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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

'Teachers don't want combat pay,' they want an end to combat

"Teachers don't want 'combat pay'," says Robert Pondiscio, an American Enterprise Institute fellow. "They don't want combat."


Raising teacher pay is unlikely to to improve student outcomes he said in testimony to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions last week. "Higher pay does not make a hard job easier to perform. It lifts no burden off a teacher’s shoulders, nor does it add hours to a teacher’s day."


If teachers feel overwhelmed, frustrated, disrespected, unsupported -- and sometimes endangered -- changing working conditions will do more than a pay bump to keep them on the job.


Teachers went on social media to respond to an Education Week story on anti-bias training focused on getting teachers to send fewer students to the office.


"Behavior charts are not the solution,"says Trachele S. “Keeping disruptive students in the classroom also prevents education from occurring. The discipline problems [of] today are extreme. Chair-throwing, banging furniture against the wall, attacking other students, attacking teachers, extreme continued screaming, refusing to leave the classroom when going to an activity and refusing to enter the classroom when returning."


“Many new teachers are sent to challenging schools where they are set up to fail," wrote David O. His master's program "focused almost entirely on education theory and how to write lesson plans" with little attention to classroom management.


“You can’t classroom manage your way out of poor parenting and severe behavioral issues relating to special needs," writes Julie A. "And schools have left teachers with very little in the way of consequences and rewards.”


Sending disruptive students to the office is "does nothing," several teachers said.


“Teachers are usually completely on their own,” writes Kerry M.


“In the high school I taught in for 25 years, it was common knowledge amongst the students and staff that if a student was sent to the office, in most cases they were given a piece of licorice by the principal and sent back to the classroom," writes Gary L.


Stress, student behavior and pay are the primary reasons Missouri teachers contemplate quitting, according to a recent union survey.


Soft-on-consequences discipline and out-of-control student behavior are driving teachers out, argues Daniel Buck.


Increasingly, teachers feel unsafe, reported the National Education Association in 2022.


Alabama has passed a Teachers' Bill of Rights that lets teachers remove students from their classrooms "for reasons ranging from disorderly conduct, to the intimidation of students or the teacher, to the use of abusive or profane language," reports Education Week.


10 Comments


buy
Jun 24

(I love how AI does such strange things. That image has the person wearing three ties.)

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rob
Jun 24

For most things, documentation is proof. I wonder if there is a way to document (video, audio, notes) disruptive behavior and use it to justify disciplinary actions. I know there would be privacy concernts, but these often have solutions if you involve some creative technology. Maybe the school should have the right, by law, to document unsavory behavior within its walls. Maybe the school should have the duty to do so.


It's a pretty well-documented fact that people tend to behave much better if they think someone is watching and holding them accountable.

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superdestroyer
Jun 24

This is a problem that can be solved by an acceptance of a higher expulsion rate, a higher failure rate, and a higher level of black versus white students being kicked out of school. Unless the public is willing to tolerate failures and a racial discipline gap, then nothing can be done.

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Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
Jun 25
Replying to

In Switzerland (which has the best education system I know of), education is only compulsory through age 15; nonetheless the vast majority (around 95 per cent, if I remember correctly) continue into the upper secondary level, the majority in apprenticeships in which they spend around 70 per cent of their time in training companies, while a minority continue their general education as students preparing for university, and a still smaller number attend more specialized institutions, preparing for universities of applied sciences.

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Heresolong
Heresolong
Jun 24

All that and a bag of chips.

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