Wednesday, April 7, 2010

2nd BATXILLERAT - Michael Moore

A few years ago, I read the book Idiot Nation written by Michael Moore. I found the whole book really interesting, but I was delighted to hear someone say positive opinions about my profession. This is why I reproduce them here.

Just read the text and drop me a comment. Just tell me two things:
1. Can, in your view, any of Mr Moore's comments be applied in our country?
2. Do you agree with him?

OK, here it goes:

Sure, there are a lot of teachers who suck, and they’d be better suited to making telemarketing calls for Amway. But the vast majority are dedicated educators who have chosen a profession that pays them less than what some of their students earn selling Ecstasy, and for that sacrifice we seek to punish them. I don’t know about you, but I want the people who have the direct attention of my child more hours a day than I do treated with tender loving care. Those are my kids they’re preparing for this world, so why on earth would I want to piss them off?
You would think society’s attitude would be something like this:

Teachers, thank you so much for devoting your life to my child. Is there ANYTHING I can do to help you? Because you are helping my child –MY BABY – learn and grow. Not only will you be largely responsible for her ability to make a living, but your influence will greatly affect how she views the world, what she knows about other people in this world, and how she will feel about herself. I want her to believe she can attempt anything –that no doors are closed and that no dreams are too distant. I am entrusting the most valuable person in my life to you for seven hours each day. You are thus, one of the most important people in my life! Thank you.

No, instead, this is what teachers hear:
  • “You’ve got to wonder about teachers who claim to put the interests of children first –and then look to milk the system dry through wage hikes.” (New York Post, 12/26/00).
  • “Estimates of the number of bad teachers range from 5 percent to 18 percent of the 2.6 million total.” (Michael Chapman, Investor’s Business Daily, 9/21/98).
  • "Most education professionals belong to a closed community of devotees… who follow popular philosophies rather than research on what works.” (Douglas Carminen, quoted in the Montreal Gazette, 1/6/01).
  • “Teachers unions have gone to bat for felons and teachers who have had sex with students, as well as those who simply couldn’t teach.” (Peter Schweizen, National Review, 8/17/98).
What kind of priority do we place on education in America? Oh, it’s on the funding list –somewhere down between OSHA and meat inspectors. The person who cares for our child every day receives an average of $41,351 annually. A Congressman who cares only about which tobacco lobyyist is taking him to dinner tonight receives $145,100.
(Michael Moore. (2001). "Idiot Nation" in Stupid White Men. Penguin Books)