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When you sit down in a quiet moment of reflection and consider all the insanely ill-conceived, demeaning, and downright wrong things that are happening to educators, you begin to ask yourself what happened??
How did we go from a profession in which people showed a modicum of respect for us, to be blamed for the bad economy, not being good at our job, and unworthy of a pension? What did we do to deserve the “gothca” mentality that is pervasive from SED? How did we allow people who are so far removed from reality, have no respect for what we do, and who are first and foremost political animals to take control of our profession?
I have pondered this as I read the next huge, confusing document that is posted on the engageny web site created so we “do our job.”
I guess we are all a bit to blame. As an educator for over 30 years, I have seen first hand how we did not help our own cause. I have seen both teacher and administrative unions more worried about time and money issues than making the profession better. I feel that because we did not do what we should have done, our profession is now in the hands of people who are zealots and are unable to see the incredible damage they are doing to students, teachers and administrators.
We have also given the press too much ammunition to use against us. We have let them convince the public that we are not doing our jobs, and that major oversight is needed to “keep us in line.” We have allowed complacency to sit in and we are bearing the brunt of that now.
My only hope is that the system will implode based on the fact that it is not doable. When that happens, we need to be ready to offer solutions that address the need for us to be accountable, but not using a sledge hammer to kill a flea.
Let’s all commit to doing what professional do…staying up to date with best practices, honoring our commitments, and doing what is right. For now, we are headed for an incredibly dark time in which SLO’s, being labeled with points, and instituting VAM systems that are unethical are the norm. Let’s hope we have another chance to regain some respect and be treated as professionals.