15 January 2010

Teacher Time(out)

Note: Given the staggering magnitude of the recent tragedy in Haiti, where every little bit helps, you can text "Haiti" to 90999 for a $10 donation. Verizon and Sprint have waived their usual text message fees to encourage donations. Guess who hasn't?

AT&T. Assholes Through&Through.

Full disclosure: My cell phone service is with Assholes Through&Through.

According to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), picked up by the Free Market Mojo blog, the average number of annual hours worked by U.S. of part of A. public teachers is 1,080.

Perspective: The average number of annual hours worked by all professions of OECD member nations is about 1,790. Therefore, U.S. of part of A. teachers work about 700 hours less per year than the average worker.

And they bitch about the time they work as much as anyone. Maybe even more.

Let's look at the local teacher, shall We? He or she probably works the same or even fewer hours than the northern counterpart. "But wait!", cry the teacher apologists, "Teachers here only get two months off in summer instead of three!"

True, but they also get 11 more local holidays, extended Christmas break and relatively-early May finish (about another 10-15 school days gone) and frequent "meeting days" that mean nothing to them or Us so they and We don't go. And the vast majority of Our public school teachers have engaged in professional development to the exact same extent that I have engaged in sex change operations, so it's not like they're spending their free time in "teaching-related stuff."

But the Stateside teacher makes about $40 an hour and Our poor wretch makes about $22 (if poor wretch is similarly experienced.) Should that situation be changed--improved--both "up there" and "down here"? Hell yeah. Should We do it just to make teachers "feel better about their pay"? Hell no.

We should improve the teacher pay situation by implementing merit-based pay.

Yes, I know teachers shudder at the thought of being measured...as they do to their students. But the whole idea that "Teaching cannot be measured" is utter chicken shit. The whole process may take a decade or so to be fine-tuned, but it can be done and what's more, if measuring teachers for merit pay had started back in the 1990s (when the push gained widespread appeal), We would already have a workable system in place.

The logic is irrefutable: Humans expect excellence to be rewarded and excellence is by definition an exercise in comparison. To protect the inane notion that teachers should continue to get raises as a group while ignoring those who seek excellence amidst the calamitous plunge into illiteracy and ignorance We are experiencing is like drilling a few more holes in the Titanic to let the water out.

Our teachers aren't doing enough because We aren't doing enough; I know that's true. But if We want them to do more, We have to overcome their group-think of mediocrity and institute standards of excellence...and use them. We pay the better workers more money for being better; We need to pay the better teachers more money for being better.

And for those who take Easy Street to barely work less than half a year, We can then say "You get an "F" and have them start "f"lipping burgers.

If they can learn how.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

1 comment:

GCD said...

Yes, yes, yes.
Absolutely, positively a big part of getting the educational system in track.
Teachers in PR have to move beyond the notion that they are laborers and embrace the fact that they are "professionals" with all that it entails. Constant improvement, learning new techniques, expanding their set of tools to teach, and everything else a professional does to better themselves. Nobody should be rewarded for just showing up and doing the minimum necessary to keep their jobs. Every other professional is subjected to performance reviews why should teachers be any different?