Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Fill In

The Teaching profession is facing a massive shortage and rightfully so. As I hang up my clipboard I have little good to say about what I have seen in my 20 years of being in and out of classrooms as both a full time Teacher and as a Substitute. And in my last few months in Nashville I have never seen schools or children like I have here. I have never walked into classrooms so poorly managed, curriculum so poorly taught or met Adults throughout the schools, as Teachers, Administrators, Social Workers and Secretaries who are so rude, dismissive and angry. The odd occasion I don't I find out that they have only recently relocated here and are equally dismayed as to what they are experiencing.

Right now I am watching a classroom descend into chaos. I have subbed for this Teacher before and it is a half day which ends in 25 minutes. I cannot wait to walk out and not set foot in this school until August as it is truly tragic, grim and pathetic. I feel sad for myself anyone else no. The Teacher has cancer and rather than take a medical leave and allow the Students to have a stable presence she has split subs during the day, leaves lessons that are worthless and no one in the school cares about the discipline or lack thereof so the children just continue on the track to wherever they will end up. And I truly don't care. I have to not to function.

Tennessee is like most States where anyone can Substitute. Washington and Iowa are the only ones that require Substitutes to be licensed and that too has changed as there is a massive shortage of those as well. I certainly would think of better gigs to do when I retire then walk into a classroom. At least in Seattle they were Unionized and in turn well protected regarding professional courtesy as they had seniority in the district.

I just had a young woman whom I am unclear bring me more busy work, she spoke to me in a manner that I find typical for the "educators" I have encountered here. I was told that they assume only the least qualified would sub (and that may well be true) and that is why they are so dismissive regardless instead of being grateful that someone showed up. Which is why I responded to her in the same way, as that has what I have chosen to be to survive - a Bitch. I just don't care what they think as it is exhausting to take it from both children and adults. Hey I just had some little girl pull my hair out. I thought, "hey is this a Wicca thing?" Then I realized she would never even know what that is let alone have the skill set required to accomplish spell throwing but shit throwing not a problem.

School will never lift these kids from poverty. Never. They cannot even provide basic education and basic school sets of knowledge as it is impossible without a strong network and even stronger community. I never saw a School Social Worker before coming here and they are in every school. Oddly however no Nurses nor actual mental health counselors, translators and proper Tutors. That they cannot fund. But we have a Police Officer on site. This is poverty. This will never be resolved in a public schools or private schools or charter schools. This is a much larger problem that is societal.

So when I read the below comments I laughed as the poorer the district the poorer the school. Why? Because the State Legislature who was elected by the State's voting population refuse to fund Education. The revenue stream that funds education comes from property taxes and the lottery. Funny the poor have none of one and plenty for the other. The whole becoming rich thing plays a lot into this Unicorn fantasy. That is that simple fact and they use convoluted equations in which to fund them and it does nothing to change the simple truth - we have not just a shortage of Teachers but we have a shortage of those who care. I sure as hell don't.

School stats: The number of emergency teachers in Washington classrooms has doubled

Seattle Times

By Dahlia Bazzaz
Education Lab engagement editor
May 17, 2017

When they have no other option, school districts can hire people without teaching certificates — or even a college degree — to fill temporary teacher vacancies. Two years ago, districts reported 527 such individuals teaching in their classrooms. This school year, the number has more than doubled to 1,229.

Of the state’s 295 school districts, 168 employed at least one “emergency” teacher this school year, according to data collected by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

The districts with highest percentages of emergency teachers tend to be small, with many students from low-income families.

Maria Flores, director of teacher and principal quality for OSPI, says the ranks of emergency teachers are growing for a combination of reasons: K-3 class-size reductions, growing teacher attrition and baby-boomer retirements.

There are two types of emergency teachers: “emergency-certified teachers” and “emergency substitute teachers.” To hire either, districts must show the state that they’ve exhausted their pool of qualified applicants.

Emergency certified teachers must have a bachelor’s degree and have completed a significant portion of a teacher-preparation program. Emergency substitute teachers can be anyone with a high-school diploma. They’re sometimes parents or teaching assistants, said David Kinnunen, OSPI’s director of professional certification.

OSPI’s data doesn’t include the whole picture — most districts only reported emergency teachers who’d held an assignment for 20 or more consecutive days. There could be more emergency teachers serving in a short-term capacity.

Within OSPI’s data, most of the growth of emergency teachers is in the emergency-substitute category. Their ranks grew to 1,094 this school year, up from 473 in 2015-16.

Most districts provide emergency teachers with additional training in the subject they’re teaching — but the extent of the help they receive differs, according to Flores. It can be anything from a mentor to financial support for college courses.

But that’s a Band-Aid, she said, for the state’s problem with recruiting and retaining qualified teachers, which affects low-income students more than others.

“Kids in poverty need to have the most credentialed, effective teachers if they’re going to get out of poverty,” she said.

Larger districts, Kinnenun said, have the flexibility to fill core subjects with certified teachers, even if they’re asking an English teacher to teach math. Small districts don’t have as many options.

OSPI hopes to establish a database that will allow it to better track teacher vacancies and help with teacher recruitment, Flores said, but doesn’t have the funding to do so.

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