Tuesday, March 22, 2016

If You Treat People Like Shit, Don't Expect More People To Take It

Yep, the pipeline of new teachers is starting to dry up, even in places like Oregon, and no wonder: The pay is lousy, politicians are trying to destroy the few protections teachers have and trying to gut their pensions, and teachers are always at the mercy of administrators who have ironclad job security.

College students are passing teaching up. Why bother to go into tens of thousands of dollars in debt only to get shit on and dumped before receiving "tenure" and then never being able to secure another teaching job thanks to those intrusive weeding-out questions on job applications?

“There’s no question that something must change—and quickly. Baby boomers are retiring and the candidates who could fill their jobs are simply not there,” Eskelsen GarcĂ­a wrote in a recent Lily’s Blackboard post.

But the solutions are no mystery, she added.

Increase pay for teachers, she urged. Make college affordable and broaden access to federal loan forgiveness programs for educators. (Senate Democrats’ RED Act would do this: Encourage your Senator to support it.) Recently, NEA Student Program Chair Chelsey Herrig, a future teacher who owes more than $30,000 in student debt, told Senators that she has many peers who would make great teachers, but asked, “Who can afford to teach if they’re tens of thousands of dollars in debt?”

However, the workplace can be extremely toxic. Pay and benefit increases are not enough if a principal is out to destroy your career and life.

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