Honestly, your post is a much better avenue for discussion.
No, I don't work with teachers.
I am a student and have been a student all my life, just like anyone else. I have been through numerous strikes - and engaged in a misguided walkout supposedly in support of teachers.
I remember York students being out of classes because of the strike in 07-08 and more than a few of them complained about it.
This thread wasn't meant to be an anti-teacher thread. It was meant to be a thread which bashes how the Government and the union members treat the students that have no voice at the table. Both sides seem to be the "good guy"; both try to pander to students (pander - a word that seems overused now).
In most cases, students join the teachers' side without actually being part of that discussion. They support a side because they "feel bad" about how one side is being treated. The 'victimization' aspect is far easier to comprehend and relate to regarding teachers, considering students see teachers every single day. When do students get representation when they get shafted time after time during this negotiation process?
Some teachers' union groups have demanded its members stop grading student report cards - a part of their job function.
Governments have locked out teachers from buildings. Teachers cannot do their jobs.
Both of these actions, as an example, show that both sides are willing to do what it takes to get their point across. Yet both sides say that they 'support students' or the like. It is hard to come to terms that both sides actually care about students. It's about politics but students do not formally participate in this political arena.
I brought up an article where the author has trouble picking a side because it's not as easy as black and white.
This doesn't have to do with JoeyJoeJoeJr (the poster) in particular or any one teacher in mind. It's nothing personal.
Well, I can tell by the above post that you're not trolling. Whatever your point of view, I do appreciate knowing that it's genuine.
And just to start, I can assure that even though I am now a teacher, I spent far more of my life as a student. I'd like to think that I'm early-on enough in my career that I can still clearly see "the other side". In fact, I became a teacher largely because I felt that students were misrepresented. There is a lot about schools that I would change, but that's probably a separate discussion. Even still, I can see that, by and large, the real problems with schools are not generated by teachers. If that requires clarification, by all means, let me know.
I also think that students are more astute than you give them credit for. I really doubt that it's a matter of the old Florence Nightingale symptom. In fact, just consider what it must take to overcome the natural apathy of most people in supporting a cause, let alone during the teenage years. I believe, from my experiences, that students genuinely care. When I was a student, I certainly had my share of frustration, but I found that, by and large, it was with the system, and not the teachers. I think that sentiment is still echoed by most students. And again, I realize that there are some bad teachers out there - I've had them, and I've worked with them - but I really don't believe that it's the type of profession that lends itself to the selfish or lazy, even if a few examples do exist. I'm sure you could say the same, or worse, of lawyers (wish I had their pay scale!).
As for the report cards, I understand where you're coming from, but there are a few details missing. Primarily, it was established that students in grade 12 would absolutely not be denied their grades, especially as it pertained to transcripts for university. Beyond that, students were still given feedback, just not in grade-form. You can appreciate the lengths to which teachers have gone to "stick it to the man" while still supporting students. And a point about extra-curricular activities that I missed earlier, many teachers made sure that those same extra-curriculars were supported by community members. In other words, the activities themselves were not removed whole scale, but transferred to non-teachers. And even though it's non-contractual, and therefore not in direct disagreement with the government, it's purpose was primarily to raise awareness.
It's hard, of course, for me to see this as anything but black and white. The government has many areas of concern, schools are not first and foremost in their minds. They have to consider re-elections, taxes, and any number of other societal concerns. But for teachers, schools are everything. When you look at which side has the more vested interest in student well-being, it's teachers, hands down.
I'm going to add this personal note to it, which may easily be dismissed as anecdotal, but it's something I find important nonetheless. My career is teaching. It will be my legacy, for better or worse. The time for me to be a space-pirate-ninja-astronaut has passed. Whatever meaning I derive in my life, through my career, comes from being the best possible teacher that I can be. And that has very little to do with English grammar (English teacher here) or Shakespeare. It is 90% about the relationships I build with students. Believe me when I say that I take that seriously. Benefits and pay aside, if you want any satisfaction in your career as a teacher, students absolutely DO come first.
Edited by Remy, 18 November 2012 - 12:03 AM.