wolfgang42 225 days ago [-]
This is a reblog (without attribution!) of this AskReddit thread: High School teachers of Reddit, what is the one thing that you want your students to know that you’d never tell them in person? https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/aew8m9/high_scho...
x1798DE 225 days ago [-]
To be fair, I cannot read that link because reddit seems to have stepped up their efforts at making their mobile website unusable.
anitil 224 days ago [-]
Why is it that they hate their own mobile page? I feel like I must be missing some reason that they want me on their app.
dang 225 days ago [-]
That's bad. We changed the URL above from http://www.imaginaryplanet.net/weblogs/idiotprogrammer/2019/.... Thanks!
yesenadam 225 days ago [-]
Well, to be fair, the first sentence is

Ok, I won’t make a habit of doing these kinds of posts, but here are the best answers from a reddit question of teachers.

wolfgang42 225 days ago [-]
True, but "a reddit question" doesn't exactly narrow it down all that much. I wouldn't have minded so much if they'd included a link.
cronix 224 days ago [-]
"Most of what we have taught you isn't how the world really works. Good luck."
james_s_tayler 224 days ago [-]
This is called Wittgensteins Ladder.
swampthinker 224 days ago [-]
For weeks I've been trying to find a good, simple explanation of Wittgenstein's Ladder (I'm not the greatest at understanding philosophy). Appreciate this.
squozzer 223 days ago [-]
That we're all just treading water, and that one day, the water will win.
jelliclesfarm 225 days ago [-]
The word that immediately comes to my mind is ‘Toxic’.
ColinWright 225 days ago [-]
I'm really intrigued to see you say that. I work with many, many teachers. Most of the teachers I respect and admire, and these comments ring so true, just so true.

What is it that you think is "toxic"?

What do you mean by "toxic"?

How much experience do you have of teaching?

jelliclesfarm 225 days ago [-]
The culture of sharing anonymously and/or openly how ‘customers’ make ‘employees’ feel. In this case, it’s teachers and students. There are other examples like servers/diners, doctors/patients etc.

Firstly, it is not verifiable.

Secondly, it’s spoken ‘behind the back’.

Thirdly, they are talking about children. (In this case)

Fourthly, it seems like majority of teachers..especially young ones don’t like what they do.

Fifthly, I think the way schools are being run.. the teaching methods should die.

Sixthly, it’s like having cooks who hate to cook for you. One day, they will spit on your plate. It’s a given.

ColinWright 225 days ago [-]
I can say from personal experience that pretty much everything there is something I've heard practising teachers say, though not necessarily in those words. The sentiments are exactly as I've seen.

When you're under significant stress with no means to control it, being able to vent can be healthy.

Yes, they are talking about children. Most of the teachers I work with are dedicated professionals being shat upon from on high, and it's only because in truth, underneath, they genuinely care about those in their care.

Fourthly, the teachers I know love teaching. It's not a job, it's a calling. But they hate so much of what they are forced to do by those setting the rules and regulations. This is especially galling given that those setting the rules and regulations have, in general, never been teachers, and while they might have the best of intentions, most of them haven't a clue.

I absolutely agree that the way schools are run must die, and the sooner the better, for the sake of everyone who deserves respect - the children and the teachers.

Finally, your analogy is flawed about diners and cooks/chefs, because it's not the teachers who are the customers, it's the parents and the administration. They are the ones who pay, they are the ones who demand results, they are the ones who places unreasonable burdens on the teachers. And yes, many of the teachers eventually rebel, but it's not by taking it out on the children.

So knowing teachers as I do, I think you are reading this with the wrong slant. I hope what I've said here makes your reassess, even if you don't end up changing your mind.

jelliclesfarm 225 days ago [-]
Having no idea what you have heard, I can only comment on the original post. Perhaps if I have had the same input as you did, maybe we would be in agreement.

‘Venting’ to public at large should still be taken with a pinch of salt (and disdain) especially since it’s done anonymously.

Again. Your personal circle of friends who happen to be teachers is not the same sample as the posters quoted in the original post.

And I can say this for every single point you make about ‘teachers you know’ and I will still hold my opinion that the first word that came to my mind when I read the original post is ‘toxic’.

Having said that..wrt your circle of teacher acquaintances and my own impressions, I think education as we know it needs to undergo a sea change.

Perhaps this notion of cramming 30-50 children in a room and force feeding them ‘education’ via a low paid, unhappy teacher is not a way to transmit knowledge or a love for learning.

I think if someone has a ‘calling’, they should do it for free or must be free to walk away without worrying about their means to survive. Since it’s a career choice, it carries with it all the baggage of a rat race. One can’t have it both ways.

Considering these very teachers are products of the same system of education, they are merely perpetuating the unpleasantness that they had to endure.

I see this as abuse on many levels. Education and schools as we know it must die and take up another avatar.

Parents and administrators (at least here in California) have little to no power. It’s a battle for public money between unions and Sacramento. That’s what I see from what I have observed. It’s really very dirty politics. Teachers have chosen a side and it seems like they’d say anything they are instructed to opine. For example: there is a ‘work to rule’. It’s like a walk out. Teachers will only work for 5.5 hours teaching. They won’t grade papers, won’t write recommendation letters, won’t communicate with teachers. This happened six months ago too. 25000 teachers in LAUSD are striking in Los Angeles Unified schools. No classes. Nothing. Full on strike. This isn’t a calling. When one joins an union and goes on strike, it’s not a “calling”.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, but I am not sure it has made a difference. I have heard others say the same thing second hand but the first hand opinions that I have heard from teachers themselves have been different.

rland 225 days ago [-]
I have heard the exact opposite. That teachers increasingly have to acquiesce to the demands of parents and administrators. That they want to be creative and exercise their "calling," the art of it and care given to individual students. But they cannot because they're pressured by onerous top-down regulation, school administration, or blowback from zealous parents.

And also, yeah I wish everyone could perform their calling for free, for the simple joy of it, but the fact of the matter is that life isn't like that and never will be like that.

jelliclesfarm 225 days ago [-]
Interesting.

Who has a say in a child’s education?

Let’s go over the parties involved:

1. Parents 2. Teachers 3. Administrators 4. Union 5. The State 6. Tax payers/public 7. The Student

It would be interesting to map the relationships between these various players and their influence weights.

ColinWright 223 days ago [-]
Drive-by reply for the sake of completeness and some clarification ...

> Perhaps if I have had the same input as you did, maybe we would be in agreement.

Perhaps - given my context (see below) it seems likely I've had and have much more contact with teachers than you, and so have more insight into what it's like to be a teacher.

> Your personal circle of friends who happen to be teachers is not the same sample as the posters quoted in the original post.

I'm not referring to my circle of friends. I have extensive professional contact with hundreds of teachers every year (in the UK).

> ... education as we know it needs to undergo a sea change.

This is true, and I'm working with some to try to make it happen. But it's Sisyphean.

> I think if someone has a ‘calling’, they should do it for free or must be free to walk away without worrying about their means to survive. Since it’s a career choice, it carries with it all the baggage of a rat race. One can’t have it both ways.

People go into the career with the clear-eyed innocence of youth, and as the years go by get ground into the ground by the administrative load and the toxicity of the parents and community. But teaching is important, and many/most soldier on, trying to teach the students regardless of the circumstances. In the vast majority of cases the teachers really are doing absolutely everything they can to give the students the best education possible under the circumstances.

In short, I disagree with you on this.

> When one joins an union and goes on strike, it’s not a “calling”.

I disagree completely. When one despairs of making any progress, and of being able to do what the students need, going on strike can be the best thing for the students as a whole. Without doubt it is damaging to the current students in the short term, but you are saying the system needs to change. How can it change without those at the coal face taking some action?

> Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, but I am not sure it has made a difference. I have heard others say the same thing second hand but the first hand opinions that I have heard from teachers themselves have been different.

I have no doubt that you are concerned for the right things, and I have no doubt that we agree on much. There may be things we disagree on, but I suspect it's for the right reasons, and because there are no simple answers or quick fixes.

Education must change radically, and it's unclear that it can happen without significant disruption. I have concerns for those who will be caught in the mess.

Above all, I desperately wish the students got a better deal than they currently get, and I equally desperately wish the system would get out of the way of the good teachers and let them teach. It has to change, but I don't know how.

8bitsrule 225 days ago [-]
I agree with everything you've written here, also based on personal experience.

In particular: "they hate so much of what they are forced to do by those setting the rules and regulations."

Progressive school boards could eliminate most supervisors ... and principals ... at vast savings ... without much harm.

Experienced teachers could take over the 'administration' duties (most of which are handled by staff) for 4 or 5 months every few years. There'd be some increase in pay as compensation, and to let them advantage themselves of the remaining free time by taking further coursework to help them to make education more valuable for their students.

Meanwhile, the substantial savings (~~ $100-200K in many districts) could be plowed into better classroom-support materials. Win all around.

grawprog 225 days ago [-]
Teachers work hard. They get shit on by students, administrative staff and parents. Even in highschool I started to notice this. That my teachers were actual people with their own lives and problems and school was still a job to them. It made me appreciate the good ones more.

But once I was in university I started to really understand the kind of shit they can go through. While I was in school a bunch of departments decided to save money by hiring contract teachers. Their contracts covered only the time they were in school, but they were expected to give the same courseloads as full time teachers. Naturally their courses suffered and you could tell the ones that didn't put in the needed work but a few of them were openly frustrated about the situation and worked in their own time to still provide full lessons for us.

I had teachers that worked from 730 am, at least, when they taught us, and would still be there teaching classes at 10 pm when I would be working the evening job I had there.

And that article was a big mix of different things. Some of it was as you described but some of it was general frustration and the school system itself or being unable to pass on useful advice to students. A lot of it seemed well intentioned and the kind of stuff I could generally see teachers being stressed out about.

jelliclesfarm 225 days ago [-]
This only proves that the teaching medium is flawed. Clearly it’s not working ..public education has become so bloated and big that it has become more harmful than good.

I wanted to push my thoughts a little further:

It is natural to feel gratitude towards certain service professions. Doctors, nurses, law enforcement, teachers etc because the person paying for the services is always in a dependent and less powerful/taking position. The ones providing the service is the one in power. There is a certain surrender and volunteering to give up agency. This is also true in personal relationships between parents and children, spouses and lovers when one is financially dependent on the other. And they are all ripe for abuse depending on the nature of players involved. Power has an insidious appeal and absolute power corrupts.

It is natural to overestimate the value due to the power hierarchy and that’s why some people will always seem larger than life. If you don’t respect a teacher, you can’t learn from them because you have to first admit that you don’t know something and someone else has something you need and they have to share it with you. And your grades/children’s future depends on them.

To the parent, there is no difference between the admin or teacher. To them, the school is the authority that decides if their child passes or fails a grade. There is admin and teachers. Unions are the middle man between them and as usual, they are getting a cut of money and power by claiming that they will ‘protect’ the teachers. Their rights and pay and pensions and everything else.

All this is funded by the tax payers and for many of them, even if they have kids..it’s a game where they have no role as most kids only use the school system for 12 years.

So there is a relationshio between teachers and admin. Admin and unions. Admin and state for funding. Parents and teachers. Parents and students. Every one of them have a set of expectations from the other. And none of it has anything to do with another. And then there is the one between the student and the teacher for which we all pay for...and the anonymous taxpayer has no role at all.

grawprog 225 days ago [-]
Yeah I agree with you about all that...I just think being able to vent anonymously is a good thing for anyone sometimes. Especially people that deal with a lot of stress. I just didn't see the teachers as being toxic. Maybe the system they're forced to work in. But not because they complain about it.
jelliclesfarm 225 days ago [-]
It’s good for the person venting obviously. But what’s the truth value to the person listening.

FWIW, I thought the original blog post bought the word ‘toxic’ to my mind. (And one of the reasons I thought so was because it wasn’t verifiable) I did not call the teachers toxic. Hope this clarifies.

james_s_tayler 224 days ago [-]
On the contrary I love reading this because it's all the shit (and more) I thought the teachers really thought deep down but could never admit openly.
aaron695 225 days ago [-]
What I find saddest is these teachers don't tell the kids these things.

Although, arguably good teachers do, and this is a list of average teachers thoughts.

Although is you go to the source (reddit) the top comment not so much

"Yes, I put you in a group with the kid you have a crush on intentionally. I'm stuck here with you 180 days a year, I want to see some drama."

_monster_ 225 days ago [-]
That diversity is not our greatest strength.
Abhi1802 224 days ago [-]
Lol My High School teachers never told me about "Bitcoin"
gaius 224 days ago [-]
Teachers always forget: everyone has been to school. So teachers moan about how much time they spend lesson planning but I wonder how much planning went into putting on a video and nipping out for a fag? Or marking, but I wonder, when the answer book was given out and everyone marked their own? So when they whine about how underpaid they are, noone believes it for a second, in fact for the work they actually do they are if anything wildly overpaid... I’d start by paying them only during term time, so that’s a cut of at least a third immediately, maybe a half.