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Comments about ‘Letter: Teachers' perspective’

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Published: Wednesday, Aug. 27 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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The Educator
South Jordan , UT

But but but...

Teachers are the root of all problems! They belong to a union!

Heaven forbid you placing the blame of education onto our legislature. They pat themselves on the back because they call Utah "the best managed state."

Great letter! It's amazing the insights the people of this state would gain if they only listened to the boots on the ground.

E Sam
Provo, UT

Absolutely right. Trust teachers! Give teachers the resources they need to do their jobs well, and then get out of the way!

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

There is a real divergence here in the mechanism of education. However, the magnitude of divergence is not entirely clear at this time. As Rastignac stated when faced with his dilemma, it is best to understand the mechanism at work before making irrevocable decisions.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

The letter writer is correct up to a point.

Leaving decisions in the hands of high quality teachers (the best of whom should be paid way more than they are) is obvious.

What is less obvious is the environment necessary to foster high quality teachers. That environment would incentivize excellence, promote best practices, and conversely be very uncomfortable for teachers who do not meet this standard either because of lack of ability, motivation, or because they are burned out and “cruising” to retirement.

Sadly, public school monopolies do not foster this environment, a fact which most people intuitively recognize and is perhaps why so much time is spent (often by the wrong people) trying to come up with “innovative” ways to make education better.

France and Sweden (hardly bastions of right-wing ideology) figured this out more than a decade ago and took the first big necessary step towards real change.

They both instituted voucher systems…

happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

So Karen, I'm guessing that if you did put the blame for your restrictions on teaching, it would be with some element of administration. And I don't think it goes as high up as the state government, but is at the board of education level. However, since you fully identified yourself, we won't hold you to it, as we would not want you to be punished for your opinion. My opinion though is that in every school district I've ever heard of there seems to be way too many chiefs (administrators) and not enough indians (teachers), which creates too many students per teacher, and not enough pay for teachers. Just my opinion.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

A great teacher with a piece of chalk and a blackboard is worth her weight in diamonds. Instead, we throw rocks at her. It's the Utah way.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

First off, I support paying our teachers more and reducing class sizes. I have never voted against a school funding plan and was disappointed when the Jordan District bonding plan was defeated at the polls a little while back.

The Educator,
The teachers are not the problem, though I cannot say the same about the union.

I agree with the author that we need to teach the arts; not only do they round out the student, but especially in younger students, they help develop complex brain patterns that lead to increased intelligence and mental capacity later.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Blaming teachers for our education performance woes is chicken. The problem is much larger, society wide really. We don't value education. Add to that kids who now seem entitled to be heard so they complain school is boring or dull or doesn't challenge them when, in fact, they're just lazy, self centred and unmotivated.

Goldminer
Salem, ut

Exactly right! The TEACHERS should make the changes as needed; NOT politicians or educational administrators making $250,000/year like some of the District Superintendents do! Tell the Union to go find a different job as THEY are truly hurting our children by taking money from the system. Why are several professors making a hefty six figures at the U and who teach few classes? Teaching MUST be the first goal; NOT money and NOT praise and NOT publishing. It is PAST time that the politicians wake up and talk TO the teachers and NOT the union or the administrators or book sellers or their political donors (who, in case you don't know, donate for a reason and it is what THEY will get from the politician). If they won't do that, then STOP thinking you make decisions and go sit home or watch football in the fancy seats at the stadium which are reserved for the elites.

HaHaHaHa
Othello, WA

Here we go again, a letter, and a bunch of responses, that do nothing but make excuses for teachers. Yes there are some good points in the letter, such as the top down enforcement of instruction, instead of teachers being able to create on their own. Be honest...why is that? This is where the union becomes part of the problem. This is a CYA policy, that protects poor teachers. When teachers are allowed to be creative on their own, it becomes easy to distinguish between good and bad teachers. Lets be honest! Certified teacher designation, is very often meaningless. There are people out there who have very little training, who can work with and teach kids better then some certified teachers. I see it every weekend at church. So if teachers really want to make a difference, dump the union line and stick up for yourself. Promote positive policies and work for you own best interest and the kids.

The Educator
South Jordan , UT

And yet, the top contender to run education in this state is an anti-public education career politician with zero teaching experience, Becky Lockhart.

Is it any wonder why education in this state is the way that it is? Any wonder why good people are fleeing this profession in this state?

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

Teacher like the letter writer need to consider moving on the education sector, and becoming administrators, because that is what we need: Administrators that think like teachers, and know what they need.

airnaut
Everett, 00

Put the blame for education reform where it belongs, --

======

You mean like ADMINSTRATION?
PARENTS?

Republicans use Children and Teachers for political Human Shields --

It's scores better politics for them to blame:
The Teachers [for having a Union],
the teacher's Union [for actually sticking up for the Teachers],
and
now Common Core [for being a Republican idea, but implemented by a non-Republican Adminstration].

Politics - plain and simple...

Confused
Sandy, UT

Educator...

There are multiple reasons for teachers leaving...

Bad Administration (District and State Level) who changes their minds about the curriculum faster than you changes socks.

Legislature - who has an open disdain for Teachers. Make decisions on Education, but never fund it or even checks out if the idea is even a good one.

the most common reason? PARENTS

Parents complain about Bullying... even when it is not ...
Parents never hold their children accountable for their behavior in class
Parents do like to gossip and spread false information about teachers via texting.
Parent do not like be held accountable their lack of support in home work.
Parents think that some how they are above the rules..

Teachers can only do so much, but the real culprit is Parents and guess what? South Jordan is a prime example of this behavior.

SEY
Sandy, UT

Confused: you neglected to include lawyers as a reason that teachers leave. The threat of being sued is huge, and lawyers are only too happy to oblige!

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

We have a problem with "finger pointing". Teachers blame the administrators. Administrators blame the Legislature. Parents blame the "system", meanwhile the schools keep churning out uneducated "scholars" who can hardly read or write. What to do? Who do we blame? How many teachers have filed a lawsuit against the administration? No lawsuit means that teachers really don't think that the administration is really to blame. How many administrators have filed a lawsuit against the Legislature, no lawsuit means that the administration is content with the Legislature. How many parents have sued the school districts? No suits mean that parents like to complain, but they really don't want to get involved.

The time for finger pointing is past. It't time to do more than post comments to a newspaper. Many of my grandchildren are being home schooled. Their parents are doing something.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Irony Guy" actually in Utah we do love the great teachers. The problem is that it is getting harder and harder to find the great teachers. Finding a great teacher is like finding a great diamond.

The problem that this letter exposes is the fear that teachers have. They can either conform or lose their jobs. Unfortunately rather than risk their jobs they conform. Imagine the conditions that miners would have to work in if they acted like teachers.

The teacher's have a powerful union, why don't they use is to correct the problems in the education system?

Teachers share the blame, not because they have been clamoring for Common Core, but because they don't use the resources they have to fight the downward spiral.

Confused
Sandy, UT

Redshirt...

Define "Great Teacher"?

because my wife is a GREAT teacher (personal prejudice), but if you listen to the gossips at her school who likes to stir up the other parents, she is a bad teacher.....

Why is she a bad teacher? Because she insist on having discipline in the classroom, so that ALL can "Learn" and the little darlings of these gossips are causing problems in the classroom...

Michael Matthews
Omaha, NE

@ Tyler

Are France and Sweden doing better? Not from what I've seen and heard. They may be on a voucher system. But what reliable evidence is there that this choice has lead to better student?

Sincerely,
Interested in proof if there is some, Michael

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Confused" the great teachers are the ones that no only do the kids want, but are also the ones that the parents want. They are the teachers that are able to explain the subject to their students in an engaging manner, and are able to maintain discipline within the classroom simply through expecting it. They are able to meet the needs of all of their students and work to keep the advanced students just as engaged as the struggling students.

During my public education days, I can say that I only had 3 great teachers. That was back when finding a great teacher was easier. The rest were average at best.

It is great that you wife wants to maintain discipline, but can she teach in a way that the kids understand or inspires them? I had substitutes in elementary school that maintained discipline, and they were terrible teachers.

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