Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Inside Four Walls: Gift Cards for Advanced?

Last school year I read some articles about schools paying students for getting good grades. I felt that the use of funds could be used better than by paying students for doing something they should be doing anyway. To me it was another sign of educators giving in and lowering their standards again.

So imagine my surprise when this week a teacher who is our department told us that she buys her students that score advanced on the CSTs a $20 gift card to anywhere they want. Now she kind of justified it by saying that the students need to come back to her in August to get them, but cards for Advanced?

The other teachers there seemed to think that she could be spending her money in different ways. I kept quiet, didn't say a word. This teacher gives her life to teaching, gets there at 7 for tutoring, stays in at lunch most days, and stays late in the day for tutoring. Will also come in on the weekends to help out students. I know she is single and I hear she still lives at home with her parents. So she clearly has a lot more money and time than say someone like me who has 2 kids and a wife of 10 years.

I'm not bitter, don't get me wrong. But I feel that it sets a precedent, a bad one. Once again the students are going to be expecting something when they move onto the next level. I have had some of her students in my Geometry class and I am always hearing about how Ms. So & So let us do this and gave us this. Don't get me started on the parents either. They see that and expect it from all teachers.

By the way, before some of you think "wow, the teacher is just rewarding the students", she told us the reason for it. Quote "I want high test scores, so this is extra motivation." She is obsessed with test scores. One year I beat her by 10+% and she came and went on about how if she took out the special ed and some of her troubled students then she would only be 5% off from me. There was a time that I cared about my scores, but now I realize it's up to the kids to perform. And I'm not going to spend my money to do that. And if that makes me a bad teacher, so be it.

And they want to tie my pay to these tests?

1 comment:

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Great information in this post and I think there are many teachers seemed to think that she could be spending her money in different ways. I kept quiet, didn't say a word.