California Educator

May / June 2017

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"No wonder Johnny is so low, he had as a teacher last year." M ost teachers work hard. That is a given. What makes the job harder is insults from colleagues — even those not meant that way. On any given afternoon, you are working as usual through your lunchtime at the paper cutter so you can post materials on the classroom bulletin board. A fellow teacher is in the same w orkro om durin g th eir lunchtim e as wel l , working equally hard on another task. Th e oth er edu cator t ea ch e s a g ra d e on e year above y ours, and says, " Wow, I have a lot of your kids this school year. They 're so l o w. B u t a t l e a st t h e y 're n o t l i k e l a st y e a r w h ere th e y di dn' t e v en kn ow h ow to sit in their chairs." Would you be insulted? I was. I thought to myself, "Do you think I intentionally just let the class watch cartoons all day and daydream about Christmas?" Of course not. I was working with my class like most teachers do. I taught them every day. I was diligent and consistent in my efforts to have the students assigned to me leave my class at a higher level than when they arrived. My job is not to blame the previous year's teacher and accuse him or her of how low their kids are when they get to my class- room. My job is to increase their knowledge from where they are when they come to me. I heard one teacher say to her class while passing out col- ored pencils, " You get what you get, don't throw a fit." This motto should be plastered in every school hallway at the begin- ning of each school year. All students are not coming to our classrooms as certified geniuses. We have to teach them. We have to increase the knowl- edge and skills they have. Teachers should not blame and shame other teachers. Every time I hear a teacher complaining and groaning about what another teacher didn't do, I want to tell them, "You get what you get, don't throw a fit." We are quick to pass the blame. Colleges blame high schools, high schools blame mid- dle schools, middle schools blame elementary schools, elementary schools blame parents, and parents blame the schools and the government. Where does it end? It doesn't. But the least we can do as fellow educators is stop blaming each other and saddle up and teach. One of my previous superintendents, Dr. elma Melendez de Santa Ana, used to say often in her speeches, "No shame, no blame, no excuses." I'm with her. Belinda White is a member of Associated Pomona Teachers. Go High, Not Low An educator's job is not to blame and shame other teachers By Belinda White " The least we can do as fellow educators is stop blaming each other and saddle up and teach." 17 May / June 2017 perspectives your voice

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