Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Do Teachers Really Suck?

Guest post by Laurette Lynn | UnpluggedMom.com | Unplugged Mom PodCast
Challenging the Current

Editor's note:  Laurette Lynn is a home education leader who joins a growing number of parents who believe that the best way to raise successful adults is by keeping them out of school.   

We know that School Sucks.  But do teachers suck too?  They want the kids to learn don't they?
They become teachers for the sake of the children right?  It's the system; it's not them!
Then what are they still doing there?  What is a disenchanted teacher to do?

In this podcast, Laurette Lynn, the Unplugged Mom discusses the teacher's roles in perpetuating the problematic public school system.  She suggests that reform is irrelevant and puts an official call out to teachers to put their talents and passions to better use by supporting the rise of an independent learning culture.  

Listen to the podcast here.
 itunes pic 

Check out the Google+ conversation about this podcast here.  


  1. Perhaps she'd be better able to teach her children how to spell, use correct grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and sentence structure if she were able to do that herself.

  2. @Anonymous, I agree. Children learn how to spell, use correct grammar, punctuation, etc. when they are surrounded by those who do such things well. Laurette's children will be fortunate as she is a prolific and well-respected speaker and writer. For children who have parents with different strengths, they can ensure their children have the right resources that will enable them to be happy, satisfied, and successful in life.

  3. @Lisa. You totally missed my point. Perhaps my sarcasm should have just been out and out bluntness. Judging by the introduction she wrote to this article, Laurette really needs to go back to school herself because it's apparent she is unable to structure a sentence correctly. If she is teaching her children to write in this manner, it's very unfortunate.

  4. I wonder how my kids have learned to edit my grammar and spelling mistakes for me when they've never set foot in a classroom and spend all day, every day, with imperfect me? Oh, that's right, they read, and learn from everything they see and do. I'm their fellow learner in life, not their sole source of all knowledge and wisdom.

  5. I didn't write the intro. Your comment is irrelevant to the content and does not deserve further discussion. I have a degree in English.

  6. @Anonymous, I didn't miss your point. I think the intro to the podcast makes perfect sense and conveys the intended message.

    Even if I agreed the intro was poorly written, as Jennifer said, individuals don't have just one teacher. It is the responsibility of parents and educators to help children/students grow their learning networks and resources so they have the independence to acquire knowledge in areas of personal importance.

  7. It doesn't matter. This is a purposeful diversion from the focus of the message. The introduction was written purposely exactly as it appears so evidently it is *that* point that has been missed.

  8. This is sad. Do we really need another tirade about how teachers are only advocates for themselves and more anti-union propaganda? [edited a typo]

  9. @Laurette. Wow, I hit a nerve it appears. How interesting that you are so dismissive of someone's point of view. I wonder if this is your style of teaching? This is a public post, and if you can't handle the fact that the terrible example of writing in the introduction is both recognized and written about, then you have some issues beyond your blanket assumptions about teachers. @Lisa, if you think the introduction makes perfect sense, then I would please ask that you go back, read it again

    What's quite unfortunate, is that I don't fundamentally disagree with much of what you say, despite some of the issues you fail to raise as a counter to your own arguments. What is quite objectionable though Laurette is your tone in response to my original post. In no way was my comment "irrelevant to the content", in fact it was in full alignment to the content. The fact you have a degree in English makes no difference when the evidence of its use in writing appears to be lacking. It might benefit you in future posts to be less dismissive.

  10. @Anonymous, I do like the intro. I think it conveys the intended message. Personally, I don't always like following the rules of grammar. I like writing in a way that makes sense to me and that I believe will make sense with readers. I also am happy to edit and revise to make something sound better as well. If you have a suggestion for making it more clear, I'd be happy to consider it. That's the great thing about social media. People can work together to help make things even better.

    As far as your comments toward Laurette, I think Jenniffer hit the nail on the head. The assumption that a child only learns from one person makes no sense. A parent or teacher doesn't have to be excellent at everything they do. They need to provide children with the opportunities and resources necessary to pursue those areas in which they are interested.

  11. I am a teacher at a poverty level, disadvantaged, inner city public high school in Massachusetts. I agree with a lot of what you said in your podcast 'Teachers Suck'. I agree that there are MANY teachers who are afraid of accountability and more worried about themselves than student growth or development. However, I am not, and there are many others like me- but we are spread out. My issue with your podcast or your argument is the following: You urge those of us who see the problems and the dysfunction of the system to leave. But let me ask you this: what will happen to those students who are already at a disadvantage in more ways than one, when teachers like me leave? I am not still there because of "me". I do not participate in the Union and I will not. I know I can get a job elsewhere, but what are my options? Private school? Independent schools? Who is attending those schools? Those are not the students I want to help or serve. I don't dislike them, but there is another population that is in dire need. It's about their civil rights and their ability to participate in the world. So what happens to those under served, under represented, disadvantaged students of color if we up and leave???

  12. Anonymous,

    I am very uncomfortable discussing anything with 'anonymous' so forgive me if my discomfort manifests in shortness. I also try not to engage in comment threads often but I feel your sentiments do deserve attention as they are indeed repeated quite often in response to the idea of defederalizing school.

    First - the suggestion is to transition schools from public-government funding to private/community learning centers that are not compulsory. School should be a *choice*, not a mandate, in a free society.

    Everyone indeed has a *right* to an education, but not a right to demand that the public pay for or provide it. We all have a right to pursue our own learning endeavors, in our own way and by whatever means we can come up with. If this includes donations or funding from a local community - great! However, funding should never be forced. Consider right now the tragic tyranny that the American people are forced via taxation to pay for a school system that is well known to be in miserable condition. This experiment has gone on long enough and has not only done nothing to help the poor, poverty stricken kids you mention above - it's actually CAUSED this sad state of affairs by failing to truly provide any useful education that they have that *right* to receive. It's over. It is time to evolve.

    Second - no one is suggestion sudden-death. I never said that we should simply shut all the doors in one fell swoop and just let all the children run amok in the streets. I'm suggestion transition and I'm advocating for people to embrace change and accept that we as a society are moving toward a paradigm of independent learning. Our modern world provides for a rich plethora of resources from which people of all ages can learn and grow and thrive without a mandatory indoctrination warehouse. This can ideally be done by means of home-based learning of course; however I also strongly advocate for independent,self-funded and philanthropically funded community learning centers that are *optional* and would provide a beneficial place for those poor kids to be and learn during the day. Families who need or want to utilize these centers would. Teachers who truly are in their profession for the betterment of children would work there.

    How do I know this would work? Because many such places already exist and more and more are opening every day. Why? Because they are better than school.

    Now - as to your question, what about all the disadvantaged kids - I ask you, anonymous, what are YOU doing about it? You are a teacher, clearly you care, clearly you recognize that the current state of the dilapidated school system is not the most wonderful place for these children - so what can you do?


    P.S. Because this question does come up quite often, I intend to put these words into a post which will appear on Unpluggedmom.com in the next few days. I will not include your words without your expressed permission. I do however feel that this dialogue is worth sharing in hopes that perhaps at some point the talk will eventually become a walk.

  13. @Laurette Lynn: Thanks for your response to my question. I can't figure out how to post unless it's with Anonymous, so forgive me. I would like to continue our conversation further. Please contact me at Mrs.Germanteacher@gmail.com. :)

  14. I agree that Teachers (In the USA) Suck. Most do not really care about kids learning. It is just a job. They care more about their benefits. I live in good community with high rated schools, but the public school teachers still suck. Most parents agree when we discuss. To us teachers are basically long shore workers. Union jobs that pay high with protection. Yes there are maybe 1% of teachers who care, but most just could not get a real job that paid well. Seems like they do more damage than good. Both my kids are smart and hard workers, and both have had teachers that have pushed them away from any enjoyment of the subject in multiple classes. We wonder why we are #10 in math and science in world now. If we do not get a handle on how bad (lazy, mean teachers) our kids are being taught in our schools our future generations will all be service workers for the highly educated, enthusiastic about learning, immigrants who will have all the high paying jobs. Except for the union teachers.