[A teacher actually sent this as part of his job application for a teaching position to an international school in Asia. Needless to say, he did not get the job.]
Welcome to my application! I’d like to begin my application by being a ‘risk-taker’ to show that I don’t just believe in risk-taking as an aspect of IB education, I model it, and I live it as well!
What I have learned from teaching for 10 years in many different schools.
As a teacher, I’m asked to create ‘real world learning’ in a classroom which is a very limited artificial setting. I must provide materials and ‘hands on application’ with a 90 dollar budget for the semester, distributed among a class of 30 students, which works out at a couple of slices of pizza each.
I’m hired by an employer to be ‘creative’, but not rock the boat by identifying weaknesses in the system to overcome, otherwise I am labeled as a ‘complainer, trouble maker, or one who doesn’t fit in with the culture’.
I’m asked to be a real human as an example to my students, but not to have my own opinion otherwise I am criticized for branding students with my opinion or interpretation. I can’t use a word like, hell, bloody or shit, while students send chats to each other using these and much stronger verbalization, or log on to any youtube video which uses this now daily language.
I’m asked to write so called ‘plans’ but include every minuscule detail, I’m asked to attend to students needs but spend all my time checking boxes and writing reports to be filed, ignored or simply regurgitating comments made on the same student for the same inappropriate behavior he has been warned about but is not the schools ‘policy’ to get involved in personal affairs, particularly as we are a test-preparation school-, somehow at the same time providing ‘a real, meaningful holistic education’ which will create ‘responsible global citizens’.
Likewise, we are a private school which provides education and claims ‘world class facilities’ though there is no tissue in the bathrooms and if you want whiteboard markers, you must fill out a request slip, have it signed by chasing the head teacher, head master and resource officer then wait two weeks for your request to be processed and materials delivered.
Children are competitively graded from very young ages but scolded in later years because they ‘can’t cooperate’. They are told for example, that they can’t write their name in other colors, or nicknames, or with icons, but are later criticized because they ‘lack creativity’.
Students are encouraged to lead healthy, balanced lives, while teachers and administrators fall asleep amidst paperwork‘ plans’ that must be ‘perfected’ with every critical detail.
Teachers are asked to make learning purposeful and rewarding amidst a developing world of pop-culture, instant gratification and false idols.
We are asked not to discriminate while students throw insults at each other for not having the latest gadgets, while we stand for the national anthem, and the homeless people meander their way past the enormous shiny front gate of the school.
We need not discriminate or hurt the esteem of children while we dish out grades based on their ‘intelligence’ after they take tests which really only show how much they memorize because the system is creating memory junkies not thinkers.
Students are encouraged to be ‘risk-takers’, but don’t step out of line, or you will be accused of disrespect and non-conformity. Teachers are asked to allow students to express themselves freely, but put your hand up, don’t speak while the teacher is speaking, don’t give your opinion or interpretation, just the facts because that’s what’s in the book and that’s on the test.
The teacher who shouts is regarded as the ‘strong, good willed teacher with high expectations’ but it is clear he lacks self-control at the very best. The teacher in the background gets no recognition for fine work because he is busy doing his job thoroughly, rather than spending that time promoting himself.
The teacher with experience but without the Master degree will not get the job; regardless it is only ‘regurgitated educational jargon’ that doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of his vast experience he has acquired over the past decade. The teacher with multiple activities running simultaneously with many textbooks is regarded as clever but cannot simplify his curriculum effectively, let alone for students to grasp.
The teacher says ‘We must all respect each other and cooperate’ while he dishes out disciplinary measures because he didn’t see past his own bias when one student tried to help another out during class.
The teacher who willingly accepts with helpful intention the extra tasks without pay is walked on as he is soon taken for granted and juggles delegated tasks handed down from his superiors because they are ‘managing’ or ‘leading’ which has become synonymous with ‘outsourcing’.
Those who are esteemed as ‘leadership’ generally can’t lead themselves through a morning without coffee and cigarette breaks, and those who are esteemed as ‘management’ can’t manage their own weight or temper, let alone another person. The egos are flattered but the efforts are diminished as one climbs the promotional ladder; hence the reason why such persons choose such positions.
The ‘leadership’ attend multiple meetings daily which teachers would honestly regard as ‘coffee breaks,’ then before their extended ritual lunches peruse the hallways looking in classroom windows claiming their busy schedule.
The headmaster gives his daily biased rant on morning assembly while students tune out to the droning tone, but in staff meetings tells teachers to provide more opportunity for students to speak out in class.
He tells that students can’t be allowed to walk in the hallway without a hall pass, but need access to opportunities to demonstrate their responsibility to gain responsibility for themselves.
He sees the young girls with short skirts and hands out detention for this, not realizing it is his own corrupt thought of sexual imagery which is the corruption. Of course, the billboard out the front of the school shows a woman in her sexy lingerie or bikini being caressed affectionately by a man, which is typically a skin care advertisement or a Pepsi commercial.
Parents are‘ invited’ to parent teacher conferences and are then ‘told’ if, or how the school is failing their children of the extra fees they will need to front because the student needs extra tuition; he can’t pass the tests because he goes to sleep so late after playing Facebook until 2pm and can’t stay awake in class.
The teacher is officially warned by ‘leadership’ who at the wrong time pass the classroom window on their‘ supportive’ critically biased observations because they see the same student with his head down on the desk, barely awake. This is the teacher’s problem now being labeled as an ‘ineffective teacher’, and the parents will blame the teacher because he is a failing grade when they didn’t get him to bed on time.
Likewise, he doesn’t do his homework and his failing grade falls on the teachers head accusingly as ‘the teacher didn’t teach according to the different learning style or multiple intelligences’ of the student.
Those students who do excel are those whose family untiring supports them-, while the school tries to claim the credit for any ‘public achievements’ of the student for marketing purposes. If the school made the difference then why does the same student score such low grades in every class for the past three years running? A teacher will always say he ‘can tell’ how the known student will perform in class this year, or this time around.
The teacher is asked to provide ‘differentiated instruction’ to the students because in an attempt to squeeze as much profit as possible from the parent community, takes all new student enrollments from those who are completely competent to those who can barely speak the national language.
With 20 to 30 students in the class, the teacher is then evaluated by management who send a questionnaire to students asking them of the class which they check boxes such as ‘not engaging’, while they hide their I-phones under the desk and flick through images of the latest celebrities.
During professional development, the teacher sits through time consuming lectures from ‘leadership’ who preaches that every student is an individual and must be treated so and can’t be judged, but we will grade the students according to their‘ ability’ and like any formal school setting, is required as a student to ‘keep pace and conformity’ with his class, otherwise he will be held back a year for being a ‘incapable or slow learner’.
Likewise, during ‘professional development’ teachers both young and old, both novice and experienced are subjected to ‘team building games, activities and workshops’ many which are a dry run of the previous year, or are humiliating at best. The teacher who doesn’t participate out of recognizing the childishness and irrelevance of the activities is most quickly disqualified as a serious teacher contributor to the ‘culture’ of the organization. These workshops generally are organized by ‘leadership’ who claim to know what skills teachers need to develop in the classroom, but really have no idea because no teachers have been involved in the decision making process as they should.
Students routinely arrive late to school with the consequence ‘we will call your parents’ to the very parents who dropped them off late. The ‘leadership’ who arrive late are treated to smiles and remarks of ‘He’s a busy man’, while the teacher who turns up a minute or two late must have follow up meetings with his ‘head teacher’ who warns of his poor work ethic and consequently must suffer a pay-cut.
The ‘leadership’ claim they will help support new teachers and struggling teachers, while classes are changed with last minute notification, resources are lacking, budgets are lacking, and who, alongside parents of unhappy students (because they are failing as they can’t get to school on time or stay awake in class, or withstand the incredibly dry curriculum) ‘launch an official investigation’ into the ‘poor performance’ of the teacher.
Well, you may not take me seriously but teaching is an unsustainable career, and the education system is a façade at best as it pumps out its ‘responsible global citizens’ who are apparently individuals pumped out of an assembly line type of system which claims to ‘cater for all learning needs and styles’ by throwing a mix of cash paying customers into an artificial classroom environment and claim ‘authentic, real life meaningful learning.’ Image/Google Images
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