Has there ever been a worse time to be a teacher?

Jennifer Brooks, writing in the Tennessean.

Teacher morale hits rock bottom
For Principal William Moody, finding good teachers isn't the problem.

"If these weren't good teachers, I wouldn't let them through the door of this building," said Moody, principal at Two Rivers Middle School.

The problem is keeping them. It's getting rare for him to see teachers over age 30. Too many veterans, he said, are giving up on the profession and leaving for less stressful careers.

"I don't know why anyone would want to be a teacher these days," said Moody, who was named Metro Middle School Principal of the Year in 2009. "I've never seen it as difficult to be a teacher as it is right now."

Teachers never expected the job to be easy. The hours can be long, the students difficult, the pay lackluster. But lately — between the intense pressure to improve test scores and the political rhetoric about "bad teachers" who get overpaid to work nine months out of the year — some teachers are beginning to wonder whether society values them anymore.

Tennessee, like many states, is in the midst of a push to make teacher tenure more difficult to get and limit collective bargaining rights. It's an effort proponents insist is anti-union, not anti-teacher, saying their reforms will reward the good teachers and weed out the bad.


Anonymous said…
Unfortunately, this blog is right on. It used to be "on teachers only work 9 months out of the year and don't even work 40 hours a week." Now, no one wants to do it. Who wants the pressure of standardized testing and no accountability for anyone outside of the school district?

I think we need to do a number of things, but I think it starts with proper incentive and continuing education for teachers.

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