Teacher Depreciation Week

For a few short, fun months, I teetered tottered with the notion that I could lose my job. I went through low points where I toyed with the idea of auditioning for  The Real Housewives of Hooverville, and high points where I lost consciousness and dreamt that I was gainfully employed as Donald Trump’s hairpiece.

The local board of education decided that my job had some value to elementary students and added it back into the school budget, and the public voted in favor of it so I will soldier on as an elementary librarian–at least another year until I am laid off again and the cycle repeats like a Head-On commercial until I actually need Head-On.

It is a good time to be a public employee especially a teacher. Society seems to really revere teachers. Wait, is revere the right word? Oh right. . . the word I’m thinking of is revile.

This guy knows what I’m talking about:

et tu, Grandpa?

Teachers are the worst, especially that one who taught me how to read and that jerk who taught me how to write and that ass who taught me arithmetic does not actually begin with an “r”. I hate all of you.

Test scores are low, schools are failing and the tator tots taste like pencil shavings–and it’s all the teachers’ fault.

My school was placed on the needs improvement list this past year, along with a bunch of other schools in New York State, when the state decided to arbitrarily raise the threshold for passing the state tests. This happened after the students took the test, and 80 percent passed. Now 50 percent did. In your face teachers!

Here’s the thing with state tests. They’re awesome. They are created by corporations that get million dollar contracts from states, which then have less money to give schools. And it’s a one-size-fits-all assessment tool. It works really well because all students are the same.

Here’s the thing with actual schools. As teachers, we are told to tailor our instruction so if you teach 4th grade and have a student who reads at a 1st grade level, you give the student material at his reading level. Then comes state test time, and that student takes a test at a 4th grade reading level, and for some reason he bombs it. Why? The teacher sucks.

Student performance on these tests will be a huge chunk of the new teacher evaluation system. This seems like a good idea in the same way my performance on this blog is reflective of WordPress, and my somewhat high cholesterol speaks volumes about my doctor’s abilities.

As of yet there is no state test to assess a student’s library ability, but give Pearson Education time and I’m sure it will come up with one for the the low, low cost of $50 million. And if my students cannot successfully place Archery for Fun in the right Dewey Decimal range (it’s 799.3, stupid) or spell the word Caldecott then I guess I’m a terrible librarian.

Oh well, I should look on the bright side. I’ll likely be laid off next year.

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39 comments

  1. Everybody knows teachers are stupid, useless, and overpaid. We can save a lot of money by firing all teachers and use that saved money to help with important things like giving more bonuses to CEOs or paying Snookie. Of course we can’t fire all teachers, this isn’t a perfect world, we can keep three or four for the whole country and pay them $1/hr.

    1. I think the children can learn so much more from Snooki (binge drinking) and Wall Street CEOS (binge screwing everyone over) than a teacher any day. Sweet plan, although I think the $1 an hour is a bit much.

    1. Yes teachers are the target now, but I don’t think the people in power will be satisfied until we’ve lost all strides gained by the everyday worker in the 1930s and onward.

    1. It’s almost farcical at this point. I sit there at meetings listening to the latest from the state and I just giggle like a maniac because it can’t possibly be serious.

  2. I always feel a little bit guilty “liking” blogs like this; it’s a selfish kind of “like”, or love (as I do, in fact, love your blogs)… I never “like” the source for the material (ahem, real life bullshit), but I always love the way you write about it. Honey, sir, mister, ma’am… you are fucking awesome.

  3. This entire mess is everyone’s fault, really. The states squander money meant for schools on other shit. Then levy’s fail because people don’t want to be taxed any higher. Everybody wants their kids educated, but nobody wants to pay for it.

  4. Wait. There’s a value in education? Here in the U.S.? Who wouldda thunk it.

    Glad you have a reprive (as long as it means you will continue to post).

    1. Oh I think my posts would have gone to some strange places if I was unemployed. Now I will continue to play it somewhat safe until I get my real shot at being completely unhinged.

  5. I am surprised anyone wants to enter the teaching profession (yes, it is a profession) anymore, but I am truly grateful for those anyones that do. Sadly, it seems we hobble them by requiring them to teach to a test rather than allowing them to teach critical thinking skills and to impart a love of learning. I feel very fortunate that I experienced the education system before it was standardized test driven and I look back with fondness on those teachers who inspired me to embrace a lifetime of learning and to always question the status quo.

    Excellent post and congrats on keeping your job for another year.

    1. I say the same thing. You’d have to be out of your mind to go into teaching now. The things teachers have to do are astounding. They have to gather all this documentation and do record-keeping that looks like the shorthand of a court stenographer, and then take the blame for everything. I get to avoid a lot of it being a librarian, but I see how much stress this puts on the classroom teachers.

  6. That all sounds totally fair. I also rate music based on how well the radio station is coming in, blame policemen for crime, and hate the makers of Legos because my kids leave them on the floor where I can step on them. ::Head-On applydirectlytotheforehead::

    1. I never knew who to direct my Lego-rage to, and now I do! Thank you. I’m off to make a Greedy Lego-Maker sign. And I also blame firefighters for fires. I thought they were suppose to prevent them?!?

  7. My best friend’s a teacher and here are a few more things that are his fault: cell phones, texting in class, kids that don’t speak English, fighting in the halls, lazy parents, lack of supplies…yeah, he’s blowing it. I can’t believe he doesn’t speak Russian, Chinese and Gang.

  8. You would be a much better hairpiece than Trump’s current one, which I hear is an awfully shiftless layabout. Not that I hope it comes to that, but you have to look at the bright side, right?

    1. The only downside to being Trump’s hairpiece is the large amount of spittle that flies regularly out of his giant pie-hole. That, and all the spray tan.

  9. AMEN! I’m married to a teacher and come from a family of them, and it constantly shocks and amazes me what they have to put up with.

    P.S. – for the record, Donald Trump’s head would be lucky to have you.

    1. People are downright hostile. Yes, let’s get rid of unions and pay teachers in circus peanuts and destroy any morale and cut everything–and then our children will succeed.

  10. I’m so glad you get to keep your job for now — phew.

    Waiting for Superman must be your favorite movie of all time, second only to Big Momma’s House. Down with teachers, who needs them. Home schooling for all!

  11. Well, at least without teachers, kids can learn about sex where they should – on the street! And the shows like “48 hours” and “20/20″ and such will have to look for strange/illegal couplings (of the teacher/student type) elsewhere than schools. Halelujah!
    But what am I gonna do with my kids for 8-10 hours every weekday, while I get pedicures and shop at WalMart‽‽‽ WHAT‽‽‽
    :)

    1. If we get rid of public education, maybe we can also get rid of child labor laws, and we can go back to children working in factories…wait, do factories still exist? Well, we could ship the kids overseas I guess.

  12. My very first “job” was as the Assistant to the Multi-Media-Specialist at my high school library. My boss was a man who considered the title “librarian” to be too “feminine” for him. I was a Librarian’s Aide, and I LOVED that job. And I have loved every librarian I have ever known.
    I assume you are, in truth, a “multi-media-specialist” in this day? You probably are also responsible for kids learning about the internets as a place for resource material as much as the (formerly available in hard copy) Encyclopedia Britanica?
    Honestly, as people grow older/wiser/more mature they come to realize that “knowing the answer” is not as important as “knowing how to find the answer” … and THAT is where the skills of the librarian come in to play. It is an undeniable fact, and one that should be shouted the next time your job comes to the chopping block. If these skills are not instilled into the young, then the young should just be eaten… or something less offensive, and probably more profound.
    Also, when the Zombie Apocalypse comes, not only am I on your side… I know the value of archery skills and where to find a book on such at my local library.
    THANK YOU, kind Librarian, for making the world a slightly less stupid place!

      1. Considering how long it took me to notice you had responded and then reply to you… yeah… you can invite me… but it will probably be over by the time I read the invitation.
        If you want, in my honor you can hold up a sign that says “Keep Librarians Or Else Eat The Children!”
        And I’m not entirely opposed to having BOTH options.

  13. if, mayhap, my sense of backward humor, have offended or even perturbed, plz forgive… I meant only to speak around the tongue stuck in my cheek!!!
    :)

    1. Oh heck no. I loved your comment. No apology necessary because no offense occurred. Sorry my lack of response has to do with working to get my house on the market.

  14. Thanks Mrs.Hitshousan for putting up with me sitting in the corner quietly fixing toys 1956, Mrs Kinzey for letting me walk around the back of the class during your lessons 1961, Mr Gibbons for getting me published in math text with innovative way to annotate long division 1963, Ernest Wood for recognising me in the assembly to show off his high (matching my) score in math-science SATs ( no mention of my English 340) 1969, And Thanks Mary McCracken Librarian Who taught me to read 1974.

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