[WARNING: after the following essay was published in Huffington Post, the writer was suspended from his teaching position. The next post will give details.]

This teacher in Missouri loves teaching but he doesn’t love what the legislature is doing to restrict, evaluate, and control him.

After two decades as a journalist, he became a teacher. He has taught for 14 years.

Today, he would urge young people not to enter teaching because the conditions and lack of respect are so wearing. “Classroom teachers, especially those who are just out of college and entering the profession, are more stressed and less valued than at any previous time in our history.
They have to listen to a long list of politicians who belittle their ability, blame them for every student whose grades do not reach arbitrary standards, and want to take away every fringe benefit they have — everything from the possibility of achieving tenure to receiving a decent pension.”

This week, the Missouri legislature will vote on a proposal to tie 33% of his evaluation to test scores and to add student surveys to his evaluation. He writes:

“Each year, I allow my students to critique me and offer suggestions for my class. I learn a lot from those evaluations and have implemented some of the suggestions the students have made. But there is no way that eighth graders’ opinions should be a part of deciding whether I continue to be employed.”