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Home : 2002 : Jul : 10

    By the way!!!
    By Cathy-Dee

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    Just for some of the newcomers to this board - yes it is a vent board, but for those of us who have been visiting here for the past 3 or more years we do recognize from time to time posters who seem to arrive not to vent, not to get advice, but simply because they love getting things stirred up on the board to the point it gets ugly which has already started on this posting. I for one will be emailing the owners of the board and asking them to remove the couple of rude responses posted earlier.

    Answering Jay one last time. What makes a good teacher - there are no defining guidelines that state if you do these things then you are a good teacher. And it does depend on the grade level you teach. I teach grade 1 - what makes me a good grade 1 teacher will be so different on what would make someone an excellent grade 9 teacher. And we (as pointed out many times to Jay) are not all cut out to teach all grades. I personally wouldn't want to teach the older grades because I would find them frustrating. But I know teachers who do teach those grades and love them.
    What makes a great teacher - someone who is constantly learning themselves. Someone who tries new programs, new techniques, listens to others, observes, reads, takes workshops, adapts to change, handles stress, handles critism, etc., In fact what makes a good teacher is what makes anyone good at any job they do. There are no guidelines or checklists for lawyers or doctors or for that matter most jobs. Those in power decide if you are doing a good job based on results - can you handle all aspects of your job, do you get along with your colleagues, can you handle the customers, do you endeavor to learn new things, etc., Teaching is just another job - a Principal is the boss and our students and parents are our customers.

    I agree with many of the other posters in that Jay simply does not want to admit that perhaps he didn't handle the year in the best way and wants an east out rather than face the fact that he needs to work on some things if he wants to stay in teaching.

    I know a teacher who did extremely well in his student teaching - he also only student taught in high school - he came into our school taking over a position in junior high. He quit by Christmas. Granted our principal at that time was not as supportive as he should have been - but there were also 3 other first year teachers who did survive the year (critism and all - I was one of them by the way) and they went on to become better teachers and are still improving as we speak.
    Where this teacher fell apart was also in classroom management and basic lesson planning. He taught junior high the same way he taught high school - lecture style. The kids were bored, they acted up - and trust me this school did not have serious behaviour problems. When this teacher wanted to try something new - he didn't simply ask for ideas - he wanted the other teachers to explain detail by detail how to accomplish something. I know the other teachers did not like him either and I'm sure that got back to the Principal as well. And surprising he really didn't see what he was doing wrong. He tried another school the following year and surprise - couldn't handle it either. He's no longer teaching either.

    Could he have become a better teacher, it would have depending on his attitude. Should the principal have been more supportive, yes, but you cannot hang your career on whether or not you and your boss get along. Were there steps he or other teachers could take to improve, always. There are inservices, fellow colleagues, chat boards, web-sites, books, etc.,

    Are all schools and principals fair, of course not. There are no perfect jobs or bosses or for that matter teachers. However there are better ones, some that might even be great and some almost perfect. But we can all improve and we all have our shortcomings. To me the best teacher is the one who realized he or she is not perfect, admits their mistakes, takes steps to fix those mistakes and moves on.

    Jay has posted on this same issue at least 14 times in the past two months - all his posts are the same - the principal is terrible, the kids were horrible, it wasn't fair, and he usually asked for advice and when given advice or asked questions simply posted again with more complaints. While venting is fine and this is a public forum and he can vent as often as he likes - THE REST OF US DO NOT HAVE TO like it either and we also have the right to vent back at him if we so choose to. Jay was offered support even sympathy and for some reason wants to keep bringing this up.

    And personally I think it is simply because he's enjoying all the attention and the way his posts get things stirred up. I know I've said it before and then get suckered in myself - but if we all decide to simply ignore Jay he will go away as it does get boring posting vents if no one will respond to it. So this will be my last post on the issue as I'd prefer to post under other vents where I might be of more help and support and where I can do more reflecting myself which helps me improve in my teaching.

    It is obvious that no matter what is said or advised Jay is determined to stay hung up on this issue for as long as possible.

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