In the spring of my career, I found myself questioning the choice of my life’s work. The students did not appear to be motivated, the paperwork was overwhelming and the constant change of educational direction was discouraging. But, I just could not seem bring myself to do anything else.
No one contemplates blaming the men and women fighting every day in the trenches for little pay and scant recognition.
And yet in education we do just that. When we don’t like the way our students score on international standardized tests, we blame the teachers. When we don’t like the way particular schools perform, we blame the teachers and restrict their resources.
Compare this with our approach to our military: when results on the ground are not what we hoped, we think of ways to better support soldiers. We try to give them better tools, better weapons, better protection, better training. And when recruiting is down, we offer incentives.