DEMORALIZED by Doris A. Santoro

This book explains the difference between teachers who want to leave the profession because of burnout/low pay/etc. vs moral issues. Most teachers are rule followers who love kids, so when teachers are told to, for example, give high stakes tests to students in a style that is unlike their usual environment (can’t ask questions, class decorations all covered, must give the exam to students even if they are coming into school with a personal issue or are crying during the test, etc.), then their morals are conflicted.

A lot of the teachers that were interviewed for the book say they when they’re demoralized, they start counting down to retirement–even when it’s a decade away. Quitting can even feel immoral because they know they’re leaving the students behind. The flip side of demoralization is when teachers stand up for their morals in different ways, even if it means risking their good standing with the principal. One teacher with that testing situation started telling parents (and eventually blogs and newscasters) that they could opt out of these test preps/tests.

Crazy thing is that students go through years of those horrifying tests all to get to college and never take another one again lol. They do all that to prove that students are college material, and that’s not what college (or adulthood) ends up being about. Like K-12 needs to CHILL and seriously reevaluate. This book shows how important it is to listen to teachers, but the students also need empowerment. When I hear colleagues at my university complaining about student engagement, I’m always like, “well maybe they hate what you have them doing?” It’s not just teachers who hate the system–otherwise enthusiastic students can end up thinking they hate learning because they hate school.

Links to my book:

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