Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Things For Which I'd Trade a Donut

It's Teacher Appreciation Day, and all across America, teachers are being treated to donuts and notepads and cookies and maybe a nice email from administration. I don't for one minute want to seem ungrateful for these things-- my administration is setting out some food in the lounge Thursdeay and I will be more than happy to accept that expression of appreciation by stuffing it in my mouth hole.

But like many teachers, I have mixed feelings about this day and the week of which it's a part.

I like donuts, and I like the thoughtfulness behind those appreciation donuts, but here are some of the things for which I would trade those donuts--

* A really nice chair and desk, maybe even located in a personal space. Teachers are the only professionals who can look enviously at cubicle dwellers. 

* Voters who stopped casting their votes for anti-education candidates for office. I don't care what party-- just stop voting for people who neither understand nor appreciate this country's system of public education. Stop voting for people who think teachers are overpaid layabouts. Stop voting for people who think public education is one more government program that should be shrunk until it's small enough to drown in a bathtub.

* Policies that support public education instead of attacking it, dismantling it, and privatizing it.

* Policies that show respect for teachers instead of assuming that anyone with a pulse can be stuck in a classroom with good results.

* An end to the use of narrow bad standardized tests as a measure of teacher quality.

* An end to the assumption that all teachers probably stink unless they can prove otherwise.

* Respect for the profession that runs so deep that policy-makers never launch a piece of policy without saying, "Well, we can't make a move on this without consulting some actual teachers." Or even-- and now I'm just fantasizing wildly-- policymakers who say, "Well, we can't possibly write this policy without teachers in the room with us. In fact, maybe we should just leave them in the room and we'll wait outside."

* Pay levels for teachers that, at a minimum, reflect the actual market value of the job and, at a maximum, reflect an honest desire to recruit and retain really good people to the profession.

* The end of narrow bad standardized tests as a measure of educational effectiveness.

* The end of narrow bad standardized tests as a measure of student learning.

* Hell, just get rid of the damned tests.

* Someone from the front office walks down to a teacher's classroom to say, "What can we in administration do to help you do your job?"

* Also, if my donut could have sprinkles on it, that would be cool.


  1. Could I have a box of pens? Somewhere within half a bock of my classroom, without having to fill out a form and wait two weeks?

  2. I'd kill for a doughnut from administration. Wait.....Is 0 counted as a doughnut?

  3. The icing on the... er, donut... is that I cannot eat gluten. Feed the Teachers Week is all about the gluten.

    But my chair is cool. I duct-taped the arms and it has a nice gangsta lean. Just don't try to roll in it or the wheels will destroy the floor!