TIME Magazine is the latest media outlet to vilify teachers. The Nov. 3rd edition conveniently snipes at teacher tenure, while giving corporations the nod. How much money did they get, you have to wonder, to show the gavel hitting the apple? And gavels should be what they fear. A lot of places are starting to wise up to the fact that it will take some court action to put education and teaching back on track. Letting corporations take over America’s public schools isn’t going to be a cake walk. Maybe they’ve figured that out.
The larger question, I wondered, is why do people hate teachers? Well, I began reviewing the literature, and, based on what I read, and, what I know personally, I have decided that people really don’t hate teachers. They may have had a teacher, or a couple of them, that weren’t very good or who really were unkind, and they don’t like those teachers. But most people don’t condemn a whole profession just based on one teacher, like you don’t usually blame the whole medical community when a doctor fails to cure you or your loved one. In fact, I know many parents who adore teachers! They support them every day!
In general, teachers used to be well-respected. High school students often considered teaching a reputable career. The venomous propaganda against teachers began 30 years ago when a group of business elites and politicians decided to privatize public schools. Up until then, teachers had a difficult time of it, but they were still pretty much esteemed. Then, those in power, bought into the corporate message and the Milton Friedman belief that privatized was better.
The hatred for teachers today is the result of years of overall maligning by media sources. For example, for years the Phi Delta Kappan Gallup Poll indicated that Americans liked their own public schools, but they didn’t think public schools in general were very good. Why would people think that way? They believed what they heard and read. They bought into the propaganda!
Teachers were also blamed for students not doing well, which was never the case. Students throughout the years have made steady progress, although schools are so obsessed now with unproven standards and testing that there is a real threat to future student achievement. Read more>>