Vets Need To Help -- Not Crush -- New Teachers

People still sometimes post comments on the old blog site, thinking that it's still up and running. (It isn't, except as an archive of old posts and comments.) Here's one that seemed worth re-posting, on the topic of keeping new teachers in the system:


alarming rate that new teachers are leaving the system has actually

improved as of late. I do want to state, however, that based on my

personal conversations with many young teachers has led me to the

following conclusions.

1. The new crop of teachers coming into CPS is as optimistic and

passionate as ever. However, some of the most commonly reported reasons

for their lack of hope, thus lack of belief and investment into the

system and subsequent attrition is not due to the many injustices and

bureaucratic waste we all see from the CBOE. Instead it often has to do

much more with the lack of focus on the real issues. New teachers have

just as much ability to see all of the crap we see.

2. They, like I, see these systematic injustices as more as of a

control rather than a variable. In other words, what you see is what

you get. If you have the passion to work in an incredibly challenged

system and want to change it, the answer is not constant references to

the poor conditions and whining about the system, but rather digging in

and getting involved in improving the system one brick at a time.

3. The constant political infighting within the Union and among

teachers within each school at the expense of ignoring the obvious and

tangible issues facing each building is what demoralizes new teachers

most. REMEMBER: They don't want to hear about our old scars and

vendettas towards the CBOE or each other. Despite their naivety and

inexperience, they do have that invaluable quality of a burning desire

to make things better. Remember that feeling? We've all had and maybe

still do have that.

4. Therefore, to all contributors and readers of this blog, I

beseech you to please put more energy in nurturing and easing their

shocking transition into this system. After all they ARE the future of

this system be it good or bad. Spend less time complaining on this blog

and more time welcoming them, mentoring them, teaching them from your

cistern of wisdom and instilling hope in them (which is very easy to

do) rather than burdening them with all your personal baggage and scars

re: the system. Don't get me wrong. Help them to be realistic, but

don't crush their spirit.

5. Yes the whole system is rife with serious problems. WE ALL SEE

THAT! However, why must we always harp on the problems rather than

taking a grass roots, local approach to solving these problems and

looking out for each other as teachers, rather than looking for ways to

create chaos, hopelessness and new ways to divide each other. Leave

your personal baggage behind and help make things better for the

student and teacher sitting in front of you RIGHT NOW!

Respectfully, One who has seen much! Wells HS Teacher"

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