Everything you say in your introduction is so very true! I was once a great or as they would say effective teacher now I hate my job and feel as if I don't have a clue!
I hear you, proofoflife.The situation in the schools is, too often, an impossible one for anyone who is sincere.I too have no clue as to how to truly do my job as I used to anymore. The only comfort, if one can call it that, is that we are not alone -- there are many others in the same situation.But though misery loves company, that by itself cannot resolve the misery.Many of us, including myself, work harder and harder, although the net results of all that effort are often disappointing. Individual efforts will not, by themselves, resolve this. It is only when the collective misery leads to collective action that we can begin to see some light.Unfortunately, the union leadership, at almost every level, has not been leading in this for as long as I have been a teacher (26 years, including six on unpaid family leave during which I often subbed). Sadly, even now, I see no signs of it waking up.Of course, the union leadership is to some extent reflective of the membership. Brainwashed apathy, dog-like obedience and collaboration with utter nonsense, even criminal nonsense, too often prevail. Of course, we all need our paychecks. But it seems that we have ourselves put even that in jeopardy by our lack of collective voice and action, directing attention, with reasoned courage, to the true problems we face in the schools, which at root are both social and structural. The former can only be resolved by enlisting parents and the wider community and society. The latter is our collective responsibility, neglected for decades while we have been busy, most of us and our bosses, being good employees in an increasingly absurd and evil workplace. Education and students, for all the b-s, have actually been for long the lowest priority, not so much for teachers (who still have been doing their job as best we could) but for those above us, all the way to the Bloombergs. They can get away with the b-s because no one calls them out on it.
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