying key school supplies out of their own money? How could that be doumented and outed without getting the individuals in trouble? Hey, this is the era of the Web! Are there anniversary dates in the history of education that could be highlighted and tied to today's teachers?  Etc. Etc.

    Specific political battles are important, of course, and a lot easier when there is already a ground work of basic understanding and good feelings in the community.

    BTW excuse any typos. I always did badly in Typing class.

  •  Republicans (8+ / 0-)

    That is it. Republicans don't like teachers. Of course they are following their stupid leaders.  All the posts pretty much nail it. I am just making a simple observation.

  •  I've given this question a lot of thought lately. (25+ / 0-)

    Being the spouse of a teacher who hasn't seen a raise in 5 years and whose responsibilities have increased along with class size as resources are cut, I've been able to observe the system from the outside while being simultaneously immersed.  And I have the answer to the question.

    The answer, in one word, is "Teachers."

    There was a time, back in the days of yore, when only certain jobs were widely available to women.  Seamstresses, secretaries, teachers.  Teaching was never recognized as a profession, but as a job women could take to supplement their husband's income and have the summer off to be home with school age children.  It didn't pay much.

    Unfortunately, I believe the stigma of teachers as glorified babysitters and second incomes persists even as schools and teaching methods have evolved tremendously.

    Nowadays, teachers typically must have college degrees and pass rigorous state certification requirements.  Their training includes real, scientific education about learing abilities, teaching methods, discipline, measurement systems, and much more.  The influx of a more heterogeneous student body including student abilities, cultural differences, larger class sizes, and discipline problems are a huge burden on lesson planning and execution.

    So my suggestion is to abandon the job title of "Teacher".  Teaching is only a part of what the job entails and requires.  Henceforth, I propose that the men and women who get the education, training, and certification for this difficult job be called what they are, "Professional Educators".

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 12:14:51 PM PST

  •  I don't think people "hate" teachers (21+ / 0-)

    But there's a long standing tradition of a  lack of respect for teaching.  

    Consider the old saying "those who can, do. Those who can't, teach". That's been around a long, long time.

    Then, a good long while ago teaching became a woman's job (previously it had been a man's job, because few women worked outside the home and education was mostly for boys anyhow).  Women's jobs were well known to require less skill, and had less monetary value.

    What has changed is the expectations placed on the education system, and teachers in particular. They are now supposed to counteract all sorts of social problems from poverty to drug abuse to domestic violence.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 12:15:01 PM PST

  •  40 years of propaganda from the... (13+ / 0-)

    ..right-wing media screech machine.

  •  Re (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Bacon, JesseCW, MGross
    I know of exactly two teachers that I had that I would consider poor teachers
    Let me be clear about one thing – teaching is HARD.
    If it's so hard, why are there zero bad teachers?

    Are all of them weeded out in school or something? What are the graduation rates for prospective teachers, anyway?

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:18:18 PM PST

    •  Note (0+ / 0-)

      This isn't an "anti-teacher" comment, just pointing out a contradiction.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:22:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I found it difficult to teach. (12+ / 0-)

        You are comparing two disparate comments.

        My experience with teachers I would call poor is personal experience.  2 out of 13.  Are there more?  Maybe.  Not in my personal experience.  

        I found teaching very difficult.  It looks easy from the outside, but when you are involved, you discover myriad complications that add difficulty to the task.  That is possibly true with any job, although I find the job I currently have to be exceedingly easy and stress free in comparison to teaching.

        •  It is much tougher than it used to be. 30 years (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dirtandiron, tubacat, JanL, mrkvica

          ago, most students showed up to learn and extreme behavioral problems were just not tolerated so you did not see them, students understood that teachers were to be respected, immigrant children spoke English(for the most part), parents supported teachers as did most of our society and then something changed.  

          •  The changes began in the late 1960's (0+ / 0-)

            in some schools.

            My grandmother taught home economics and art at the Junior High level in different schools in Indianapolis.  

            About 1969 she moved to a different school, and there, she started having issues in her classroom she had never seen before.

            Girls started physical fights with one another and cussed each other out in class and in the hallways.  Students cussing at teachers and administrators was common. Disrespect of authority on principal was common and close to normative at that school in certain swaths of the student body.  

            She retired at the end of the following year after that transfer.

      •  Your anti-public sector bias (12+ / 0-)

        is showing through loudly and clearly again, Sparhawk.

        This isn't an "anti-teacher" comment, just pointing out a perceived contradiction.
        ^ I corrected this for you.

        Had you not been so blinded by your own hatred of public sector workers, and as such, had such a clinical case of cognitive dissonance over your beliefs versus reality, you'd already know that your statement is patently false.

        It's a well-known fact that new teachers tend to wash out of the profession - rather often.  Also, contrary to popular right wing belief - beliefs that you, as a "liberal" subscribe to - plenty of teachers that say in the profession and make tenure still end up getting let go or quitting after making tenure.  You and I have had this conversation before.  Just because tenure gives them due process rights doesn't mean they have a job for life if they're total fuck-ups.  An arbitrator will fire them if management makes its case that a firing is warranted.

        Honestly, I can't for the life of me figure out why you're even here, because you certainly hold far more right leaning libertarian viewpoints than you do left leaning libertarian viewpoints.  TBQH, you'd be better off on a Paulite site...

        "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

        by Darth Stateworker on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 04:14:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sigh (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MGross

          You ascribe emotions when there are none. I don't "hate" anyone.

          I admit that comment came off more churlishly than I expected, my apologies to the diarist.

          Teaching is a difficult profession, but no more difficult than most other professional positions.

          I didn't talk about tenure, but if kids learn more material faster because of it, I support it. If they don't, I oppose it. No other professional in the private sector gets "due process" rights. Then again, "due process" is part of the compensation I guess.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:50:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your reputation preceeds you. (6+ / 0-)

            And within the circle of public employees and those that support public employees on DK, your reputation is well established.

            Perhaps you should remember that.

            I'm sure you feel in your mind you're just playing "devils advocate."  But you never come across that way to anyone but yourself and a handful of others - mainly, because just like a rightie - you see the facts or perceived "facts" you want to see and ignore anything that doesn't fit into your worldview - like you did above when you made the clearly sarcastic comment about "zero bad teachers."  And now to imply you weren't trying to make an implication about tenure, especially with your comment history?

            It's about as asinine as Christies "What? Me? I don't know and didn't do nothin'!" bridge closing spiel after building a reputation as a rude, micromanaging wiseass.

            /facepalm

            If you don't like the reputation you've earned - it's up to you to change it.

            "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

            by Darth Stateworker on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 06:02:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Depends on the subject matter (0+ / 0-)

              I am 100% behind public employees when it comes to not teaching creationism, good standards of education and evidence, etc.

              However, the lens through which I see all employment and benefit issues is "what happens in the private sector?" and I have extreme bias against giving public workers any better of a deal than their private counterparts get in most aspects of their employment.

              "Due process", pensions, seniority, protection from outsourcing or other competition, even unions themselves: nearly all private sector workers simply do not get such benefits, have no realistic method of acquiring them, yet pay the salaries of those who do.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 06:24:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The "I pay your salary" (11+ / 0-)

                strawman your entire routine relies on is weak.

                The "private sector" is not one big heterogeneous place where everyone gets this, that, and another thing.  As such, your argument falls on it's face - and you demonstrate, yet again, your contempt and disdain for public sector workers and selective use of "facts" - in this case, an enormous strawman.

                11% of the private sector workforce is still unionized nationwide, with individual states having unionization rates up to 25%.  The idea that "no one in the private sector" gets union protections that lead to due process being needed for disciplinary action or termination is patently false.  11% of the nations workforce still means millions of workers.

                Same deal with seniority - if you've got a union, you've got such a system, and even in some workplaces without unions, there is still a seniority system.  Strawman lit ablaze.

                Additionally, 15% - 20% of the nations private sector workforce (depending on who's study you read) still have defined benefit pensions.  Again, strawman busted.

                Your problem is your head is so far up your ass with the kind of resentment of public sector workers that you've been coaxed to regurgitate on cue by the anti-unionists you don't even begin to realize the entire reason why you're pissed off is based solely on fallacy.  If you'd pull your head out of your ass for a minute, you'd see that.

                I am certainly not averse to a meaningful, fact-based discussion about public sector compensation.  The problem is you're not equipped to have such a discussion due to your reliance on generalities and inarguable strawmen.  We've already done that exercise.  More than once.  And you've shown that even when it can be displayed that there is a huge disparity in the compensation of a particular public sector position versus a private sector counterpart in favor of the private sector, your response is merely to devolve the conversation and "bucketize" compensation just like any other rightwinger and revert to the usual strawmen, instead of acknowledging taxpayers are getting a deal on overall cost - which should be what any taxpayer is actually worried about - the bottom line cost, not what buckets fractions of that cost go into.

                So please, don't give me the tripe you "support" public sector workers, because you don't.  You're too busy being pissed off they were wise enough to keep their pensions instead of falling for the "you'll make even more with a 401k" crap that was bandied about in the 80's, and they were strong enough to keep their unions intact.  You seem to be forgetting it isn't that public sector workers got these things when others didn't - it's that others refused to fight to keep them - and ultimately, whos fault is that?  Try some of that libertarian personal responsibility on when it comes to that front, and use it again to start demanding the resurgence of unions and decent benefits packages instead of simply doing the idiotic bucket of crabs dance.

                "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                by Darth Stateworker on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 07:39:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  10-20%? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rhauenstein

                  Laughable and pathetic.

                  10-20% means 80-90% of the employers of public workers don't get those benefits. That makes them a special perk, not run of the mill benefits available to everyone. No reason to give special perks to public servants when most private employees don't get them.

                  And you've shown that even when it can be displayed that there is a huge disparity in the compensation of a particular public sector position versus a private sector counterpart in favor of the private sector, your response is merely to devolve the conversation and "bucketize" compensation just like any other
                  Uhh, ok. No clue what you mean here other than to ask how it is possible for there to be major compensation differences between the public and private sectors? If the private sector was a better deal people would just leave to go to it. The public sector would be forced to increase salaries to keep people.
                  So please, don't give me the tripe you "support" public sector workers, because you don't.  You're too busy being pissed off they were wise enough to keep their pensions instead of falling for the "you'll make even more with a 401k" crap that was bandied about in the 80's, and they were strong enough to keep their unions intact.  You seem to be forgetting it isn't that public sector workers got these things when others didn't - it's that others refused to fight to keep them - and ultimately, whos fault is that?
                  No one cares whose fault it is. Municipalities will go bankrupt (and are) and discharge these obligations, or people will just move somewhere where there are no legacy obligations (like they did in Detroit) and leave "strong" public unions to figure out how to pick up the pieces themselves.

                  Talk about people having a superiority complex. Why do you think public workers "succeeded" when private workers failed? You're better people? Morally superior? Somehow more able to fight?

                  No, it's simple regulatory capture. Private workers cannot similarly capture their employers.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:01:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You Have One Cow; Your Neighbor Has Two (8+ / 0-)

                    Some people respond by trying to figure out how to get a second cow for themselves (everybody else on this subthread); some people respons by trying to figure out how to kill one of the neighbor's cows (you).

                    On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

                    by stevemb on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:38:23 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Hey douchebag (0+ / 0-)

                    Try actually reading what I wrote:

                    Additionally, 15% - 20% of the nations private sector workforce (depending on who's study you read) still have defined benefit pensions.  Again, strawman busted.
                    Apparently,  we've found another area where you're a bit inept: reading comprehension.

                    /facepalm

                    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                    by Darth Stateworker on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:24:37 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I failed to address your other points (0+ / 0-)

                    other than your misinterpreted pension comment.  Let's take care of that now.

                    Uhh, ok. No clue what you mean here other than to ask how it is possible for there to be major compensation differences between the public and private sectors? If the private sector was a better deal people would just leave to go to it. The public sector would be forced to increase salaries to keep people.
                    We've had this conversation on previous diaries, where I have gone through specific examples.  You, on the other hand, keep relying on the "every public sector worker" strawman versus "every private sector worker" strawman to make your point.  Again - benefits and pay in neither sector are homogenous.  Even at a penetration rate of 15% in the private sector, that still means millions of private sector workers still have pensions.  So the idea that "nobody else other than public sector workers" gets them is patently false.  

                    If you think the equation is just as simple as "if you don't like the pay, find another job", you're extremely naive and unrealistic.  Yes, a computer programmer that could make $40k more a year jumping ship from the public sector to the private sector could do that - at the expense of future security.  However, not everyones priorities are "give me as much now as I can possible get."  Some value the retirement security as a benefit more than the extra salary.  But just because they value it more doesn't mean their employer can just fuck them completely on salary.

                    Additionally, the further one gets into their career in a job with a pension, the more difficult it is to leave, because you've based your retirement on the idea you will have a pension, and as such, you basically have to start from zero - and a person at 45 - 50 years old with 20 years on the job, certainly can't just jump ship and start a new 401k from scratch.  For such people, pensions act as golden handcuffs, not golden parachutes.  The fact that such workers are essentially "stuck" completely removes the supply and demand equation you think should be involved.  It is no where near as simple as your mind thinks it is.

                    No one cares whose fault it is.
                    Yes, they sure do.  The problem isn't that people don't care who's fault it is.  It is that they don't want to pay to fix the mistakes of the people they elected, because essentially, the fault lies with themselves for electing dipshits that shirked their fiduciary duties and shorted pension payments for years.
                    Talk about people having a superiority complex. Why do you think public workers "succeeded" when private workers failed? You're better people? Morally superior? Somehow more able to fight?
                    Pointing out that public sector workers weren't duped by the shiney bauble of "you could have even MORE in retirement if you have a 401k account" that 401ks were sold with in the 80's and 90's is somehow a "superiority complex?"  No.  It's simple reality.  One group of workers was wiser than the other - generally those that had unions - because of those that still have pensions and such in the private sector, the common thread is still... unions.  
                    No, it's simple regulatory capture. Private workers cannot similarly capture their employers.
                    Nonsense.  There are plenty of private sector jobs where employers could be just as captured if employees decided to withhold their labor.  Do you think a power plant is going to up and move?  Shit, even fast food joints - if they want to do business in an area, and there is labor solidarity on wages, they either have to pay the wage or not do business there - and let me tell you a thing about capitalism - if there's money to be made, they want to make it, so they'll find a way to make it work there - labor costs, taxes, whatever notwithstanding.  The entire idea that labor costs or taxes or whatever end up discouraging business is turned upside down simply by looking at Manhattan.  It should be a fucking ghost town - and should have been one many decades ago -  if those theories held true.  Labor costs, taxes, et al - are generally a nuisance, not a deterrent.  Though capital sure likes to spend money like crazy on lobbyists and such arguing that those costs are deterrents - and the ignorant quickly eat up such nonsense.

                    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                    by Darth Stateworker on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:54:46 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Right-Wing Propaganda Seeps In Even Here (3+ / 0-)

                Extend Those Claws! Don't Let Any Other Crabs Out Of The Bucket!!

                On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

                by stevemb on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:33:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Did you have the same problem in the late 80's and (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                terrybuck, Darth Stateworker, mrkvica

                90's when the private sector far outpaced the public sector in wages and bonuses, but the public sector was limited to 1 0r 2% salary increases over multi-year contracts?  Yes, teachers and public sector employees traded salary increases for health and pension benefits then while private sector employees were purchasing second homes.  

                Now that times are a little tougher, some people want to ignore the history of how those pensions and benefits came about and renege on the promises that were made during those peak years.  

                Those promises could still be met if state and local governments were not making massive tax cuts for wealthy corporations and Republican campaign contributors.  

                And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

                by MrJersey on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:32:22 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Who cares what happened in the 80s (0+ / 0-)

                  I was 1-10 years old.

                  What I want today is the best public service at the most cost-effective price, so I want salaries and benefits in totality to roughly approximate the private sector for equivalent positions.

                  Promises made by my parents generation aren't relevant or binding on me. People will always live wherever they get the best deal in terms of quality of life per dollar paid. Excessive legacy promises just make people want to live elsewhere.

                  Real private sector people (not just 1%) pay property, income, and sales taxes that fund the government. It is a moral imperative that their dollars go as far as possible.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:57:25 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Do you think that public sector workers don't ... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MrJersey, Darth Stateworker

                    ...pay taxes, because they do. You've made several comments to that effect. It's a common misconception amongst conservatives.

                  •  *sigh* (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Van Buren, terrybuck, maregug, mrkvica
                    Promises made by my parents generation aren't relevant or binding on me.
                    So do you also propose not paying the national debt?  State or local government bond debt? How about Social Security? Medicare? You didn't make those promises - your parents did.

                    99% of your problem seems to be that you don't understand that society has responsibilities, and that future generations of said society don't just get to walk away from those responsibilities agreed to by previous generations because "I didn't vote for that." or "I didn't make that promise."  That isn't how it works - no matter how much libertarian wingnuts tell you it should work that way.

                    Ahhh.  To be a young, naive, wet-behind-the-ears libertarian with all the answers....  It reminds me of my teenaged years - and then I grew up.

                    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                    by Darth Stateworker on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:55:56 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Uhh in this case (0+ / 0-)

                      That's exactly how it works, because everyone chooses where to live and where to locate businesses.

                      State and local benefits are a competitive industry. (Look at Detroit). Places that compete better (provide more services for less money) will get jobs and people moving to them. Areas that aren't competitive will dry up and blow away.

                      Legacy obligations work 1:1 against your competitiveness. You laugh at me for my "libertarian" ideas, but have you ever worked in a real business that cannot just ask taxpayers for money when times are lean?

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:22:28 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Still not getting it champ. (0+ / 0-)

                        Additionally, you're avoiding answering the central question that proves your point invalid:  Why are we still paying national debt, state and local debt, and other programs that were accumulated as obligations during past generations?  What makes the national debt, et al sacrosanct and pensions... disposable?

                        You have to avoid that question, because it displays where your libertarian logic lies:  reward capital, fuck labor - except when that labor is yourself.

                        Of course libertarians are going to honor debts incurred by past generations - the holders of said debt tend to be in the capital class.  And those past programs that generate huge liabilities for government?  Well, they directly fund huge capitalist industries (IE: the health care cabal) and/or you personally will directly benefit from them.  Pensions?  Bah, who needs those.  We can renege on that debt simply because it only involves labor that isn't you.

                        You keep making fallacious arguments supported by further fallacious strawmen.  For example, you use "competition" - pro-capital rah rahing - to explain why governments must gut pensions.  This entire argument is based on the premise that government taxation ends up in a black hole and detracts from the economy at large, when the reality is that government spending comes right in and goes right back out, increasing the velocity of money and thus generating more economic activity.  It is not a black hole - especially pay and benefits for government employees who are consumers like anyone else.

                        One thing you better learn and learn quickly about libertarian ideas:  they only work or make sense in the sterile environment of a classroom when discussing theory.  They don't work in the real world - and never have.  The unpredictable nature of people, economies, and the fact that most people have morals and don't simply think "I got mine now screw you" - all things libertarian theory doesn't take into account -  sees to that.

                        Now please - ask yourself it it's worth being continually spanked on the level that Bill Nye gave the creationist wingnut last night - because repeatedly arguing with only your faith in libertarian ideology as your basis of "fact" is pretty much making you look just as ridiculous as the creationist wingnut did.

                        Sparhawk - I have no doubt you're an intelligent guy and a decent person.  But at the same time, I cannot contain my disdain for you because of your absolutist "I know everything" know-nothingness.  You keep building strawmen based on nothing but ideology and stereotype.  In practically every one of our engagements, when slapped upside the head with actual facts or data, you have no real answer - just more strawmen and ideology.  And personally, I think you're bright enough to figure out that strawmen and ideology doesn't win debates - so perhaps its time for some personal reflection about your ideals.

                        "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                        by Darth Stateworker on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:26:06 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  I work at a bank and the bank's HR policy gives (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Darth Stateworker

                employee's due process rights.  Managers have a procedure to follow if they fire an employee for lack of performance.  It has to be documented, it takes over a year, and it requires the manager to make an effort to provide feedback and coaching for that employee so they have an opportunity to improve.  Employees who violate the law or company policies in certain ways can be fired immediately, but lack of performance is not cause for immediate severance.

                We don't have a union. And I think the reason we don't is because because the banking industry chose to voluntarily follow the type of HR  procedures and policies that became standard in professions that were unionized like teaching.

                As with teaching, anyone can be let go or furloughed in a restructure, and furloughed employees are priority rehires.  I know of one bank employee who was let go as part of a restructure and rehired into a new position on 3 separate occasions.

                So I really think the kind of consideration teacher's receive has become normative for workplaces where the majority of employees are professionals.

          •  Have you done it? (6+ / 0-)

            Taught in a public school, I mean?  I have, and it's the hardest job I've ever done (ok, and the most rewarding, but I know I don't have the stamina for it now). Harder than teaching college, harder than doing educational research, harder than doing corporate training (man, that's an easy gig!), harder than doing tech support, harder than computer programming, harder than working in a nursing home or picking rotten cherries off a conveyor belt in a maraschino cherry factory.

            I think one of the reason that many people don't respect teachers is that everyone has been a student, and they don't realize how hard the job is - they just remember their experience as the learner in the process. Good teachers make it look easy...

            "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

            by tubacat on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:42:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I smell and call ....bullsh** (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron, stevemb, Kidspeak, mrkvica

        On your teacher bashing comment.

        You are always such a black and white person and don't understand that is NOT a contradiction. ...talking about 2 entirely different things.

        One is about performance, one is about ability and using that ability fairly consistently in the required job performance.

        One may not use their actual ability and also perform poorly.

        That is a huge distinction...and it is same with any job.
        Lots of gray area.

        As usual In your haste to bash teachers and look for a nit to pick on someone who dare wrote defending them, you failed miserably not only in context, comprehension, but in the critical thinking aspect. Grade F on the comment.

        Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. Elizabeth Warren Progressive Wing of political spectrum.

        by emal on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 05:23:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Also, the two are not mutually exclusive. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, Sparhawk, JerryNA, emal, Kidspeak

      For example, being a doctor is a difficult profession.  There are certainly poor doctors, but the majority are quite capable.  Being difficult does not mean that a majority of those who attempt it fail.  It means that those who attempt it face struggles that others may not.

      •  You had me until you said you were a bad teacher (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Whatithink

        for 13 years.

        As a former teacher (and supervisor) for 20 years, I agree wholeheartedly with everything you wrote.  Demonizing of teachers is appalling and it's  part of the divide and conquer attack on public employees, pensions, unions and the push for privatization, de-secularization and simple Michelle Rhee type scams.

        I also agree that bad teachers are a very small minority of teachers and are being used to blame all teachers for (often fabricated) charges that the public schools are failing.  The "rubber room" article and its successors have done incredible damage.

        Yet I do think it's too difficult to dismiss bad teachers.

        For example, if you were a "bad teacher," why were you able to teach for 13 years?  (It appears from your diary that you didn't get better -- but correct me if I'm wrong.)  Shouldn't there have been a way to help you improve, and if you did not, get you to find another profession?

        So while I think that "reform" is a right wing (and opportunistic "left") scam, that evaluation by testing is crap and that teachers should be paid a lot more, I also think that a small number of bad teachers too easily get tenure, and remain in schools too long to the detriment of students.

        Steve Gilliard Lives.

        by Bethesda 1971 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:53:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Teaching WELL is hard. (11+ / 0-)

      From the rest of the paragraph it's clear that "teaching is HARD" if you take it seriously enough to do it well.

      Better to hide your tax returns and be thought a crook than to release them and remove all doubt. [Adapted from Abraham Lincoln]

      by Caelian on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:36:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  did the diarist say zero? can you read? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, houyhnhnm, emal, stevemb, Kidspeak
      •  DBAD, dude. NT (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cardinal

        When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

        by Alexandra Lynch on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 03:30:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  the ones who hate teaching (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emal, Dirtandiron

      the ones who are not so good at it, become real estate agents, or work in retail, or find employment elsewhere.

      "The will must be stronger than the skill." M. Ali

      by awhitestl on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 10:01:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who said there are zero bad teachers? (8+ / 0-)

      The diarist certainly didn't. There are bound to be less-than-ideal practitioners in any field; the excellent points made by the diarist are that the whole teaching profession is tarred with the same brush, the number of bad teachers is vastly exaggerated, and the problems of "failing" schools are blamed on these hordes of "bad teachers" instead of on the real causes - poverty, lack of funding, and kids who have to raise themselves.

      "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

      by tubacat on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:31:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They are, in fact, weeded out (4+ / 0-)

      My husband teachers sophomore level education majors.  90% of them love kids, love teaching, love learning, and they'll get into the education major without any problems with his blessing.

      But his classes do act as a gatekeeper class.  Most teacher hopefuls who just aren't feeling it will learn after their first round of classroom observations with his classes that maybe this isn't what they want to do.  Even if they pass the class, a lot of them will voluntarily pass on applying to the education BA program because it's not all the sunshine and roses they thought it would be.

      The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

      by catwho on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 05:20:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't hate teachers nor do I (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, dicentra

    consider them more important than people in other jobs.  I don't consider them under paid or over paid.  I have had good ones and bad one as have my kids.

    My guess is that my feelings on the issue are pretty much the norm.

    Do not buy into the drama from the right who calls teachers leaches nor from the left who calls them heroes.

  •  it's a propaganda campaign (14+ / 0-)

    same one that has persuaded many Americans to government as the enemy

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:57:22 PM PST

  •  I'm not one for the cult of the teacher (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, dicentra, MGross

    And this is coming from someone who recognizes the penultimate good that is public education delivered by professionals represented by a strong union.

    You're right to point out that the movers and shakers behind anti-teacher sentiment in the US are those opposed to the above principles, but they find a lot of sympathy in the broader private sector because of the perceived pedestal so teachers occupy thanks to many education advocates.  Teaching is hard?  Well so is accounting, sales, machining and welding, hard labor and God knows how many other jobs.  And the idea that you've never met anyone whose gone into the profession with an eye towards security and benefits rings hollow; it may not be even a prime consideration but it certainly is one.  And finally, Americans perceive a cloud of failure in the public education system.  I happen to think that perception is overstated, localized, and not entirely the fault of educators (I also happen to think that there are few more self-righteous and selfish parties to the problem than parents themselves).  But there you go.  

    •  None of the jobs you mentioned even touches (15+ / 0-)

      teaching. None of them. "cult"of the teachers, Jesus H Christ on a bicycle, now I've heard it all.

      •  And there you go (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, dicentra, MGross

        I imagine that attitude pisses off a good number of Americans, especially since it is unearned.

        I'm not saying that the extraordinarily high esteem in which teachers hold their profession (while insisting others do the same) is the ultimate cause of the backlash, but it surely doesn't help.

        •  Why shouldn't they... (8+ / 0-)

          ...hold their profession in high esteem?  They leave a legacy in the form of well-developed children that assures our society's future in the way no other profession does.

          •  I don't know about that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vadem165

            Surely invention, scientific discovery, commerce and just governance--as well as education--assure our society's future, and I have no idea by what yardstick you'd hold one above the other.  And not a one is immune to improvement, even disruptive change, that renders the human factor increasingly obsolete.

            •  Fair enough (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rduran, awhitestl

              I just think in terms of very directly handing off knowledge and skills for the next generation to take and use, teachers in a sense create the next generation of scientists, political leaders entrepreneurs, inventors, etc.

            •  Teaching is the profession (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              home solar, Dirtandiron

              that makes all other professions possible.

              That doesn't mean there should be a "cult" about teaching. It means that we, as a society, should put sufficient resources into education so that it attracts the best into the profession, for the sake of our own economic survival, if not for the sake of the future of our (collective) children. There is dignity and worth in any kind of labor. But this diary is about why teachers are not held in high esteem and why they are blamed for problems not at all of their making (re-segregation, poverty, hunger, crumbling schools, etc.). The barely-cloaked anti-teacher sentiment displayed in your post is an example of the problem, not a solution to it.

              "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

              by tubacat on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:49:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Which came first, the teacher or the subject? (0+ / 0-)

                That said, the diarist posed a question.  I gave an answer.  And your accusation is utter crap.  If you want to have a strawman argument about whether or not education is essential, have it with someone else.

                •  There was no accusation (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  emal, Dirtandiron

                  Just my interpretation of your words. Your post said positive things about "education" in general but implied that teachers and education advocates have created a "cult of teaching" and put teachers "on a pedestal." To me, this does not sound supportive of teachers. If you are, I would be happy to be corrected.

                  As to the question in your title, I think that "subjects" (fields of inquiry) were of course created by people (they didn't create themselves). Some of those people were or became teachers; otherwise the subjects would not have persisted and been passed on to future generations.  

                  "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

                  by tubacat on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:49:45 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I said positive things about teachers, period (0+ / 0-)

                    I also criticize teachers and education advocates for the outsized accolades they've heaped their own profession.  The diarist's own words and subsequent comments reinforced my point.

                    If by "became teachers" you mean instructed others, then yes.  But then again most professions involve some amount of instruction from old hand to new.

                    •  Maybe they have to look after themselves (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mrkvica, tubacat

                      because of patronizing comments from people like, ya know, you. It is obvious where you're coming from. Do you feel the same about medicine, engineering, or law? Don't people brag about these professions all the time? Are they cults too? But there's a difference here. Teachers make less than all those professions. And less than a lot of others. Less than OT's. Less than PT's. Less than Speech Pathologists. Less than accountants. Less than actuaries. less than insurance brokers. Less than school counselors ( counselors no longer are required to be former teachers, and that's a good thing, because their profession is counseling ). in fact, the only people with degrees who make less are journalists working for small papers. Are teachers less deserving than ALL of these other professions? Maybe they pat themselves on the back to make up for all the absolute shit they put up with from the public. By the way I am not a teacher.

    •  Let me know when the right wing starts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica

      trashing accountants, salespeople, machinists, and welders to the extent that they trash teachers. And you don't need advanced college degrees for any of those.

      And I bet you don't have to corral a room full of five year olds with any of those, either.

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:29:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't need an advanced degree in parenting (0+ / 0-)

        And are we to just dismiss pediatricians and other childcare professionals?  I don't think so.

        •  I don't see an outbreak of pediatrician-hating (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica

          Plus, they get to concentrate on one five year old at a time.

          And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

          by Pale Jenova on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:33:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not the point under dispute (0+ / 0-)

            Listen, we're not going to agree.  I just don't see teaching as the greatest thing since Swiss cheese.  And as I pointed out, this self-important attitude is not likely to win teachers over a great deal of sympathy.

    •  "The cult of the teacher"? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tim DeLaney, swampyankee, mrkvica

      WTF are you talking about?

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." --Groucho Marx

      by Dragon5616 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:26:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In case you missed it (0+ / 0-)
        And this is coming from someone who recognizes the penultimate good that is public education delivered by professionals represented by a strong union.

        You're right to point out that the movers and shakers behind anti-teacher sentiment in the US are those opposed to the above principles, but they find a lot of sympathy in the broader private sector because of the perceived pedestal so teachers occupy thanks to many education advocates.  Teaching is hard?  Well so is accounting, sales, machining and welding, hard labor and God knows how many other jobs.  And the idea that you've never met anyone whose gone into the profession with an eye towards security and benefits rings hollow; it may not be even a prime consideration but it certainly is one.  And finally, Americans perceive a cloud of failure in the public education system.  I happen to think that perception is overstated, localized, and not entirely the fault of educators (I also happen to think that there are few more self-righteous and selfish parties to the problem than parents themselves).  But there you go.  

  •  They've been SCAPEGOATED! (23+ / 0-)

    Public money + union + 2 summer months off = people's resentment and jealousy!

    The demonization campaign on teachers relentlessly led by Republicans to take the heat off the wealthy 1% has WORKED.

    Divide and conquer. That's the GOP's main strategy. They've pinned middle class people against one another, which has shifted the focus from the wealthy 1%. There is NOTHING easier to feed than hatred, envy, jealousy.

    Teaching? No amount of money or job security would be sufficient for me to do it, especially in public schools.

    Remember the MAIN reason invoked by GOPers to fix the debt: "our children and grandchildren". Yep, the same "children and grandchildren" they try to rob of a future by trying to repeal ever environmental regulation AND screwing the teachers.

    •  You can't erase what people actually (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevemb

      experienced in 13 years of public school.  Bullying, arbitrary abuse of authority, and sometimes a hell of a lot worse at the hands of teachers.

      Just like the author, the way people feel about teachers isn't shaped by any party ideology or political marketing campaign.

      It's shaped by the way teachers treated them.  Every person in front of a classroom today ought to remember that they're dealing with tomorrows voters.

      "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

      by JesseCW on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 04:53:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Conservatives not wanting to take responsibility? (0+ / 0-)

        "at the hands of teachers": you can keep the Republican demonization all you want, it only serves to show that conservatives can't take responsibility, but are only able to point fingers!

        Well, I offer you my middle one!

      •  By that standard... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emal, Kidspeak

        ...it almost sounds like you are implying that a majority of Americans were treated badly by teachers.  I doubt that is true though it does seem the ones most strongly denouncing them also say some pretty ignorant things about a variety of topics so if they were saying ignorant things in school maybe teachers did call them on it.

      •  Not what happened to me (6+ / 0-)

        I liked being in school. I enjoyed learning. Sorry your experience was different, but I can point to the people I went to school with and I doubt many (any?) of them shared your experience. My Facebook feed lights up with poignant testament whenever one of our old teachers dies.

        Conservatives believe evil comes from violating rules. Liberals believe evil comes from violating each other.

        by tcorse on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 09:00:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I loved and love learning... (0+ / 0-)

          ...and absolutely hated school. Of course, a lot of that was due to the mockery and violence of my fellow students, but some of it was also due to chafing under the arbitrary authority of the teachers. Many of them were not bad teachers, but neither were they particularly good models of people enriched and enlarged by learning. Some seemed, even to my child's eyes, to enjoy the arbitrary exercise of their authority over children...and who were worse than useless at keeping the other children from attacking the blue monkey in their midst.

          I always learned more and better when illness kept me at home, all week in a good week.

          (And I'll guess that people here tended to do well in school...until I started to flunk-out of a very tough university, I never understood how much it could hurt to do average or worse, which condition holds true for more than one-half those in school.   My university was an icon of the sort of achievement I desired in the first place, so I could not do so, but note that many react to losing a game by dvaluing winning or the game itself, or at least the referees.)

          Please note, I fully support a rise in teacher salaries. I believe this will attract better teachers, and, more importantly, in America we don't respect people who don't make a lot of money...and it's not as if we can expect our fellow-citizens to respect learning for its own sake. False ideas about the Frontier (where supposedly book-and-larnin' was villified...in reality Shakespeare and Euclid were accounted precious), the legacy of the use of formal education as a class signifier and the resentment that rightly induced, an identification of teachers with Jews, foreigners, and other un-manly (or excessively manly in the case of women) trouble-makers, the desire to have more tractable employees, parishioners, consumers, and offspring...and,  of course,  the Highland Clearances...all meld in the disdain of knowledge and of observation and of reason.

          (Sorry that was so long...I could have just noted that "The Big Bang Theory" is the most popular show on television.)

          And so I blame parents for inculcating disrespect and disdain for education and educators, but neither do I hold them responsible---they are for the most part more sinned against than sinning,  in this wise at least.

          In any event,  a rise in pay and status will make teachers more authoritative, at least indirectly boost education's status...and greater respect might help teachers less need the dubious pleasures of exercising authority when it were not really needed.

  •  Because educated people tend not to buy into (10+ / 0-)

    the bullshit of the Right, ergo, they are dangerous people.

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

    by bobdevo on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 03:16:22 PM PST

    •  Plus, teachers teach math and SCIENCE (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica

      rather than starry-eyed "faith."

      We can't have that.

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:30:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Dunno... Because they still get 'Summer Break'? (5+ / 0-)

    it's a great question-- a few months ago when I was defending the Chicago Teacher's strike, there were dozens of vicious neo liberals here howling and whining about how "teachers don't deserve more money"... "they don't need a union".

    WEAK, very WEAK.

    "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 03:21:58 PM PST

    •  There's an easy response to summer break. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      awhitestl, mrkvica

      Professional athletes make millions and they don't work the whole year either.  Not to mention you don't need much of an education to do what they do, nor to they contribute nearly as much to the preservation of our society.

      •  Look, the issue here is so called (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron, stevemb, brae70, mrkvica

        "progressives" here and elsewhere in bloggo world know income/wealth for millions of Americans has been dumbed down the last thirty years-- they don't have an acceptable explanation as to why that is or how that makes sense-- they just want to make sure teacher income gets hammered too-- like the rest of us shmucks.

        "It is essential that there should be organization of Labor. Capital organizes & therefore Labor must organize" Theodore Roosevelt

        by Superpole on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:07:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  How dare you... (0+ / 0-)

        ...compare pro athletes, MEN so valuable that they are often forgiven for committing Negritude, to the lilly-livered, panty-waisted or mannish specimens so un-American they imply that knowledge were something good in itself when all Real Merkins know that only money, buying stuff,  driving fast, and porn or fumbly sex after a few Lite beers were meet goods in a good life in the greatest country God gave to Man on the face of the Earth?

  •  I think that most of the responses here (15+ / 0-)

    address many of the reasons for the disrespect.

    My perspective from 40 years in the profession:

    First, as many have pointed out, there is a political agenda. Many years ago, one of Michigan Governor Engler's aides stated that Michigan citizen's believed that they had good schools. The aide then stated that the citizens needed to be convinced otherwise. Why?  Follow the money. Bust the unions and erode teacher salary and benefits. There is money to be made in charter schools and in providing the "services" required by the so-called reforms.

    The second issue is philosophical. I find that when I am conversing with someone outside the profession, we often speak past each other. Many of these folks are driven by the acquisition of wealth. Most of us in education are not. Our rewards are more intrinsic rather than extrinsic. They don't understand us and quite often they are suspicious of our motives. How can we not value money? It's almost un-American.

    And we often don't understand their POV either. With an income which is low to moderate, but nonetheless steady, we tend to be dismissive toward what we regard as greed and an over-emphasis on the bottom line. We occasionally fail to understand that small businesses must be focused on the bottom line and that that there are variations in the profit margin that can make or break a business.

    A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

    by slatsg on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 03:35:47 PM PST

  •  There's a lot of anti-teacher noise. (14+ / 0-)

    However, most of it is coming from the anti-union crowd - and that crowd is small, but hugely vocal.  As such, it seems like people "hate" teachers today.

    Statistically, however, the few polls done on whether people like teachers or not tend to reflect that for all the noise, the majority of people still like and respect educators.

    Teachers are not alone in this boat.  Any public sector worker - especially unionized ones - attract the same level of vitriol from the tin foil hat wearing rightwingnuts.  For that matter, any member of a union - public or private sector - also gets the same level of vitriol from the same anti-union vocal minority.

    For the most part, counter the anti-union trolls talking points with facts when you encounter an anti-unionist and then let their nonsense roll off your back instead of engaging in back and forth arguing.   It's not worth it to try to change their minds, because in the end, they're opinions are fixed and many of the ringleaders are paid trolls that will never change their opinion regardless of the facts.  As long as the next reader to come along sees their point and then an effective counterpoint, your work is done.

    I've been a public employee for almost 2 decades - and in that time, a certain segment of the population has always hated us.  However, they are far louder than they used to be, largely because the monied interests that are looking to slaughter the public sector and unions are trying to take advantage of the lingering effects of the recession and stoke anger, jealousy, and outrage while they still can, "Shock Doctrine" style.  The more they see their window of opportunity running out as the economy improves for the everyman, the louder they're going to get - because they're getting desperate to get changes rammed through while they still can.

    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

    by Darth Stateworker on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 03:59:12 PM PST

    •  But i hear more hate for teachers than say prison (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bgm1969, Dirtandiron, emal

      guards who also work for the state and get the state benefits, retirement, and are unionized. I hear very little hate for some state employees like those at the unemployment office or prison workers..and yes some prison workers make just as much as teachers depending on the job and how long they have been there.

      I just mostly hear the hate for teachers over other state workers..at least in my state.

      Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

      by wishingwell on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:15:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Could be. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi, bgm1969, Dirtandiron, dicentra, Van Buren

        As a state worker in NY - I see the same level of vitriol for teachers as for any other government worker.  But then, because I'm a state worker, I'm also tuned in to the vitriol by default.  Local political blogs and comments sections on newspaper websites around the state seem to reflect the same amount of nastiness regardless.

        YMMV, but that's what I see.

        "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

        by Darth Stateworker on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:25:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thank FSM I teach in MA (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        awhitestl, wishingwell

        The smart state

      •  Are you kidding? In California (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron, wishingwell

        a prison guard makes $72,000 on average, with overtime $100,000. California teachers make $68,000 on average (beginners make about $40,000).

        "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

        by tubacat on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:01:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cops and prison guards get a pass (0+ / 0-)

        ...because they carry guns and catch the bad guys.  Sort of like the military, the most socialist organization in America but never criticized by conservatives.  Also, coincidentally, all male-dominated professions.

        Firefighters tend to get this treatment, again, male-dominated and they put their lives at risk, so....heroes immune to criticism.

        I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

        by Russycle on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:26:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  America only hates PUBLIC SCHOOL teachers. (13+ / 0-)

    Apparently private school teachers are just awesome.

    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. -Abraham Lincoln

    by jexter on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 04:19:26 PM PST

    •  Despite the fact that private schools do not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrJersey, mrkvica

      show any better outcomes than public schools, except when they can greatly reduce class size.

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:31:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "America" doesn't hate teachers (11+ / 0-)

    Government--particularly that which leans right--hates educated voters.

    And they really hate unions.

    But mostly, they hate educated voters and they own the communications infrastructure, so it's real easy to manipulate messaging to make it look like a bigger hatred than it really is.

    This isn't terribly complicated (though I'm by no means saying the diary is lacking, or saying the hatred doesn't exist at all). It's simply easier to propagandize the ignorant. And propaganda is everywhere in the United States today.  

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 04:39:16 PM PST

  •  I had teachers who struck students. (5+ / 0-)

     I had teachers who actively instigated fights between students, and one who egged a small group of boys into jumping anyone he disliked.

    I had a teacher who constantly insulted students parents, insisting that poor people were poor because they were all addicts. At a school where 90% of us got free lunch.  And he was just the extreme version of the many teachers threatening kids with "Unless you want to be some burger flipper...".

    Directed at kids who often were being raised by single parents who flipped burgers at one or more of their jobs.

    I could go on and on, and talk about coffee cups full of vodka and Principals who insisted "That smell is mimeograph fluid".  

    But my experience, and that of many Americans, is not your experience.  Many of us looked forward to teachers who were just disorganized rather than actively cruel and sadistic.

    70% of American workers make less than 35k a year.  Many teachers cannot grasp the realities their students families live with, and their obnoxiously middle-class views drive thick wedges between them and the communities in which they teach.

    You'll hear it here often from teachers and retired teachers - blaming parents who work three jobs for not doing the teachers job for them and teaching the material in the evening as "homework".

    Not coming to conferences (how dare they!) because they have to work and pay the damned rent.

    Hard to tell why people don't love teachers, isn't it?

    "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

    by JesseCW on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 04:43:02 PM PST

    •  This (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron
      I had a teacher who constantly insulted students parents, insisting that poor people were poor because they were all addicts.
      Is the exception, not the norm.

      Think for just a minute who spouts such biases, and realize that not all teachers are liberals.  As such, an asshole teacher that acted like this with such ignorant opinions was almost certainly... a conservative.

      That pretty much explains the attitude.

      I don't think anyone says that there is no such thing as bad teachers.  There are.  However, bad teachers are the exception, not the norm - and most people don't let their personal experience with one or two assholes while they were in school color their opinion of the entire profession, as such, I don't think too many with an anti-teacher bent have one because of such nonsense.

      My $0.02.

      "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

      by Darth Stateworker on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:06:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not the norm in your circles. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        awhitestl, Linda Wood

        Your personal pool of associates is not necessarily representative of the American experience in general.

        Many of us who grew up poor attended schools used as dumping grounds.  Our experiences are vastly different from yours.

        As our experiences with cops. Also generally dismissed as "one or two assholes" and "not the norm".

        "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

        by JesseCW on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:38:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How, pray tell (5+ / 0-)

          are you privy to my circumstances?

          No offense, but you're basically stating I cannot understand someone elses circumstances because of my upbringing, without knowing jack shit about mine.

          "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

          by Darth Stateworker on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:46:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Sure there are some schools like that but there (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OleHippieChick, bgm1969, tubacat, Kidspeak

      are fabulously dedicated teachers like my sister. My sister decided to devote her entire life to teaching these past 30 yrs. She even decided against a family of her own to devote more of her time to her students. She works 12 hour days weekdays and then spends about 6 or 7 hours there on weekends too. ..over 70 per week at school. She gives entirely of herself to that school and those kids and does several different jobs.  
      She is going to retire this year after 30 yrs and it is well deserved as she even spent a lot of the summer back and forth to the school planning for the next year and helping the principal with projects.

      She is now taking her first sick days the past 2 months as she had a tumor removed and hopefully since it was only the beginning stages of cancer and caught ..she may not need chemo and get to return after all. She did not even mind the thought of cancer as much as missing the last part of her last year there. She is going to miss those kids and that school and the parents.

      Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

      by wishingwell on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:13:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  She's your sister. Not your teacher. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        awhitestl

        I see zero reason to believe that family loyalty and personal affection leave with the capacity for any objectivity regarding her.

        Telling the truth about teachers always results in exactly the same reactions as telling the truth about cops.  

        First the "a few bad apples" argument.  Then they "but someone in my family".  Then the "I'm a cop and I...".

        "good" teachers cover for bad.  Repeatedly.  Routinely.  Just like cops.

        "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

        by JesseCW on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:42:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK I see your point, I was wrong to use her as (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dirtandiron, emal, Kidspeak

          as example. Instead I should have used a few of her colleagues, her principal, several teachers in my area, several teachers from my high school, former colleagues and so many more.

          There are teachers like Teacher Ken and we have many Kossacks who are dedicated, excellent teachers who truly care and cherish their students and do all they can for them.

          Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

          by wishingwell on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 06:12:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I had some despicable teachers (4+ / 0-)

      I've worked with some, too, and from that perspective I know that a lot depends on the climate established by the school leadership.

      So the question remains.  Why do people hate teachers but not principals or superintendents?

      Or given the fact that there is probably the same percentage of bad apples among teachers as among members of any other occupational group, why do people today hate teachers as a class>

      Light is seen through a small hole.

      by houyhnhnm on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 06:51:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You probably won't be surprised to learn (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, Kidspeak, wishingwell

      that the newest (hence least-experienced) and lowest seniority teachers are disproportionately hired at the schools with the most problems and highest poverty. What you have described is a disgrace not only to the teaching profession but to any adult in terms of the humane treatment of children and young people. I'm sorry you experienced it, and I'm sorry (and outraged) that there are still students who experience the like. No one should be treated that way.

      However, I think part of the solution is to raise the pay and the standards of the teaching profession, rather than allowing it to be a last chance option for slackers and the small minded. In Finland, they turn away hundreds for each place in teacher training programs, and they pay teachers well.

      You also make a very good point about the unfortunate tendency for teachers to blame parents and vice versa, when the real problem is most often that these schools are under-resourced and the families are scraping by in a country that holds the poor in contempt, instead of compassion.

      "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

      by tubacat on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:10:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The public tends not to blame the school board, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tubacat

        and the administration who supervise the teachers. The public tends only to hate and blame the teachers. But when it comes down to it, the administrators and school board make the hiring decisions and do the supervising and yet the public lefts them off the hook. And that shocks me as adminstrators of schools in my area make a six figure income where none of the teachers make anything close to that. But  the principals and superintendents do not get the flack that their teachers do.

        Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

        by wishingwell on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:10:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  More governors and legislators should be blamed (0+ / 0-)

      for cutting funding to public schools and freezing salaries and  cutting benefits for teachers. As then some of the better teachers leave those schools for other school districts with better pay and benefits.  

      Also administrators often escape blame and they are the ones, along with the school board, who set policy and hire teachers and supervise teachers.

      Often the principal sets the tone for each school or the superintendent does.  If a principal allows bad teachers to do harm and do not take the teacher to task, that is a huge issue in a school. I have found when a principal sets standards for teachers and students and he or she does not put up with shenanigans from the students or the teachers..that can make all the difference.

      Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

      by wishingwell on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:14:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And around town it was well-known (0+ / 0-)

      ... when they got home at night their fat and psychopathic wives would thrash them within inches of their lives!

  •  A bad teacher is . . . (4+ / 0-)

    This is an excellent diary, all the way around.  As an ex/bad teacher, I would only add that a bad teacher is a teacher who refuses to put up with the daily psychological abuse from administrators and other teachers, and who also refuses to put his/her life on the line "for the kids."

    "One of the boss' hangers-on sometimes comes to call, at times you least expect. Tryin' to bully you, strongarm you, inspire you with fear--it has the opposite effect."--Bob Dylan, "Floater"

    by oldmaestro on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:01:34 PM PST

  •  Speaking from a student's perspective... (5+ / 0-)

    ... teachers can represent another set of parents. They guide us, they exhort us to work harder, they point out mistakes, but they also help us understand ourselves.

    This may seem like an odd thing for a student to say, given to prevalent stereotype in our society ("oh mah gawd I don't learn anythin' in Miss Jones' class!" )- one which is somewhat true, as I know from experience- but I've been lucky to have teachers who've CARED, who've driven their students to success.

    I think this perspective makes me all the more angry every time the right-wingers take office and commence to union-bust every decent school district they can locate (eg. Wisconsin,  my home state of Jersey, etc). Students (politically a similar group) should realize this and fight; little power we may have, we can still use it!

    •  Actually, I think you may be on to something here (0+ / 0-)

      Your comment makes me realize that it is this "caring" about children piece that does sometimes upset the right wing, who tend to believe that people's children are their parents' possessions and they don't like anyone else "messing with their stuff".  Nor do they sit comfortably with the idea that anyone not in the traditional two parent family situation could possibly care deeply about children who are not their own biological offspring.

      They want to reinforce all of those ancient (and mistaken) notions of bloodline as the only form of care worth valuing. That's what ancient forms of hierarchy were based upon, after all.

      Thanks for the jump start on my thinking!

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:24:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My sister is a teacher and even some of her (10+ / 0-)

    friends resent her, are jealous of her , and I am sure talk behind her back because after 30 yrs of teaching, she is able to retire at age 55. They are quite jealous. I was not pleased when a mutual friend of ours expressed shock and dismay that she was able to retire. I reminded him and a few others that she will be taking a part time job to pay for her benefits out of pocket. Yes she is able to retire with no penalty and the full pension but the pension is quite  a bit less than it was just 5 yrs ago because she is in a red state where teachers cannot collective bargain and basically have few rights at all.

    Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

    by wishingwell on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:08:24 PM PST

  •  Many are women. I think that is a factor. (7+ / 0-)

    Plus, 1% want to break their union strength.

    Also, the 1% want to make our kids become obedient little automatons, conditioned to make the rich more money, rather than have teachers help develop independent, creative, intelligent thinkers.

    "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." -- JC, Matthew 6:24

    by Chi on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:15:23 PM PST

  •  People blame us for their inability... (7+ / 0-)

    ...to learn, which in fact most often resulted from their refusal to put in the required work.

  •  Easiest question I've had all day... (10+ / 0-)

    and the answer is simple as can be: there's nothing more dangerous to a politician, a bureaucrat or a salesman than a good education.

    Take away their ability to deceive people with revisionist history, lies used as facts and theatrical drama, and they are deprived of the sharpest tool in their drawer - ignorance.

    Yes, stupid is fashionable and easy - in fact it's always been so, to varying degrees. Julie Brown wrote the theme song for contemprary conservatives in my opinion ("I Like Them Big And Stupid") - and evidently that "rebel without a cause" trip has graduated into becoming a "rebel without a clue"... at the expense of their own future as well as that of those around them.

    Frankly I'm glad I'm in the sunset of my years - not sure I want to have my heart broken any more by seeing how this bunch of younger kids are going to turn out.

  •  My theory has been that the people who (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bgm1969, awhitestl, tubacat, home solar

    became teachers were the ones who liked school & the ones who hate teachers, not so much.

    Maybe the  insurmountable "problem" in training & hiring teachers is that teaching/learning is a relationship & therefore anyone will have a couple of "bad" teachers because their style & personality does not mesh with yours, their neuroses aggravate yours, whatever. The thing is they are likely just fine teachers for others.

    I've known some all-around bad teachers in my time ant they mostly had 2 things in common: 1. excellent credentials and 2. the notion that their job was to teach curriculum rather than students (of course our government now seems to believe the second point as well). One & all quit rather quickly of their own volition. If you haven't got the heart for it, teaching is torture for the student & the teacher. The sad thing is that our so-called educational reform is now driving out the people who do have the heart for it, to the great loss of our kids.

    "Le secret des grandes fortunes sans cause apparente est un crime oublié" Balzac

    by gelfling545 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:31:46 PM PST

  •  This (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick, awhitestl, stevemb
    So, why the hate?  Because politicians and those who hate public education have become expert at playing working class citizens against each other.
    exploiting several unlovely traits of human beings.  I think transference does play a part.  So does an American tradition of anti-intellectualism.  Then there is the mob mentality -- the urge to pile on.

    The thing about fads, though, even scapegoat fads, is that they wear out.

    The war on teachers will come to an end.  The only question is whether it will be before or after the damage to our public education system is irreversible.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 06:08:50 PM PST

  •  not just teachers. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    awhitestl

    Americans hate anyone who doesn't have a manual labor job.  Sit at a desk and sling code and get paid triple what your brother does driving a truck.  Jealousy turns to anger because without him 'the lazy office workers wouldn't be able to eat'.

    And then to top it all off, it's a portion of his taxes that pay these 'lazy people who sit on their asses all day' that pay them.

  •  False premise (0+ / 0-)

    Using virtually any methodology (PDF)you like teachers are one of the most highly regarded professions.

    No one else would be able to make the argument that they should receive increasing amounts (20% more this decade) of public money without regard to their actual end product performance without being laughed at.

  •  Most of the teacher-hate is from propaganda (6+ / 0-)

    Also authoritarian thinking. Look up "authoritarian personality".  Authoritarians like to be told what to do, which makes them susceptible to propaganda. Also, teaching people how to think for themselves  is bad for people in authority, therefore their asskissers hate independent thinking.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:03:05 PM PST

  •  Some good points already mentioned here (8+ / 0-)

    but consider this:

    After WWII a massive amount of public money was invested in public education from kindergarten up through post-doctoral programs. What was the result? An expanded middle class with a higher percentage of educated citizens than had ever existed in a single nation before.
    And what was the result of that? The development of a more liberal country: anti-war, anti-corporate, anti-fundamentalist, anti-military-industrial complex, pro civil rights, pro women's rights, pro voting rights, pro science research, pro safety net, etc.

    Since the 1970s the Republican party has been doing its best to undermine the educational system that gave us the culture we kossacks love. And they've been doing it extremely well.

    The union busting shifting of public resources into private hands are secondary effects as far as they're concerned. They just want us all to be - as was noted above - fat and stupid.

  •  Another interesting point... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, awhitestl, emal, Kidspeak

    ...is that the ones who hate teachers often are the same who revere the Founding Fathers, who to a man believed that an educated citizenry was absolutely essential to maintaining the Republic.  But hey, they forget that the original Tea Party was about taxation WITHOUT representation and AGAINST corporate influence so I guess we shouldn't expect much.

  •  Simply put (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    It's because they teach.

  •  A Convenient Scapegoat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevemb

    to distract the Ignorant sheep voters.

    While the Ignorant Sheep are distracted, the Corporate
    Wolves STEAL whatever they want.

    Destroying the Education system also insures that there
    will always be another generation of Ignorant Sheep voters.

    Next Question ?

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:04:17 AM PST

  •  memory (5+ / 0-)

    there is a total disconnect between what boomers remember and today's reality if they don't have grandchildren in school today.

    older people wax nostalgic about the 50's and early 60's. they remember when their teachers looked like matronly old ladies,(but there was that one young guy math teacher).  They remember living in fear of their "permanent record" and the bomb.  That wooden desk and that woman at the front of the room was the only thing standing between them and Russia.

    Magically everyone was a WASP (except those who weren't and they kept their mouth's shut) There were 3 tv stations and everyone watched them and talked about what they had watched the night before. all slang and societal references were shared and understood.

    Students had an hour of homework. Students who were in extra circular activities only stayed an hour after school.

    If your mother had a job you were pitied.  The PTA ladies snubbed your mother.  And God-forbid your mother was divorced, she was ostracized and the nice-kids didn't play with you.  and even if they did, you were never invited to sleep-overs or had them.

    The 70's were only slightly different. By the 80's, the boomers had been sifted into camps.  The church folk and the heathens.  And the students were pawns in those fights.

    Fast forward to 2014. New parents are more educated and worldly than the old matronly ladies of the 50's and are just as smart as the teachers today - or just the opposite. they are the unwed mothers, the drop outs, angry. again the students are pitted against each other. for them now it's all about the money.

    thanks to the bircher kochroaches and their constant drumbeat directed at the school unions, and the public school system in particular more and more school expenses are being pushed onto the parents and students. don't even talk about clothing, dental care, glasses and contacts that physically differentiate the students, the book fees are astronomical for 1 kid - can't wrap my head around how the parents of bigger families afford it.  and if the kid is actually a good student, and wants to participate in any school offered activity, the family has to pay thousands of dollars more with private lessons, uniforms, entry fees and transportation. because now in order to justify the activity, it must justify it's line on the school budget.  the only way to do that is participation fees and competition with other schools and school districts. resulting in countless unpaid hours by teachers and additional costs by the parent in travel costs.

    with less and less money budgeted for the pubic school system you get what you're not paying for.  Angry parents, angry teachers, and angry students.  Pretty soon you will be facing a whole generation of dis-engaged young adults who are either over-educated and unemployable and under-educated and unemployable.

    the public unions were instituted as deferred compensation. low starting pay - lower than private wages with the promise of future increases based on experience gained and a pension if you stayed.  like charity based hospital care that somehow morphed into profit centers, public schools have evolved into professional people who are more qualified and worthy of the benefits we promised. it is our responsibility as tax paying citizens to support them. and remember what the purpose of a public school system is - to provide an educated workforce and informed citizens.  something the birchers are flamingly against.

  •  As a casual observer... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Whatithink, Linda Wood

    I never had a child that went through the public (or private) school system, so I don't have any ground level experience with schooling issues.  So I will offer this only as someone who hasn't really had a dog in the fight.

    Here in Portland, the teachers and the school district have been involved in a drawn out contract negotiation that has been going nowhere, and it seems likely that the teachers will vote to go on strike at the present.

    Every time there is an election, there is a school bond issue being floated.  Everytime.  The teachers are always declaring the school system as being almost catastrophically underfunded, and that "our kids deserve better."  That is a message that resonates with most parents, for obvious reasons.

    Yet, the common perception is that each time a community votes to increase funding "for the kids", the adults at the table immediately take out their forks and knives to divvy up the extra slice of pie just served, and when they are finished the kids seem to be in the exact same position:  underfunded and left with lists of supplies that the parents are requested to supply the classroom.

    Bonds are passed, property taxes are increased, and the underlying financial situation of the schools remains static.  A lot of people see the teachers and administrators as middlemen through whom each new revenue increase must pass, and that they soak it all up for themselves without much, if any, benefit accruing to the students.

    At the same time, even the casual news consumer is bombarded with stories of how our students are falling behind in learning when compared to other countries...even countries we perceive as being underdeveloped and "backwards" compared to the US.

    There is a sense we aren't getting much for the tax dollars we earmark towards public education, even as we are continuously being asked for more with each election cycle.

    There is a general public perception that teachers, like policemen, cannot be fired due to incompetence or poor skills, and anyone working in the private sector is keenly aware of the fact that they can be let go tomorrow if their employer wishes it.  You may think of that as envy, but it is more than that.  How many of you have worked in a team environment where one or two coworkers weren't cutting the mustard or pulling what you felt was their own weight?  It breeds resentment if management doesn't address it.

    Then there is the puzzle piece related to culture wars and the movement to make curriculums more "inclusive."  The local fights over textbooks and history and diversity.  Instead of teaching "history", there are the movements to include what many people probably perceive as "history segments."

    One segment on basic history, one on Black history, one of Latino history, GLBT history...you name the flavor.   People probably feel that so much attention is being paid to the roof trim on the house, that the roof itself is left unsound, if I may use a construction metaphor.

    Throw in ESL and some 40 different languages being spoken...and there may be a sense that your regular, vanilla, middle class English speaking kid, with no learning disabilities or behavioral issues or language challenges is left by the wayside by a system that devotes too much of a limited financial resourse to those who will least benefit from it.

    I'm not saying that I identify with all or most of these perceptions...I'm just saying that I think they are fairly widely held, even by some who would be reluctant to admit it.

    To that extent, a lot of people see teachers as part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

    L'enfer, c'est les autres....Jean-Paul Sartre

    by Keith930 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:05:29 AM PST

  •  Oh, They're Not Exceptional (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrJersey, Algernons Labyrinth

    "America" hates everybody.

    The more fundamental question is, why is America so angry?

    It's just insecurity talking. So, I suppose the more fundamental question is, given that "Americans" have so much, why are they so insecure?

    Thoughts?

  •  Yes, it is a hard job. I was paid $6k/yr, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova, bgm1969

    full-time, teaching fourth grade in my first post graduation job in Ohio.

    Really! And I took loads of work home every night, spent evenings planning and grading a day's worth of student work.

    Even when I was sick and not fully recovered for months I worked very very hard for that measly pay. Seems incredible now.

    And LOVED the act of teaching, and the kids who were, as we said in those days (1970) "still young enough to be genuine."

    I believe you are right, and that teachers go into it for all the right reasons, teachers are noble and need to be treated well for all they put up with, and for all their dedication and hard work.

    I would suggest that if school was year-round with no 2 month "vacation" that people might view them differently. Perhaps spreading the time off differently so they can still take courses, could make a difference in perception? Or is that ridiculous?

    _______________

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:17:01 AM PST

  •  Pearson Publishing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Van Buren, bgm1969

    also contributes to teacher hell.

  •  Not America, just right wingers (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think that Americans at large hate teachers.  Right wingers hate teachers because public school teachers are an important political base of left/progressive movements throughout the world.

    Reporting from Tea Bagger occupied America

    by DrJohnB on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:39:55 AM PST

  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:57:54 AM PST

  •  America does not hate teachers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Linda Wood

    On average, most Americans respect the profession of teaching.  At the same time though, I believe most Americans are frustrated with the state of public education and see teachers as an impediment to positive change.

    As a parent, I only want three things my public schools:

    1. A safe place to learn, without fear of bullying, intimidation, or physical harm.

    2. An engaging curriculum that challenges students.

    3. Teachers who are committed to bringing out the best in all of their students.

    In my experience, public schools here in Denver are not consistently delivering on all three.  

    I know that teaching is a hard job, but it isn't any harder than mine, or a firefighters, or a policeman, or a physician, or the guy down the street building the new school in -2 degree weather.

  •  The 7 Habits of Highly Crazy Teacher Haters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bgm1969

    1. If you can break the culture of teachers you're free to teach kids whatever wacko right wing political ideas you want them to believe.

    2. There is money to be made. Not by teachers, but by companies that take taxpayers' dollars and provide privatized sub-standard versions of school.

    3. There's money to be made from owning home schooling service providers (textbooks, etc.)

    4. It's always good to oppose education if your political/economic/social positions can not stand up to scrutiny. Ignorance is your ally.

    5. Attacking teachers and schools helps weaken a large union.

    6. Facts are stupid thongs. Or things. Whatever.

    7. The school system is a big, successful government program. Big, successful government programs must be destroyed.

    A Southerner in Yankeeland

    To save your life and our country, read "Pity The Billionaire" by Thomas Frank, and "Winner-Take-All-Politics" by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson. Then read more books.

    by A Southerner in Yankeeland on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:34:01 PM PST

  •  But, but, but...we get summers off! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bgm1969

    Funny how I teach every summer.

  •  I blame Pink Floyd (0+ / 0-)

    For convincing an entire generation of weed-addled, basement dwelling, Missile Command top scorers that the reason they were never able to have any pudding was because they didn't eat their meat!!

    And who could blame them, when anyone who saw that movie knows that the meat itself was made in a giant hamburger grinder into which the public educational system was dumping line after line of unfortunate, brainwashed kids just like ourselves?

    I bet Glen Beck owns the blu-ray.

  •  hate-filled GOP video screeds against teachers (0+ / 0-)

    Here's video of how Republican US Senate candidates tried to appeal to their base in 2012.  Suggests they hate teachers even more than The Gays.

    Ambien fueled visits to the Oval Office iPad

    by Not Barack Obama on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:43:34 PM PST

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