Secondary Teacher TRUTH

Secondary teachers in several states have the unique challenge of getting students to pass assessments as graduation requirements. While they don’t have to cover ALL of the Common Core Standards like elementary teachers do, secondary teachers at times feel even more pressure because of the added graduation requirements. Plus, secondary teachers really feel the value of teaching for learning, because they know students’ next stops are either college or the workforce; preparing them for tests is not preparing them for the real world, and they have to somehow reconcile that knowledge with the pressure from administrators to work test prep into their lessons and the number of class periods lost to assessments. Unfortunately, data, Display Photos Collection 0189 by NCSSMpractice assessments, reteaching and remediation, and differentiation are the norm for secondary teachers, who would rather engage their students, get them as impassioned about their subject areas as they are, and encourage them to be lifelong learners and critical thinkers.

As is the case with elementary teachers, it is the norm to find secondary teachers at school far past the final bell and on weekends, preparing for their classes and meeting with students who need extra time beyond the average 45-minute class period. Oh, and don’t forget the countless hours and dollars (from their own pockets) they spend getting their classrooms ready during their summer “vacations,” too.

Yes, several of these duties are in a secondary teacher’s job description, as they are with elementary teachers. Secondary teachers also are writing their own assessments (especially in social studies and science) and Student Learner Objectives, plus they are writing and/or learning new curricula and materials on a near-yearly basis as their schedules change. Some secondary teachers enter the school year just to learn they are not teaching what they were told they would be teaching at the end of the previous school year. And, with so many budget cuts in so many states, secondary teachers are responsible for teaching class sizes larger than ever before – 40 seems to be an accepted average, at least among our readers.

Secondary Teacher TRUTH is the place for those heroes of education to share their stories, challenges, and frustrations as they attempt to inspire and engage teens who have been assessed for their entire educational careers. The Secondary Teacher TRUTH submissions will be listed below, in alphabetical order.

*DISCLAIMER – The goal of this platform is to provide teachers with an anonymous voice so they may feel free to share the TRUTH as it exists for them in their classrooms and teaching situations. As such, all submissions are presented as-is, unless otherwise noted. In no way are the writings or comments of any contributor – anonymous or otherwise – meant to represent the views or beliefs of TRUTH In Teaching or any other contributor, unless otherwise expressly noted. An opinion expressed by any contributor or in any anonymous submission does not reflect the views of any organization, employer, or religious congregation that contributor may be associated with unless expressly stated.

Image via Flickr by NCSSM

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