Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An author answers my critique

Several posts ago, I expressed my displeasure for an article written by Dr. Calvin Mackie which appeared in an edition of a monthly newsletter that is put out by the Association of American Educators (AAE).

Many of my regular readers commented with their own frustrations about the article, and eventually, the criticism made its way to Dr. Mackie himself. I am pleased that Dr. Mackie took the time to leave a comment of his own, and I wanted to give him the floor by reprinting in this post the comment he left:
My People ... The only point I want to get over to my colleagues in the teaching profession is "Don't allow any one to take your JOY"! Teaching is a tough profession and guess what it isn't the only tough profession. We, teachers, act as if NO ONE can challenge us. There are good and bad in every profession, including teaching and we do ourselves a disservice by protecting and advocating for those who are not up to par. I didn't call anyone's name, school or district. I was taught if you throw a shoe in a pack of dogs, only the one that was hit howls. Corporations pay millions for people to come in and re-ignite the passion in professionals making much more than teachers in better environments. Teachers deserve and need the same type of professional development. So, don't take it personal, I feel your pain, I am with you and not against you. However, I will not allow those not engaged to define the profession I love. All that I am and will become is because of the teachers in my life.I am an educator, taught for 12 years on the college level, also taught pre-algebra for 6 years and I am in middle and high schools across America every week.

I have no reason to hide and my credentials are located at www.calvinmackie.com for anyone to examine. I would love to know the background of many on this blog.
Agree or disagree, I do commend and thank Dr. Mackie for stopping by to address our frustrations with his article.

Good Day to You, Sir


Polski3 said...

Happy New Year, Chanman ! May 2oo9 be a New year of Peace, Happiness, Prosperity and Fine Health for you and your loved ones !

One thing that "irks" me about teacher "Professional development" is that so often than naught, the person(s) who come in to tell us how to teach are NOT practicing what they preach.....minions from the county office of education, former teachers who packaged a show and are taking it on the road, and those who, shall we say, did teach, but in a different era than where most teachers are today.

And, the "one program fits all subject areas" type of "professional development" irks me. I have flat out asked several of these "presenters" to please show me examples for my subject area. They usually cannot do so nor can they direct me to some examples that show their "data - techniques - processes" in my subject area.

Teacher Prayer.....Oh Lord, give me the patience to endure yet another worthless professional development workshop, the power to repell the demons of slumber that threathen me at these events and the ability to not snore when said demons overcome me.....

Law and Order Teacher said...

I agree with Polski3. I have been inundated with professional development programs in two professions. In law enforcement, I was amazed at all the police chiefs who retired and became experts in how to reduce crime.

Most were from cities that were nothing less than urban jungles. Too bad they didn't get the hang of it when they were in charge. Professional development is the last bastion of scoundrels looking for quick money from gullible, or idiotic administrators.

Thanks to your reader, Dr. Mackie, for at least having the gonads to respond. I didn't find his spiel too offensive, although I wondered what the hell he was talking about most of the time.

I love my job, that's why I went into it as a second profession. When I lose my enthusiasm I'll leave it. It's that simple.

Don, American said...

I taught high school for twenty years, and "professional development" always meant "Do it my way, because you don't know what you're doing." I always begged to differ. It was my classroom, and they were my kids, and no clown brought in by the district office (we called it the House of Usher -- it was on Usher Street), who had never been in my classroom, was going to tell me what to do.

Priest said...

That was one of the most pathetic pieces of apologist garbage I have ever read. Mackie should be strung up, tarred and feathered and then sent down the road with a “pink slip” in hand. His “I feel your pain” was directly from Slick Willie Clinton and I need not say more about that walking lack of personal integrity. Mackie’s lament about teachers acting or believing they are the only ones with a tough job is uber rubbish. His entire response is nothing more than a series of Straw Man assertions strung together. I’m an ex-Combat Veteran and a highly decorated one at that. I “think” I might know a little something about “tough” jobs.

When I was in a fire fight at least I knew that those wearing the same uniform as me had my back or at a minimum weren’t shooting me in the back. Not so with teachers. The (un)Holy Administration exists for one reason and one reason only, namely, to perpetuate their status as a glutton feeding at the public tax payer trough. They live and breathe to further their self-centered, self-aggrandizing agenda which is the continuation of their employment and they sell out teachers as a matter of common practice. Take a good, hard look at the Philadelphia public school system for a crystal clear case in point. That place is a free fire zone with the administration routinely hanging out teachers to dry who dare to be so bold as to complain about the daily incidents of physical violence against students and teachers.

Look no further than the most recent incarnation of Worst Practices fostered on teachers by political wonks with absolutely no expertise or clue as to what constitutes a good learning environment, No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Quick question: How many front line in the classroom teachers were on the committee that created the abysmal failure known as NCLB? Answer: Not even ONE. See anything wrong with this picture? Where was the unified voice of the Mackie’s in the public education sector screaming in outrage at this political feel good piece of mandatory JUNK at the time it surfaced? Why, they were all firmly on board and in bed with their career politicos counter-parts in DC.

Mackie and ilk of his sort give new meaning to the phrase “A waste of flesh.”

The Vegas Art Guy said...

kudos to him for replying. And while I have only dealt with a few professional development days, they have not been a total waste. The person came in and treated us like adults and gave us actual tools to use in the classroom. I have not used them yet. But I do have them available. I guess I should enjoy useful development days while I can.