Florida abuses teachers and can’t figure out why there’s a teacher shortage

I have written this same piece dozens of times over the years. This time however it is from Florence Snyder writing in Florid Politics.

  At the rate Florida is hemorrhaging classroom teachers, it soon won’t matter that we can’t hire school bus drivers for $11.88 an hour, because there won’t be any classrooms worth taking the kids to.

Every week brings fresh reporting about Florida’s teacher shortage; none of it is a surprise to parents or policymakers who have been paying even the slightest bit of attention.
The teaching talent pool began to shrink in the mid-20th century as women’s professional options expanded into better-paying places. Still, girls and an increasing number of boys raised to revere teachers continued to pursue careers in the classroom.
Teaching reading to fidgety first-graders and science to 17-year-olds suffering from senioritis is hard duty under the best of circumstances. In recent years, it’s become close-to-impossible.
Technology and testing mandates change at warp speed, to the delight of stockholders in companies that sell technology and tests. There’s no money left for toilet paper and Kleenex, so teachers’ pay for those “amenities” personally.
Technology has also made it possible for helicopter parents to harass teachers at any hour of the day or night. Email is great for monster moms and douchey dads who wanted to bully teachers while wearing pajamas and drinking heavily. But it sucks down a lot of time that teachers need to grade papers and attend “trainings” on their uncompensated time.
It’s hard to maintain teacher morale when the wage gap in the public-school system is closing in on the wage gap in the private sector. In Miami, for example, Superintendent and Fashion Plate Alberto Carvalho can afford to dress like Rico Suave on his $345,000 salary. Teachers making $40K are lucky if they can keep up with their student loans.
Then there’s the daily dose of defamation heaped upon teachers by folks looking to dismember the public-school system for the benefit of people whose salaries in privatized “education” make Carvalho’s pay look paltry.
There are limits to people’s willingness to be a piñata for paltry pay and no respect. Teachers could be forgiven if they decide to homeschool their own kids and leave the rest of us to fend for ourselves.

One Reply to “Florida abuses teachers and can’t figure out why there’s a teacher shortage”

  1. DOE, superintendents, school boards are all six figure salaries people; many have "paper mill" credentials and have no clue how to do their jobs. Wasted monies on test prep/high stakes testing; all irrelevant to the "true teaching" which SHOULD BE happening in our school. Harassment and bullying of teachers IN FRONT OF THEIR STUDENTS by these incompetent supervisors; no "higher up" should be paid more than the highest paid teacher. Wasted monies are the major issue here, corporate profirs/kickbacks to district/all wasted monies. Teachers suffer as a result of all this incompetence in the system. Make the elected officials take the tests along with school boards and see if they can pass the tests they force upon good, competent, dedicated teachers.

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