Teacher doesn’t understand why DCPS values them so little!

From a reader:

This situation is absurd. It is odd that we have, supposedly, smart
people (the TFA corps members themselves) fooled into believing this is
actually good for children. They arrive with an idealistic shine in
their eyes; the smart ones quickly lose the shine and reach out to
teachers with actual experience and pedagogy, and the naive ones
eventually also lose the shine, yet they still plug away thinking that
they will change the world in 2 years or less. In no other profession
would the idea of using novices in the most difficult situations be
acceptable; however, those with clout ($) proceed to demonize
professional teachers. If Vitti is so focused on using TFA, why not
recruit TFA from Jacksonville and the surrounding areas and also require
a 5 year commitment? I honestly think 1/2 of teachers quit before year
5 because it takes 5 or more years to become a confident,
pedagogically-driven, knowledgeable, competent, comfortable, classroom
manager of students. By year 3 or 4, I definitely felt way more apt than
years 1 or 2. Those first 2 years were about getting through the day
with sanity.

To spend this massive amount of money with little
return is useless to the students and disheartening to teachers who want
to invest in the Jacksonville community. Beyond that, guess who will
continually get the “privilege” to mentor all of these new TFA teachers
(a requirement for all new teachers is to have a mentor)? Oh, that’s
right, an experienced teacher gets to mentor all of these new TFAers,
observing them in the classroom, doing pre-observations, committing time
to do post-observations, etc., and does not get paid for it. It will
seriously get to the point where so few mentors will exist because you
have to have 3 years of successful teaching to be a mentor teacher! What
is my motivation to mentor when these teachers are taking jobs from
other professional teachers? Just this afternoon, I was talking to a
TFA corps member when he made the assertion that there are just so many
openings and no one wants those jobs that TFA is filling. Well, that is
simply not true. I know for a fact that we have to place these TFAers
because of the contract and that many people apply for the openings in
the Title One schools. Unfortunately, we have to move out the already
hired teacher for a TFA corps member. Imagine replacing a doctor with a
5-week experienced intern. ..

With an M.A. and 8 years in DCPS,
my starting salary is around $40,000, only $3000 or so higher than these
first year TFA teachers. I had to pay off my graduate student loans, as
nobody reimbursed me for those courses. I am committed to Jacksonville
and its people, as are many of the teachers working full-time for years
in Duval county with no extra bonuses in sight. How about investing in
us for a change?

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