We Are What Master Teachers Look Like

I wrote this on a friend’s Facebook status, but I think it should be repeated.

Governor Cuomo is now going after me.

Schools could get two brand new, inexperienced teachers for a bit more than they pay me, but they’d need a lot more than that to get my experience. If the good people of NY really think I’m not worth the 58,000 dollars a year I get for my Masters degree and 24 years experience, well, I guess their kids will get spanking new teachers who don’t know kids need to put their names on test papers, and that’s just for starters!

Who suffers when you drive the master teachers out of the career? The kids. And I may not be the best or even very good at a lot of things, but I am definitely a master teacher and proud to say it. We need to blow our own horns for a change.

I can teach. I can engage and entertain my students. I can impart knowledge I have learned in 25 years of study, far beyond what the book says. I can think, and teach your child to think, not just stare at a computer screen all day. We Master Teachers are dinosaurs: we engage with your child, teach them, not “facilitate” their learning while they stare at computers.

I can read your child and know if he is getting it. I can read your child and know if she is having a bad day, and give her an encouraging word, a smile, or a pat on the back. I know grammar. I know literature and its history. I know your child. I have taught about 2500 teenagers in my career and I make learning a positive experience. One in which they actually think.

If the people of NY state are going to criticize me for not working hard, going to tear me down and say I’m not a professional, going to resent the $58,000 a year I earn engaging with and teaching their children, then I am done. I will retire in two years and go make jewelry for a living. And your children will have fewer and fewer Master Teachers in their building because they have been all chased out by the unending criticism and resentment.

Do not let this happen. Your kids will pay the price.