Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

There are good teachers and bad teachers.

Government tries to make bad teachers good teachers by an ever increasing administrative burden. This does not make bad teachers good teachers but burns out good teachers.




Administrative burden has become a problem at my school. Teaching has become a small part of my actual job. Now I run an entire beaurocracy within one person.

For example, we have to submit attendance multiple times a class. Apparently our attendance system isn’ good enough and we also have to submit attendance through different google forms and on paper. We can’t do anything without documenting it. I spend more time documenting than doing the things I am documenting. We can’t meet with other teachers to lesson plan unless we draw up an agenda, a list of goals for the meeting, and take minutes of what we discussed and then submit it to admin.


"We can’t meet with other teachers to lesson plan unless"

When I worked as a teacher I had to create a curriculum, monthly plans, weekly plans and lesson plans. The "lesson plan" was a multiple page bullshit orgy. I worked for two years in one of the best schools in the US. They had no "lesson plans" (yet, the best teachers).

If you go to teach a lesson you should be prepared and have a plan. A good teacher is also able to immediately cancel the plan and just to a review. You may have planed to teach a new complex science topic but the kids walk in from a math test into your class room and are "dead". I have seen the worst teachers sticking to their "lesson plans".

I miss the kids. But the administrative bullshit will prevent that I ever teach again.


“I miss the kids. But the administrative bullshit will prevent that I ever teach again.”

Yeah it’s not the students that make my job difficult, it’s the administrators.


I concur. I'm currently teaching, and I'm so glad that I don't have to do lesson plans. My schools, a rural one in the South, is very much a "hands-off" type of place. The department has a set curriculum and, until this year, that was it. You could teach the topics in any order you wanted, though obviously there was an order that worked better, and you never had to turn in lesson plans. You could make your own tests and spend as much time on each topic as you felt was necessary, to a point.

This was really nice, as it allowed me to take a bit longer on quadratics than some of the other teachers, which I was then able to follow up with a 2 week long probability unit to end the year instead of trying to cram in a unit on inverse and composite functions in the middle of May. It also allowed me to make my own tests, meaning that I was able to cater them towards my students and what we had focused on; if I spent a lot of time working on one thing with them, that was more prevalent on the test that something they found very easy.

Unfortunately, that is fast changing with a new teacher our school brought in last year. She came from a school where everything was strictly regimented; all teachers teaching a class taught the same thing on the same day and spent their lunch period making sure it was all going well. They gave the same test at the same time as well. She's trying to push all of that on us, and they hired her basically to take over the department and the accelerated classes (which she mentions all the damn time) and tries to bully her way into getting it her way.

Unfortunately, it's likely she'll succeed once the current AP Calc teacher leaves, and doubly so if she becomes department head in a few years. Last year there was an issue with a student dropping her accelerated geometry and moving to a regular one and not covering trig all year. It turned out she was in the fault, as she was the one who didn't follow the curriculum map, but that didn't stop her from blaming the other teacher, and forcing her changes so the curriculum map is basically done her way. For instance, we used to cover trig in December, so students would often see it before the December ACT; this also allowed us to use it in various ways for 3 months before the state-mandated one in March. She nixed that idea because she wanted to talk about volume and surface area and build gingerbread houses. A neat activity, yes, except we won't have even talked about quadrilaterals or circles in two dimensions yet! And now they'll basically see trig once and have to take the ACT the next week, without anytime to reinforce it.

Though, to be fair to my school, the math department is kinda in a weird place. There's not much camaraderie among certain members, and there's definitely a lot of tension just waiting to boil over.

The other big issue I have is not so much with the head administration, but with our guidance councilors. They're the ones who do the schedules, and they consistently screw up, yet get to keep their jobs. They never check over the summer to make sure that students are registered for the right classes, for instance. Last year, and even this year, we had kids register for classes they shouldn't be in, yet they never caught it. And there's four of them who work on it. They also treat students differently based on if they like them or not; I had one student who I had last year that tried to switch into my class and they wouldn't let her. Yet they let another student switch for basically the exact same reason she wanted to ("I like Mr. dorchadas's teaching style better"/"I don't like my current teacher"). And they also have instituted practice during the school day for our basketball and football teams. And they change those students' schedules to make sure they're in the right class -- I know of at least two football players who will be transferred from the football PE class to the basketball one after Christmas so they're there with their extra in-school practice for the majority of the season. Oh, and the two people who used to fix all the guidance mistakes have been explicitly told to by our vice-superintendent to not do it anymore (coincidentally, his wife works in the guidance office). So they've basically had their jobs threatened if they fix guidance's mistakes or go over their heads because of how they treat students differently.

Really, it's all driven me to just not like teaching. I like the school I'm at because it was so loose about following/having strict lesson plans, and that's about to change and it just leaves me unmotivated to continue on with it. Couple that with just treating students differently that goes on among certain groups of the administration, and I'm just tired of it all. I don't see how anyone could ever live with the in-school politics while being forced to use and follow a strict lesson plan; it sounds like absolute Hell to me.

/rant




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: