Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


kindergarten teacher bashing ~

Okay, now I’m just mad. And I’m trying — as always! — to do something other than just fume. Here it is, my attempt to address grievances.  It’s far too late in the game to redress them….:(

Here’s a link to an interview w/ that spokesperson for the ultra-conservative, Ann Coulter. In it, Coulter dismisses what kindergarten teachers do. It’s not ‘real’ work, she says. Not ‘manly’ work. Really? This woman who has never entered a kindergarten classroom, most likely (she has no children), assumes she has a CLUE??

I am sooo tired of people bashing teachers. But kindergarten teachers? Really?? These incredibly hard-working men & women who not only wipe noses, tie shoes, hug and comfort and intervene and love, but also guide our most precious resource — our children — through learning how to learn? Who work on pre-reading skills (yes, that’s a real job); who introduce numbers to children whose idea of counting is 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, eleventy, 100; who teach how to sit in seats, how to collaborate, how to take turns; who cope w/ the fears of school some students enter with… The list of what kindergarten teachers do would frighten an American president!

Seriously? When did teachers become fair game? When did the honour that by far the majority of the world has for those who help our children enter the worlds of the mind become hostility? And why? I don’t get it.

I don’t know a single evil teacher. Really. And I know THOUSANDS.

(Yes, thousands… it’s my JOB) I know some I don’t care for — many who disagree w/ my faith & politics. But they are unfailingly tolerant of me and my ideas and ideologies. On the other hand? I know MANY evil politicians. And I use the word ‘evil’ knowingly. I firmly believe that there are people in office whose major objective is not the good of the American people, but the success of their individual party and their individual office. Men & women who are willing to sacrifice human lives and decency for power and gain. I don’t know of a single teacher who would ever do that.

So here’s what I propose: if Ann Coulter believes kindergarten teachers have it sooo easy, find some financially strapped neo-cons who have children, and let Coulter teach them for a year. Let her cope w/ IEPs, lackadaisical and even abusive parents, district paperwork, the chaos that is 5-year-olds, and then let’s evaluate her … as administrators feel all teachers should be evaluated — by how well her students do. NOT on how hard she has worked to overcome the poverty, the bad facilities, the lack of materials, but on how well someone who has no education in teaching, knows only the ‘law’, and has no kids of her own is able to work w/ the restless, literal, creative minds of 5-year-olds. Oh! And then let’s ask her how she feels about teaching as ‘real’ work…



  • http://www.americasfutureinsidestory.blogspot.com ChalkDuster

    I am a kindergarten teacher, and thank you for defending us. People have NO IDEA what we do every day. I started my career teaching kindergarten, and then moved on to teaching 6th grade for a few years, and then went back to teaching K because it is my passion. Kindergarten is MUCH MUCH harder than teaching middle school!
    Also I’d like to add…now kindergarten teachers have to actually teach their students how to READ and count to 100 by the end of the year. Not just reading a few words, either. the kids have to actually be five…and literate…and know basic math skills. The rigor has increased and it’s really like teaching 1st grade now. There is barely any time for play or social interaction, or to teach the kids the routines they need to survive school. So we have to teach everything kindergarteners USED to learn, PLUS the academic piece that wasn’t there when I was in school. It’s madness. It’s developmentally inappropriate. Teacher bashers have NO IDEA. Boy I wish I could to to their jobs and BASH them.

    • brittongildersleeve

      It makes me crazy how people who know so very little about education ‘profess’ to be authorities. And I can NOT imagine how hard it is now, with the pressure on to ‘educate’ (meaning: full literacy) kindergarteners. As you point out, it’s far more important to help these new learners become excited about the prospect of learning, get the basics of school behaviours down, and not become turned-off to school. The Japanese know this, as do many of the more successful school systems (in terms of retention and graduation rates).

  • http://www.mscottfiction.com Michelle Scott

    Amen!! Doesn’t Anne realize that if teachers (and cafeteria workers and bus drivers) didn’t show up for work, how many families would be affected? But if a certain blond-haired political pundit didn’t show up for work, no one would even notice…

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cx

    The assault on teachers is just part of the conservative war on American values, including on unions and union members.

    It’s not a reasonable hatred, it’s not personal, it’s not based on any normal reality; it’s just “politics” as practiced by members of the Republican Party.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kristy Placido

    I wouldn’t let that evil woman within 100 yards of my children! I’ll stick with the “useless” people who are educating them now thank you very much!

    • brittongildersleeve

      Thank you all so much for your comments. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s angry — this just makes me crazy, the way people who have NO CLUE what’s involved in teaching harp on how teachers don’t really ‘work.’ It’s probably my single most guaranteed-to-make-me-rant topic :)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Amber

    I totally agree with you. Lets put her in a classroom! This is my 7th year teaching but my second year in KG1 (Preschool) and it is tough! We are hard workers and all teachers need a lot more respect than what we get. I actually moved abroad last year and I have really enjoyed it. I get more respect here than I ever got in the states and I feel like I get paid for the hours I ACTUALLY work! No more late nights. I get enough prep time during the day to not have to work until 8pm every night. I feel those who bad mouth teaching need to come spend a week in our shoes!!!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Cristi

    Thank you! As a teacher of 34 years, it’s nice to know that someone out there “gets it”!!!

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