"Sad, sad, sad, sad"
My wife and I work hard as teachers. We work hard for every penny that we make. If you think that teachers have cushy, easy, wonderful jobs, then I recommend you go back to school, pay for your masters, semester of student teaching, content examinations, and then try to find a job making a teacher's salary. Try it, and see how easy it is to be an educator. I urge you to spend a year in the classroom in an age where government and district mandates, helicopter parents, and the complete lack of personal responsibility, make it almost impossible to do what you were hired to do: teach. Try it, because there is one point where you are entirely correct, teachers have wonderful jobs. Honestly, it is worth every penny, I love teaching. It's a job where you feel great about what you do, and you are allowed to do great things. Right up until the point when you get fired, because of someone else's mismanagement. At that point you ask start asking yourself some pretty serious questions.
Why bother? Why bother dedicating your life to teaching these kids math, science, art, english, auto's, etc. We really should be teaching them how to launder money, lie, misappropriate funds, kiss your bosses ass, use questionable hiring and firing practices in order to force people into doing what you want them to do, abandon reason and logic for superstition, make sure to cheat people who are less able than you, cheat kids, cheat the elderly, cheat welfare, steal from pensions/social security, legally hold children's futures for ransom to fund phantom programs, racketeering, properly perform inside trading, bigotry, falsifying documents, go back on your promises if it benefits you, when in doubt hire a lawyer, commit felonies, perjury, murder, genocide, use drugs as long as you write a book admitting to it, but most importantly, blame everyone else for your problems. These are the qualities that our culture has deemed most important, the qualities that you see exhibited by people in power, and the qualities that will make you successful over time. These things sicken me.
In my classroom I have the expectation that my students take responsibility for themselves, speak and act in a respectful manner, and behave like people that care about the well being of others. At times I feel like I am teaching them the tenets of a society that never really existed, and definitely does not exist today.
Therein lies the hope, legitimacy, and necessity of what we do, did, and hope to do again. While people can complain about a lot of things regarding education, I think that most people would agree that education, in some form, is indeed a necessity for a society to grow and prosper. The problem is that the structure of the system is broken. We need reform. We need truly knowledgeable educators and economists to drive that reform. Politicians need not apply.
What I find amusing and sad about this situation is when something goes wrong, when other people get laid off, the plant closes down, the bubble bursts, or the economy slows, the first place people turn to, in order to become more qualified for their next job, is their lowly and worthless local educational facility. Glad to be of service to you.
There are so many teachers right now that share this sentiment. It is easy to get down and be angry with what is going on in public education today. I hope that another school picks up my friend--they will be the lucky ones.