The concerns of a first-year teacher

As I enter my first year of teaching, I am frustrated — like many teachers in America — by the lack of respect for my profession.

I know I will face the “shorter days, more holidays, and long summer break” comments that have long been directed at teachers, but I can handle those. (My Dad preached Socrates when I was a kid — “I know nothing, except the fact of my ignorance” — and I’ve bought into this philosophy.) People who assume teaching is easy don’t understand the complexities of the profession. But when I read commentary from people inside the education reform movement, it seems clear that some of them choose to ignore the facts.

Some education reformers dismiss and often insult the vast, peer-reviewed literature written by education professors, teacher researchers, and others. What is so maddening is that these reformers know that the research exists, choose not to give it a second of their time, and then have the gall to say teachers aren’t putting students first. By refusing to give credence to research that comes directly from classrooms, reformers are effectively silencing teachers. This is the kind of disrespect I cannot stomach.

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