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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Timothy Slekar Laments His Career As a Teacher

 It's really the fault of his wonderful, caring, excellent grade school teacher who showed him that learning, reading, and thinking were doorways to understanding how the world worked.
I had one of those.
Betsy Combier
Timothy D. Slekar

Timothy D. Slekar

Posted: March 14, 2011 02:37 PM




It's All My Fault?

 HuffPost Education
In what follows, please be advised that pseudonyms are used throughout this blog. If these pseudonyms are actually real people, I apologize.
A 5th grader named William scored "below basic" this year. How did this happen? Simple. William's teacher is, as Michelle Rhee  has been known to say, "crappy." Let me explain the cause and effect relationship. William's "crappy" teacher caused William to score "below basic." What should be done? It's obvious, isn't it? We must hold William's teacher accountable and get rid of this "crappy" teacher. But as some have commented, there are other factors that might have contributed to William's underachievement.
What about the teacher education program  that prepared William's teacher? After all, it was the teacher education program that let William's teacher get a teaching credential. But is it really the teacher education program's fault that William's teacher is "crappy"?
What about the faculty of the teacher education program that prepared William's teacher? Maybe that's where we should put the blame -- "crappy" teacher education faculty. Wait a minute! Now I know who's to blame. It's me! I'm the "crappy" faculty member that prepared William's teacher.
But is it really my fault? I was just doing what I was taught to do.
It's my dissertation adviser, Dr. Winkle's, fault. He signed off on my dissertation and that in turn allowed me to qualify as a "crappy" teacher educator.
However, what about Dr. Swinler? She signed off on my Master's Thesis. If Dr. Swinler would have stopped me, I would have never been able to get into a Ph.D. program in teacher education. But is it really Dr. Swinler's fault?
Actually, it was Dr. Bedizo (my undergraduate student teaching supervisor) that gave me an A in student teaching. Couldn't she see that I was going to be a "crappy" teacher?
But wait. Maybe it was Dr. Long (my first education professor) -- how is it possible that I earned a B in his curriculum course as a freshman? If I could find all my tests and projects from that class I bet they would prove how "crappy" I really was. Therefore, it was Dr. Long's fault.
Again though, does the blame really belong with Dr. Long? Before Dr. Long, I had a dream of becoming a teacher. I wanted to change the world. I believed in the power of learning. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children. I thought I could empower children. I really believed that I would be a good teacher. However, isn't it obvious that I was misguided and destined to be "crappy"?
I never once dreamed about teaching children to score well on tests. So you see, it's all my fault. I was not able to see that I would, one day, become a "crappy" teacher -- a teacher that actually cares deeply about children and the learning process. Now it's too late. Why didn't any of you stop me?
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