Saturday, April 28, 2001

Teacher Apathy?

This was a posting responding to seeming apathy of teachers in posting a response to a thought provoking posting on the University of Maryland listserv:

-----Original Message-----
From: Harry Banks
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2001 9:09 PM
Subject: Re: [MDK-12] Column about why so many teachers are leaving thepublic schools

But what is really remarkable is that you are the only one to respond! Absolutely amazing, the amount of silence! Harry

This was my response about our "apparent" apathy:

From: “Bonnie Schupp”
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2001 9:37 PM
Subject: Re: [MDK-12] Column about why so many teachers are leaving the public schools

Maybe we’re just all burned out, especially at this time of the year. Maybe we have barely enough energy for survival. If I dwell on negatives right now, I won’t make it. One thing for sure, though. I won’t be in teaching much longer and am now working on a degree which will lead me to another career. It’s a shame because I love teaching, but I am not such a masochist that I enjoy being beaten by a system that doesn’t understand reality in the same way teachers in the trenches do.
Bonnie Schupp

This was the response to my posting:

Bonnie, sorry to hear that you might be leaving. I and probably 600 others on this list know exactly what those feelings are, and that they are strongest now in April, May and June. Unfortunately I know only one person who has left who regretted not interacting with kids, and she only regretted that for the first year. Now she makes more money than my wife and I put together and feels quite productive with her company which very much appreciates the ex-math teacher. Wouldn’t it be a dream to have a society of teachers who left the profession to march on the state or local government the way the Viet Nam veterans (who paid their dues big time) demonstrated against the waste of that war. The republicans think it is about a new test for accountability, and the dems keep saying more money more money. Not too many people outside the classroom are concerned about discipline and absolutely stopping class disruption with the use of law as a top priority. I work (after 30 years of combat) with kids I enjoy and parents come in to apologize for mis-behavior. My only regret is the overwhelming majority of kids who went by my charge and did not get 100% of my time. The emotionally and behaviorally “needy” got the largest percentage, as the teacher gets administrative kudos for handling THOSE kids so well. I would be right there with you, leaving, had I not gone to a school that struggles to face the tough problems and supports teachers the way they should. But will those administrators be invited to speak as the university to the next crop of innocents? I hope you stay! Harry ----- Original Message -----

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