Do Your F*ck!n Job

11 Comments

Baby ManMayor Bloomberg’s latest ideas on creating incentives for people doing what they’re supposed to do annoys the shit out of me. I hate to curse in a forum of this nature, as my professionalism hinges on my lack of cursory language, but give me a break. I’m already hearing the murmurs of people jumping for joy for the idea of getting paid for what they’re supposed to do. That’s annoying to no end.

How can we talk about how corrupt these corporations are, yet the elected officials up there have tried their hardest to make every facet of NYC life into such a corporation? There’s also no way anyone can talk about independence, self-determination, and freedom of any nature when, if these incentive programs go through, we will definitely see people become dependent on these incentives for things that people should already be doing.

Parents should already be taking care of kids. Kids should focus and study for their tests, and not just the statewide one either.  Parents and children together should work towards getting the students into the classroom AND excelling in the classroom. Teachers, administrators, and staff should be doing their respective part to make schools a place where people want to come.

This is a serious case of good cop / bad cop. BloomKlein (I didn’t coin it, but I’m not afraid to use it) are more than willing to show up at functions for speeches and photo ops, giving away “free” money to kids who want to go to a private school through vouchers or giving them anywhere from $25 to $200 for what’s really our responsibility, but they won’t improve the public school system they run on their own and make the principals and teachers the scapegoats on this whole new “accountability” movement.

This is not to say that teachers are perfect. Just today, I had a conversation with colleagues about how we need to have more theoretical classes and professional development sessions that really mattered and not just a way to help cajole the higher-ups into thinking they’re doing their jobs. We also need to conduct ourselves more professionally in certain arenas, and a lot less gossip helps out too. We should also make a better effort to improve in our craft, whether it be picking up books during the summer, attending technology workshops, or even participating in online communities or otherwise during some of the free time.

Yet, when it comes to actually being ready for work, I don’t think we should get paid extra to do so. I don’t think teachers should get some sort of bonus for a) when their kids make significant gains on the ELA and Math state exams or b) score mainly 3’s and 4’s. Those type of bonuses encourage union divisions and compare directly with parents getting paid to do what already comes with their contracts: if you can’t do meet these minimum requirements, then why are you doing this job?

Of course, though, the examples we set for each other has to come from the top. We forget that this is really a top down system, and that the behaviors we exhibit in any system starts from the people running the government. I mean, we pay taxes when we’re not supposed to (according to the Constitution), but we do it because it’s just a part of how we live. NYCers stopped smoking in bars because Bloomberg outlawed it. Why can’t he be more considerate when it comes to the smoke and mirrors we’re constantly subjected to about responsibility?

People just need to do their job. Of course, it’s much deeper than that, but that’s what it comes down to. Do your damn job.

jose, who’s fed up with some of these inconsistencies …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Jose VilsonDo Your F*ck!n Job

Comments 11

  1. LuzMaria

    Unfortunately, this scenario is being played out everywhere in the world of education. How is the practice of dangling a carrot before children in the classrooms called effective teaching? “If you have excellent behavior, grades, and report cards, then you get to go on trips.” This has been the fight I have encountered since I joined the Glass House. The push is not to teach character, critical thinking skills, and accountability, but rather an “I scratch your back if you scratch my back mentality.” What happened to effort and hard-work? It no longer seems to exist among the educators nor their students.

    We are professionals and demand to be treated as such from everyone. Yet, if we, as educators, follow this circus of give me so I can do my job, then when are we ever going to gain the respect that we deserve. The “carrot being dangled” before me is not my incentive. My students are the only incentive I need to make sure that every single day I provide them with the best of my ability as a teacher, mother figure, and fellow human being. I know that no one will give them a break unless they work hard and are hungry to have options made available to them through their education. Why do I need Mayor Bloomberg or any other “educational leader” to give me chump change to do my job. I already do my job in spite of the deplorable salary which I receive. I am not in this profession for the money but to make a difference. It is priceless for me to see the “aha moment” in my classroom. There is no better feeling in this world.

    The parent-reward system is a shame. What can we inference from the monetary value being placed? Excuse me parents, I will pay you in order for you to attend PTA meetings, pick up your child’s report cards, meet his/her teachers, show up to other school events, and your child has perfect attendance. Since I know that you are irresponsible and/or not reliable, I will give you a few dollars to show that you care. Now, if you REALLY care then the money will continue to add up. After all, your child is only worth between $25-$200.

    Let me share my inner thought: What the hell is going on with these people in “power?” Why are people agreeing with this offensive nonsense? Absolutely ridiculous. Let me end here because I will continue with my inner thoughts.

  2. Repairman

    There’s a unique thought…do the best job you can, because it’s what you do.

    Take pride in excellent work, because it’s the work that’s important. (If it’s not important, why do it? Money? That would be so sad if it’s just money.)

    Jose, can you imagine if every teacher in the nation felt like you and LuzMaria feel? What power! (What a solution to so many professional problems that accompany “bad attitude.”)

    I believe that it’s a worthy goal to promote and model excellence in your work. It’s catching. It’s leadership.

    Stay out there and lead, lead, lead. Set the pace. Every school needs one or two who just won’t quit or buckle. Recruit a few more. Start a movement. Imagine.

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    Jose

    @ mister teacher: I need to read Atlas Shrugged. Thanks.

    @ repairman: :: nods:: thanks for the good look. it’s good to know someone else besides me and luz believe in idealism w/ a tint of realism ;-) …

  4. TheInfamousJ

    My high school students take an advisory course. In that course, we are currently reading the FISH philosophy. Right now, they are discussing whether extrinsic rewards (aka money) is an appropriate motivator for “choose your attitude”. The overwhelming consensus of my class of high school students is that, no, money may be a motivator in the short term but that true motivation to do a job with gusto has to be internal. If _they_ can figure it out … but I digress.

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    Jose

    @infamous: I like that. Money isn’t the only determinant. It takes a lot to be a teacher, and we should always be in the process of trying to improve. that’s reality. While most teachers complain about not getting appropriately compensated (including me), I think most of us believe that if teachers as a whole were better, we could make a stronger case for our union.

  6. Jane

    I do not want to see teacher bonuses either. I would like to see my benefits and retirement protected.

    How ’bout this bonus for parents, students, admin, mayors and teachers…pride in a job well done!

  7. GL

    Teacher’s shouldn’t get bonuses for scores… here’s one reason why: I am one and my classes end up loaded with at risk children b/c I am patient with them. But my stats are considered “average” when just as many pass as in another teacher’s class.

    It has nothing to do with us… admins get stipends, promotions, and bonuses for the schools rankings.

    The problem with the school system: teacher’s have too many jobs to do. The administration & office personnel pass their work off onto teachers. Districts, states, gov’t pass more and more requirements off onto teachers. Why are private schools more successful? Part of it is that they don’t have to do any of the crap that we do in the public system. Teaching may be the primary job to the teacher, but it isn’t anywhere up the ladder; and if you treat it as your primary job… you don’t last long.

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