Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's all my fault!

Over at Betsy's Page, she mentioned that in California the governator wants 8th graders to master algebra. Now while this is a noble sentiment, the reality is far different. I hit the comment link to see what the discussion was like and I ran into this gem by "Walt Vega"

"At what age do kids learn Algebra in Japan, China, Germany, France, Spain, Australia? American kids are stupid, thanks to American Teachers. Great job"

Now, I don't know about you, but that looked like an outright attack on all teachers, and I took a certain amount of umbrage at that statement, and responded thusly...

"Walt, with all due respect. Kiss my ass. You obviously have never been in a classroom as a teacher and have no clue what you're talking about. You know how many parents supply phone numbers that don't work? How many don't care? How many would rather buy booze and drugs instead of shoes and pencils for their kids? And yet it's my fault as a teacher? Hear that ringing? It's reality calling, you might want to answer."

Now, I admit I should not have told him to KMA but I was pretty pissed that he would blame all teachers for the problems that public education face in 2008. Plus I figured that Walt was a post and run troll who likes to flame and run. Well, Walt to his credit responded to my first comment...

As much as you would enjoy me kissing your ass I wouldn't dream of depriving your mom from using her mouth there and elsewhere on your body.
Personalizing it by attacking me is a sure sign you're a loser. You can't keep it substantive. Try to address the original issue. Show us what a smarty you are.
The better teachers know the horrendous state of "teaching" in the USA. It's inarguable.
Equally inarguable is the inverse relationship nationally between "teacher" salaries and student performance. It's grotesque. It's shameful.
Blame? Go ahead. Makes you look all the more foolish. It's people like you and the NEA/UFT that vote in the democrats who promulgate laws and programs to coddle teenage criminality, to promote illegal aliens sucking dry resources from schools and towns, and that lower standards of every conceivable kind.
Keep it up, genius."

Now, aside from the incestuous implications that I won't go into, it's clear that Walt has no clue about my personal feelings about teacher's unions or the reality that teachers face in the classroom everyday. This time I didn't reply right away until my temper had cooled down a bit...

"A. I hate the NEA with a passion. They have done more to hurt education that all the loser parents put together. I love the idea of voucher programs, school choice and charter schools. If it will truly help the kids learn, I'm all for it. As for illegals? Put the marines on the border.

B. You missed my point. So I'll lay it out again just for you. If you want kids to succeed, then you need parents who care. To often, the parents don't care and that attitude rubs off on the kids. When the parents care about their kid's education then the foundation for success gets laid.

C. I don't lower standards, sorry you have the wrong teacher.

D. Maybe you should get the facts straight before you attack me. You made it personal when you blamed all teachers without exception. If you're so smart you go teach and get back to me.

Jorg, you really do need those pedagogy classes. There is a huge amount of knowledge that you need just in the science of teaching. Lesson planning, classroom management, record keeping etc., are all vital to becoming a good teacher. Many states have an ARL (alternative route to license) so that people with a BS+ can start teaching right away and go to school to get the teaching part."

Now, I was pretty sure that I had made a point about crappy parents getting some of the blame, but I guess I was not obvious enough for Walt...

" You never made a point. There was nothing to miss.

A good carpenter never blames his tools. Deflecting your failure as a teacher to the parent must feel comforting, but it's bullshit and shows what a numskull you are. What's your next excuse; no parking?

If you want to get paid as a teacher, you should only receive a check if you've done your job. Whining not included. You don't teach. You collect (my) government money for arriving at your job site.

The immigrants were not famous for "caring" about education for the their children. School robbed them of income they needed just to survive.

Or are you referring to Negro kids (more specifically, their parent(s))?"

Now at this point it was fairly obvious to me that Walt's views are set in stone and that all teachers are racist pigs feeding at the public trough. He straight out says that teachers have no excuses at all for not properly teaching their students. Now I was not about to let the whole racist charge go without an answer so I responded with this...

"Exactly how much time have you spent as a teacher again? Tell you what Walt, since you're obviously so much more qualified to teach than either Betsy or myself, why don't you come to our schools and show us how it should be done.

And the school I last taught at was 55% hispanic, and I've seen this parental problem across racial lines, so your tactic of calling me a racist won't wash either.

I don't blame all parents for the trouble our schools face, I do blame the ones who couldn't care less about their kid's education and why that's my fault I still don't understand.

I do know this, that the more involved the parents are, the better the odds that the students will be successful and the inverse is also true.

If you wish to continue to blame teacher's for all the ills in public education go right ahead, it shows your lack of knowledge and your continual personal attacks show your lack of class."

Now I am going to let Walt know that I've posted this here so this conversation can continue if he wishes. I don't want to drag down Betsy's blog with this debate.