Last night I was talking to a friend - a teacher, just like me. He had posted an article on his facebook about a teacher in LA. The article stated that the LA Times had run a story naming not only the schools that had low testing scores but also specific names of teachers who had low scores. This teacher then took his own life. According to his colleages, he was a very good teacher, but he taught special ed and worked with some difficult students.
When I hear stuff like this - it makes my stomache hurt. As in physically sick, hurt. I don't understand the reasoning behind why a newspaper would publish something like this and name names. When the Times was questioned, they said that the stats could be off and that there were "a lot of different variables"... Of course there are!
The variables are the kids! Did they have breakfast this morning? How's their home life? How do they feel this morning? Did they have a fight with their parents? There are a whole list of questions that come into play when dealing with kids. They are kids.
When I have conversations lately about the state of teaching and education today....it makes me wonder if I'm going to have to find something else to do soon. Administrators, teachers and students are getting hit with a lot of extras - assessments, initiatives, curriculum, etc.
I'm starting to wonder where it will stop and when we stop trying to put a band-aid on a problem instead of trying to figure out what to do about the problem.
For now, I have the family of the LA teacher in my thoughts and I hope they can carry on.