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Beware of Your Kid's Teacher!

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Guest Blogger Teacher Confidential: As a lifelong T.K. (Teacher's Kid), I was raised to regard all teachers with a respect bordering on reverence -- then I became one. Don't get me wrong, many dedicated, self-sacrificing educators deserve the admiration, but I was shocked by how many lazy, selfish, permanent children the education system attracts.

Kindergartener kids crying

It's no surprise that having holidays off, school days ending at 3 PM and unencumbered summer months appeals to slackers -- but low salary, long hours grading papers, and extracurricular duties tend to deter the truly lazy to graveyard shifts at the local 7/11. However, a crafty few have discovered a loophole -- the kindergarten classroom.

First grade teachers are never surprised when a discipline case comes from "Miss X's Kindergarten" for good reason. With simple lesson plans, no homework to correct, and very little assessment testing to evaluate their students' progress, many kindergarten teachers treat their job like a cakewalk, and your kids suffer. Believe me, I've substituted for enough kindergarten teachers to know you should beware -- and which types you should be wary of.

Beware These Kindergarten Teachers:

Perpetual Peter Pan -- Between Sesame Street and Baby Einstein, many kindergarteners come into the classroom already knowing their ABC's, so the Peter Pan teacher spends their time playing with your kids instead of educating them. While a certain amount of organized play is important to develop your youngster's socialization skills, all-day play does nothing to prepare your new student for the structured days of first grade.

Queen Bee -- Ever wonder what happened to those vapid, self-centered, clique-obsessed prom queens after high school? If they couldn't let go of being the most popular girl in school, they became kindergarten teachers. The unconditional adoration from a classroom full of bright, shining faces is a powerful aphrodisiac. Unfortunately, these chicks run their classrooms like they ran their cliques. They play favorites, mock misfits, and are more focused on fulfilling their own self-esteem than nurturing your child.

Disinterested Delegator -- Most schools are desperate for volunteers, but some have such fantastic parental involvement, certain kindergarten teachers find it very easy to take advantage. While they sit at their desks freeing up their weekend by lesson-planning during the school day, or worse, wasting time playing on the Internet when they should be teaching, volunteers are left alone to fumble through on their own -- and the classroom becomes nothing more than a glorified babysitting service.

Military Mary Poppins -- Just because a student studies to become a middle-grade math teacher doesn't mean a position teaching that subject is available when the time comes, which results in educators stuck in classrooms they're unprepared for. Nowhere is this more evident than in the kindergarten classrooms of teachers untrained in Early Childhood Education. Frustrated with dozens of rugrats unfamiliar with school routines, these teachers opt for a hyper-disciplined, militant management style that often terrifies instead of teaches. Beware these ├╝ber-strict kindergarten teachers, as they can destroy your child's first educational experience and scar your child for life.

Which type teaches your kid? Share your comments/horror stories below!

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26 comments so far | Post a comment now
leelee February 9, 2009, 5:05 PM

I am blessed. It seems my kids Kinder teacher is good at her job and has been doing it long enough that she has her lessons plans down for the most part. She’s been co-teaching with the PM teacher long enough that they have their flow down. This does lead them to bit a little faster with subjects than I or my son are comfortable with, but it’s not a deal breaker and he is learning about pasing, paying attention so not to miss something and focusing.

Kristen February 9, 2009, 6:50 PM

This is a disturbing article and makes me extremely thankful we have always homeschooled our children(no not for religious reasons either).

ame i. February 9, 2009, 6:51 PM

I’ve known many teachers from different grades like the ones you speak of because I had many of them myself growing up.
I’ve been blessed so far with my daughters’ teachers. My 5th grader moved to private school this year, but had wonderful teachers in grades K-4 in public school, with the exception of 1st grade. Her first teacher retired after Halloween, the second was absent half of the time & let go, the third was nice but had a very loud, abrasive voice that really stressed out my daughter.
Daughter the 1st had a great K-garten teacher so I requested her for my 2nd daughter. She was so gentle & understanding with D1 when my husband died half-way through the school year. After 2 months of teaching D2, she noticed D2 was very advanced & suggested having her tested. As a result, D2 was accepted into the gifted program at the age of 6. My older girl was in 3rd grade before testing was suggested for her, and it turned out she has an I.Q. 15 points higher than D1.
I’m thankful for the wonderful teachers out there.

liz February 9, 2009, 6:58 PM

Teachers have a hard enough time as it is without people like you spreading crap like this. True, there are a few teachers that get into it for the wrong reasons, but there are many dedicated people who do their best to educate our children. I was a substitute teacher for several years and you could tell the majority of the teachers cared about their students and did their best to educate them.

Jimmy Christodoulou February 9, 2009, 9:12 PM

My Wifewas a Kindergarden Techer for over 16 years and believe me it was not a “cakewalk” like the article insinuated. My Wife is Biligual so she had both English and Spanish learners in her class. She would work after school and late into the evenings. She had very little help. Many times I asked her to quite and take older children because it was MUCH easier to teach 2nd or 3rd Graders than it is to teach 5 and 6 years olds. Just try it and you will find out.

Beckie February 9, 2009, 10:24 PM

I totally disagree with article. Perhaps this writer is frustrated that he or she cannot get a full time position in a school district and therefore seeks out all of the “errors” of those who have. My children have had AMAZING kindergarten teachers who both love them and teach them. They take their jobs extremely seriously and it shows. And, by the way, one of them was the prom queen in high school and she is perhaps one of the finest teachers I have ever seen. I myself am a teacher who has taught college classes for years.

Elizabeth February 9, 2009, 11:28 PM

I, too, disagree with this article. I wonder if the blogger who wrote this article has ever taught at a public school as a full-time teacher? I doubt it! I wonder what kind of school has she taught at and what part of the country does she live in? I disagree with her assessments that many teachers being lazy, uncaring, and unprofessional. It bothers me that someone writes an inflammatory article about teachers but chose not to post her name on the blog.

Chrissy February 9, 2009, 11:33 PM

I would like to point out a factual error in this article - If a teacher becomes certified in middle school math, they can not become a lower treacher unless they become certified in that area. One teacher can not teacher all.
At least in the nine states that my various family have taught in and three differnet regions of this country - Northeast, Midwest and South.

Rush February 10, 2009, 12:27 AM

My 6 yr old son is in kindergarten in a private parochial school and I have seen several of these types of teachers in his school. His kindergarten teacher is great, but I feel she has been there too long, only teaching kindergarten, and some days just goes through the motions of teaching. She has all her students learning or “reviewing” their letters for the third time. For some of the kids this is fine since they need the extra help. But for my son and several others in the class it is redundant. They are already reading at 1st and 2nd grade level, but I feel she is holding them back because she wants the whole class doing and learning the same thing. She’s even told me so. I’ve asked her about it and she said, “Oh, yes, his reading is more advanced, but he’s still learning.” What he’s learning I’m not sure. I won’t pull him out in the middle of the year though. My problem is, he could and wants to be learning more. Math is the same. They are reviewing numbers up to 20, counting by 2’s, but he’s been doing simple addition and subtraction on his own for 1 1/2 years now. He asks to play numbers on my cell phone, which is a calculator feature. He actually thinks adding is playing and fun. He has loved numbers, colors, shapes and letters since he was 1 1/2 years old.

The 2nd grade teacher seems to be very much the Military Mary Poppins since I usually see her barking orders at the kids and being very strict with them. The 3rd grade teacher looks and seems very much like a 16 yr old. I plan on switching him to a different school after this year. Why you might ask did I start him at this school. It was the only school in my area that didn’t require full day Mon-Fri kindergarten. He goes Mon. Weds. & Fri. 8:15am-2:45pm. I don’t feel kindergarten warrants Monday-Friday 8am-3pm. In fact my state is passing a law to switch kindergarten to half days only.

Some of you are being very hard on the blogger. She is merely stating her opinion and experience and just trying to open people’s eyes. I have seen too many parents think that once their child is in school, their days of teaching their child are over and leave it up to the teachers. I wonder why there are so many kids who choose to join gangs or end up in jail or juvenile detention centers. Parental involvement is absolutely neccessary!

The best scenario is to be in contact and communication with your child’s teacher to give your child the best chance for a great education.

Jenika February 10, 2009, 1:56 AM

This article is VERY disturbing, I am extremely glad that the teachers around here aren’t like that at all. I don’t know where you live, but it sounds like you need to move! I am going to school now to teach Preschool or Kindergarten and DEFINITELY don’t see myself as lazy at all. The kindergarteners here are expected to learn A LOT more than just their ABC’s and I can’t wait to teach them!

Ac February 10, 2009, 2:23 AM

I know the educators want to jump on this article and call it crap but it is not. With any career some people get into it for the wrong reasons and are simply not cut out for it. There are many wonderful loving teachers but you also have your bad apples, if you haven’t had your child come home crying because an early childhood teacher has belittled them and embarrassed them then your clueless on this subject. My child had been called dumb by her teacher and was ridiculed on more then one occasion infront of the class. Teachers like that don’t deserve employment in the school system but are allowed to linger in the classrooms destroying young childrens self esteem and educational experience. My father has been a teacher for a very long time and so has my childs father so I know the difference between deticated teachers and someone who doesn’t care.

Bec Thomas February 10, 2009, 5:22 AM

This is a part of the reason I homeschool my children(were non-religious). I have been impressed with so few teachers and I’m disgusted with what some teachers get away with.

Bec Thomas February 10, 2009, 5:26 AM

“I would like to point out a factual error in this article - If a teacher becomes certified in middle school math, they can not become a lower treacher unless they become certified in that area. One teacher can not teacher all. At least in the nine states that my various family have taught in and three differnet regions of this country - Northeast, Midwest and South.

- Chrissy”

Chrissy that really depends on what state your in, in my state (Washington) you don’t have to have a degree in teaching to be a primary school teacher, only a masters degree in something.

Tracy February 10, 2009, 6:37 AM

I AM a kindergarten teacher and this article does not even dignify a response. The writer has no idea what she is talking about. It should be ignored.

Cindy T February 10, 2009, 6:42 AM

I have substituted in kindergarten and I think it is the hardest grade to teach. It is exhausting! You have to use a sing-song voice or you will frighten the children. Also the kids need their shoes tied and their pants buckeled about a thousand times per day. I’ve had kids throw up on me more times than I can count. And somewhere in the middle of all of that you have to teach the little tykes something! This article is off-base.

Pissed Teacher February 10, 2009, 9:23 AM

I am torn about this article a little because I do agree with some of it, but that is why as a parent you need to be involved instead of sending your children blindly and quite frankly unprepared for people. This article is useless and unproductive. At least they are there and they are trying. Lets talk about the lazy parents wo can’t seem to do anything for their children. Blame the administrators that keep these people around. They are who they are and surprisingly these personalities do help some children. Leave teachers alone and start supporting them. This article is bullsh*t.

RC February 10, 2009, 2:12 PM

I have encountered a few wonderful dedicated professionals in my children’s educational experience, but many have been mediocre at best, and a few down right criminal. Some have inflicted way more psychological abuse than anyone should be able to get away with- parent or teacher. One teacher brought a hamburger spatula to school and would wave it in my son’s face saying “Get used to this, you’ll never do anything in life but flip burgers.” After trying to work with and volunteering in the classrooms for many years, I reluctantly gave up and started homeschooling. My children thrived, made fantastic academic and social progress, and are now doing well in college. I think the teacher tenure system with the guarenteed jobs is the worst thing ever created. Teachers have no accountability for their behavior, and parents have no imput in their children’s education. Administrators won’t challenge a tenured teacher’s behavior. Even lawyers would much rather take on medical malpractice than educational malpractice. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to say enough already and home school. However, I am now convinced that it would take an extremly incompetent parent to do worse than most teachers are now doing in educating our children.

Shanna February 10, 2009, 2:59 PM

Are you serious? I think you forgot to add the type that most kids have - the good teacher that works her butt off teaching, playing, caring. This article is just another way momlogic likes to stir the pot. Honestly I don’t think I am going to come to this website anymore.

Anonymous February 10, 2009, 5:09 PM

This is complete crap. many children come to kindergarten never having seen a book and have no idea what an alphabet is.

Anonymous February 11, 2009, 1:30 AM

why does everyone treat teachers like they’re God?

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