Today the guests were Arne Duncan, Randi Weingarten and Michelle Rhee. I was glued to the screen. Here's the video:
Michelle Rhee visited my grad school last year and was a topic of debate in every class I took in the last 2 years. I haven't agreed with all of her choices, but I support a lot of them, and I am willing to consider all of her suggestions because she talks about teachers as if we are professionals.
In the summer I start to romanticize my job. I spend time with people who treat teaching with respect instead of my students and administration who view us as someone around to serve and or annoy. I imagine that my opinions and initiative might be influential in my work environment and that I might be rewarded if I am successful. I forget that my evaluation will come down to checks in columns labeled "satisfactory" and "unsatisfactory," instead thinking that my hours and hours of work might warrant at the very least a few carefully chosen adjectives.
But then I get a welcome back email from my principal and remember that I work for the NYC DOE.
What the panelists on This Week seemed to agree about, and the reason that I tolerate the downsides of working in the DOE is that the goal is to give every child a quality education. But it is nice to imagine being treated as if that's what I were trying to do.