Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cobb Schools: Teachers

For the last few decades the Cobb school system has, overall, been the best core-Atlanta has to offer. Not knocking Fayette or Forsyth Counties, just excluding them from the comparison of Counties like Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton--and even Gwinnett. This makes a recent AJC article on the Cobb Board of Education's decision to NOT buy math textbooks very interesting. It also makes it a gold mine of blog posts, so much so that each topic it touches on demands its own diatribe.

Today's is "teachers".

The amalgamated monster comprising teachers, teacher "organizations" and other apologists is a multi-headed beast which spews different and often contradictory stories from each fanged mouth:
"Many teachers say without textbooks, and the resources that come with them, they will be forced to piecemeal together lesson plans..."
"Textbooks provide sample problems, step-by-step explanations to complex math concepts and are used to build lesson plans..."
or a math tutor who remarks
"They're now dumping the onus on the teacher to come up with a methodology to share information with the masses in an effective way."
or the apologist parent saying
"Every math teacher is not the same. You're going to have math teachers who know what they're doing [...] but what happens when you have teachers who don't have that level of dedication."
OMG! Where to start?

Teachers, the very same ones who bitch about being reduced to marionettes in a puppet show by being forced to use pre-packaged "education resources" are now complaining that they might actually be called upon to demonstrate they really can teach. They are simply being asked to prove they know the material and that they can present the material in an effective manner. Isn't that what a teacher is supposed to do? Weren't they just whining about how "the system" prevented them from doing just that?

We have in the past pointed out that teachers, throughout their career both as students and as teachers generally don't know their subject matter, particularly math, and no one seems to really care. Now we know why. Like a kid who refuses to remember any fact he can look up on the internet these folks use textbooks as intellectual crutches--as a curtain these great wizards of the Educational Emerald City hide behind to disguise their own ignorance and incompetence.

And heaven forbid after all those grad level classes on pedagogy--you know, the only grad classes in America where students are told to "pull your chairs into a circle"--they might actually have to put to use some, perhaps all, of the "methodologies" they claim to have learned. And "masses"? Ironically that pejorative spews forth from a tutor who largely benefits when the classroom teacher fails.

Certainly no two individuals are the same but do we really want to ask, out loud, whether these "teachers", "professionals" one and all, are even dedicated to their "profession"? Is there a vast undedicated majority? If so we now see the real magnitude of the problem caused by credential and title inflation amongst public educators. If not, get rid of those pompous slackards who bring down the profession.

And they call themselves teachers? Forget math, they don't even know what that word means.