What Happens When Teachers Aren’t Allowed to Teach

In a video that reminds me of some of John Taylor Gatto‘s work, Stephen Round, a dedicated second-grade teacher reads his letter of resignation from the Rhode Island school system.

Here are a few points Mr. Round makes in the video:

  • Rather than creating lifelong learners, our new goal is to create good test takers.
  • Rather than a rewarding and enjoyable educational experience, a confining and demeaning education.
  • 20 minutes of recess; the kids who need it most often lose it due to poor behavior.
  • Any type of fun activity is gone; field trips–those adventures out into the real world– gone, gone, gone.
  • If it isn’t in the accepted curriculum and done at the appropriate time, it can’t be used.
  • I was even prohibited from tutoring my neediest students on my own time, after school, even after parents and principals approved.
  • I would rather leave my secure $70K + benefits job to tutor for free than be part of a system that is diametrically opposed to everything I believe education should be.

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor GattoAdam Kirk Edgerton, another teacher who quit and told why, wrote, ” . . .  for now, I quit teaching. I quit not because of my students, who were wonderful, bright, capable, eager-to-learn, and deserving of a better educational system. …And I didn’t quit because of an administrator, or a boss, or a colleague. I quit because the system is demeaning. It’s a structure that consumes everyone in it, from the top to the bottom. I didn’t quit because of a single school –I quit because of the pattern of inanity that is replicated throughout the whole country . . .”

As always, I recommend reading Gatto’s Dumbing Us Down for a brief overview of the institutional education system. You’ll find his larger work, An Underground History of American Education, posted on the JohnTaylorGatto.com website.

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