Blame the Teachers? I don’t think so!

These things happened to real teachers in Maine during the last weeks of school this year. Could the prevalence of this kind of incident help explain why we have trouble attracting the best and the brightest to the profession?
  •  On the second to last day of school, teacher was told she might be moved to a different school to teach next year but on the other hand she might be told to stay where she was. Also, she might be teaching a new subject area. No clear timeline as to when she would be informed.
  • Teacher was told she would need to move classrooms for the following year  – for the third time in three years. She was told there might be boxes and tape in a room down the hall. No assistance was proferred. She was expected to lug the dozens of boxes, tape them up, fill them – after the school year had officially ended. If there were no boxes she would have to go get them from in back of the local grocery store. Then, once the boxes were moved upstairs by the custodian, she would need to unpack and assemble a new classroom. All for no pay.
  • School hours are rumored to be changing for next year but neither parents nor teachers know if this is true or not and – if true – what the hours will be.  Tightly choreographed work and transportation schedules rely on clarity and working parents are worried. No information about when information will be shared.
  • Summer vacation has begun and in at least two schools no final discussion of plans for next year. So far as the teachers know everyone should just go home and report again on August 28th. Nothing to guide summer curriculum planning. Apparently there will be no planning.


Kathreen Harrison

About Kathreen Harrison

Kathreen Harrison is a public school teacher in Maine. She has a master’s degree from Bank Street College of Education and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College. She has worked in a variety of schools in New York and Maine in a number of capacities – French teacher, gifted and talented teacher, elementary school teacher, and curriculum coordinator for island schools. She has lived in Maine for 20 years and has a particular interest in school reform.