Recently on Reddit, a user asked teachers for their hot takes on education. Hot takes, if the pandemic caused you to fall behind on your lingo, are opinions, questions, and observations people don’t always share widely because of their controversial and often incendiary nature. Turns out educators had plenty to say.
From the predictable issue of working conditions to the less predictable topic of khakis, no stone went unturned. Teachers from across the country—and in some cases, around the world—weighed in with their piping-hot commentary. We are very much here for it.
Check out some of the top responses.
“Too much focus has been put on recruiting new teachers, not enough on keeping them there.”
“The cause of the teacher shortage is teachers leaving primarily within their first 3-5 years, not a lack of new people entering the profession. For example, my former district just raised the new teacher salary to $60k, but a teacher entering the district with 25 years of experience would make roughly $75k. Make it make sense.”
“On a related note, teacher turnover should be a major factor in school evaluations by the states/districts. If a third of your staff quits every year, that’s a glaring red flag that someone needs to step in and make meaningful change.” —Easy-Trust786
“My hot take is that the conditions teachers have to work in are never going to improve unless enough teachers strike and demand things change.”
“I know this is really hard, maybe impossible, to do though. But one can dream! I’m hoping the number of teachers leaving this year will have some impact.” —bunny_and_moon
“Hot take: we are in no way prepared or equipped to teach in the 21st century.”
“Reason: our funding and ‘professional’/vocational training should have coincided with the massive increase in technology, both in amount and funding. Teachers today are using methods developed 50-70 years ago.”
“PowerPoints, electronic white boards, etc. are nice tools but we have a plethora of information on how teaching needs to address learning styles to be effective and yet our funding is slashed, our tech is bunk, our degrees don’t focus on new realities of our environment, and our students suffer from being jammed into classrooms 30 at a time.” —WisdomsOptional
“You don’t have to wear khakis to be a good teacher.”
“I wore jeans every day of the year and my kids had great test scores.” —KongZilla9009
“Admin jobs should come with term limits.”
“It’s just too hard to remember what it was like in the classroom after 5 years or so. Put them back in a classroom (at classroom teacher pay) for at least a year before they can apply to be admin again. Many of the best principals I’ve worked with have been first-year principals.” —KTeacherWhat
“New admin should never do teacher evaluations.”
“They have no idea what constitutes reasonable expectations for teachers. As an experienced teacher, some of the dumbest or most egregious recommendations have come from newly minted admins.” —upfnothing
“Teaching is definitely a skill that can be learned, but there’s also just that it factor.”
“You can train someone to be a better teacher, or better presenter of information, but not everyone is a teacher.” —activate_procrastina
“Politics and armchair quarterback parents have ruined the profession.”
“Teachers are held in low esteem because it’s a traditionally female-dominated field, and it will never have full respect or compensation for it because of the perception that we all have spouses who earn plenty of money to support us in our altruism.”
“The best part is being with students in the classroom. Everything else is subject to place, time, and administration.”
So true. Principals in particular can have a huge impact on their teachers’ experiences, and kids are always, always the best part.