Walt Gardner’s Reality Check

But this reaction [that “at last teachers are facing what others face in the ‘real world'”] sounds like schadenfreude to me. I don’t believe that teachers will be more effective when they live in fear of losing their job. Those who choose teaching as a lifetime career do so because they see it as a calling. They are not doing less than they are capable of doing. As a result, threats of firing cannot and will not motivate them to be better. It’s a cynical strategy.

via Outrage Over Teacher Unemployment – Walt Gardner’s Reality Check – Education Week.

Mr Gardner may be confused. When you see your career as a calling, you do not cite that as a reason for compensation. You cite your contributions, your successes, your dedication, and your ongoing improvements. Your calling to the profession simply denotes the reason you want to contribute, succeed, dedicate yourself, and continuously improve. But your calling does not denote that you’ve done those things. In fact, if you can only say that you’ve been “called” to teach and cannot say what your teaching has accomplished, then you have quite a problem, like a sculptor who claims greatness but has never touched marble.

Maybe accountability is cynical, however, a major aspect of cynicism involves a tireless focus on reality despite anything else we would rather perceive.


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