Saturday, June 14, 2014

Connecting the Common Core to the Demand of More from the Middle Class

I've decided I'll throw in my two cents on this whole teachers complaining about all the education reform. First, people always resist change. People always grumble when things change. Any change comes with growing pains, whether it's as an individual,  group, community,  or even a whole society. There are going to be mistakes and more changes as things are adapted to make them hopefully more effective.

As a high school teacher, and I emphasize high school here, I don't really have major complaints yet. Do I think common core implementation and the new evaluation system need some more work? Yes, but I'm willing to see what comes of this reform. The other thing I've learned is success with change takes time. Sometimes lots of time. One year is not enough time to judge the success of something like education reform.

However,  I think the bigger problem is this. The teacher is the middle class worker the media has decided to zoom in on; however, their complaint of having to do more is not just their complaint.  I know middle class workers in all types of fields, many of those in a public service job. Whether it's corporations or public service the demand is always for more. And in a struggling economy in which the middle class is living paycheck to paycheck they give more, spreading themselves thin to fulfill the quantity of tasks demanded of them, abandoning quality at times. I know more middle class workers than I count that pick up over time or work second jobs in order to pay for the ever increasing prices of gas, groceries,  and utility bills even though this constant demand for more does not come with more money.

What you and I make as a teacher, social worker, police officer, firefighter,  or middle class government or business job should be enough. It would be if the expenses for everything we need to live wasn't constantly increasing. But middle class has become paying our taxes and bills with little left. Maybe we're tired of your demand for more and maybe the middle class worker whether it s a teacher or someone else is taking a stand.

For now I can still manage my workload much the same as I have the nine years before this one. But I have a life to live and a family to enjoy as does everyone else, and as the quantity of what is demanded is increased for the middle class worker the quality of what we produce as a society in all fields is going to decrease. Maybe all the big brothers should think about that when they re running their numbers.

Teachers care about the work they do as do as do many other workers. They're there to educate the kids, and they want their time to go to that, not to these other tasks that sometimes have nothing to do with their assigned instructional position.

There is the debate right now about whether common core is the right educational reform for our children, but I think the other half of the argument isn't just about teachers. It s about the middle class.

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