The first Tuesday in November is election day in the United States. Every for years that means a presidential election, but on the other years we vote for other people and other things. This year in my state we are voting for governor. I get daily post cards and phone calls from both candidates and their minions. I really like none of the above, but I will probably try to vote my conscience as best I can.
There are some amendments to the constitution of our state this year. The one I am most concerned about is the Amendment 3, the teacher tenure law amendment. I am voting fail. It seems as though everyone is screaming about failing teachers, failing schools and pointing fingers here and there. Are we really going to have better schools if choir students are tested on standardized state tests to show progress? What about PE? And Home Ec, sorry, it is called FACS these days. Do we really need more tests? There are already a month's worth of standardized tests in math and English and science in my school. A month of educational time is devoted throughout the year to taking tests of various kinds.
As a teacher I was on the receiving end of an angry parent on more than one occasion. Not that often, but on more than one occasion, some parent told me they would have me fired. I was tenured and it was an idle threat. In my state I could be fired, even on tenure, but they have to show cause, something I did wrong. If tenure goes away, teachers can be fired because they don't like you or someone complained. In teaching it is difficult not to stir up the hornet's nest once in a while. Even the sponsor of this bill has given up supporting it. I hope that it dies or education in this state may get dicey. I already wonder, given everything, why anyone in college would study to be a teacher. It takes dedication and a little foolhardiness I think.
That being said, I love teaching more than anything else. I am so thankful I have had so many opportunities to teach so many different students so many different things. I am just glad to be at the end of things and not at the beginning.
Anyway, if you live in MO and haven't voted yet, vote no on Amendment 3 because I asked you to, okay? Thanks!