This Puritanical Double Standard For Teachers is Wrong

I have been wanting to write about this topic for quite some time but it has always been pushed to the back burner. A number of recent current events and some tweets from members of my PLN have brought it back the front for me, so here is my two cents. So the way that I will approach the topic is to synthesize a few seemingly disparate pieces of educational news, then ask the readers whether or not they concur with my assessment. Firstly pressure has been steadily increasing on teachers to have students perform well on standardized tests. President Obama’s Race To The Top (RttT) initiative has sent state legislators, desparate for cash, scrambling to alter laws and intitute policies that will win the popularity contest. This is really the perfect economic climate to introduce such an initiative as traditionally stubborn unions are forced to acquiesce or lose members to staff cuts.

Here are some of the more famous headlines I am refering to.

Across the country states are clamoring for buzz words like accountability and rigor, sacrificing hard won gains for students and teachers along the way in the name of the almighty buck. Now add to this discussion a headline like this.

Now allow me to put the two together. I don’t care what any irate taxpayer says, teachers are over worked and under paid. I know, this is the profession that I chose, and I also know that I get summers off. Those points, coupled with the fact that I love working with young people and I am able to make it through the week. But the suspension of this teacher has gotten me really riled up and here is why. Teaching is only getting harder and more thankless, as politicians who have never spent a minute in a classroom are making policy decisions that affect whether or not a teacher is able to keep their job. This creates a great deal of stress and anxiety, but again, this is the profession that we have chosen. But if teachers, especially younger teachers without families of their own are not allowed to have personal lives outside of their school lives then this profession will never attract the most talented people that we desperately need. This teacher was no where near her school or her students and she did not pose for or post the picture on Facebook. Think of the ramifications of this. Every cell phone has a camera on it, Facebook has just surpassed Google as the most used site in the world. What are teachers to do, never leave their homes? This puritanical double standard is wrong. You would never read a headline that said RN Suspended Over Stripper Photo. It has gotten to the point where I have to think twice when young people ask me if they should pursue a career in teaching.

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4 thoughts on “This Puritanical Double Standard For Teachers is Wrong

  1. My first thought was that there must be lots of vanity searches being done on the school board members by teachers in that district. My second thought was it is time to look for a job at a new school district.

  2. ktenkely says:

    It is getting pretty thick isn’t it? Each time I read another story I am absolutely floored by the ignorance of those who seem to be running the show. I agree, what kind of quality educators are they going to be able to attract if this is what comes of it?

  3. Jeff Thomas says:

    Well put! It is especially hard to stomach these policies as the policymakers do not come close to adhering to the standards they implement! Teachers are being held to a standard that is almost impossible to live up to.
    .-= Jeff Thomas´s last blog ..The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book =-.

  4. […] cou­pled with account­abil­ity pres­sures on the state and national level, cou­pled with unrea­son­able moral expec­ta­tions are dri­ving tal­ented young teach­ing prospects away from the pro­fes­sion. All of us know […]

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