2003 by Trip Reynolds
Perhaps, your first reaction comes in the form of a question, "Are you serious?" Look, it's easy enough to come up with some catchy or controversial title to get your attention. That should be rather obvious. What's not immediately obvious is whether I'm just trying to get your attention and then metaphorically address other issues or, if I'm actually going to get down and dirty and write a position paper (yes, that's what this is) that validates - in significant detail - why some people (and not necessarily me) perceive teachers are stupid. Yes, I'm going to get down and dirty and tell you why many perceive teachers are stupid and, frankly, it has very little to do with student scores.
So, let me begin by narrowing the playing field. First, I'm not suggesting that individual teachers are stupid. Like any other bureaucracy, the individual teacher is not actually in a position to use their intellect to truly advance their personal situation or the cause of education. More importantly, as a group of professionals engaged in a formalized work activity, yes, this is where teachers are perceived as stupid. Second, as a group of organized professionals (local bargaining associations, unions, NEA, AFT, etc.) their stupidity has and continues to prevent the evolution of their vocation (education). Finally, perhaps the greatest of all stupidities is how teachers or administrators (who themselves are former teachers) continue to attract, retain and reward teachers through blatantly equitable and poorly designed pay structures that pay too much for too little, and pay for absolutely the wrong things.
Stay tuned. This position paper is currently under development.
In the interim, please click here.