Atlantic Writer Quits “Teach For America”

Standard progressive naivety about how the world works often leads to hilarious unintended consequences and cognitive dissonance.

Muslims hate us? Release more Gitmo detainees and they’ll like us!

When it comes to the abject failure and social pathologies of urban black school children, progressives actually believe that, with sufficient verve and energy a Michelle Pfeiffer or Sean Connery can teach inner city blacks to… appreciate Shakespeare! (“You’re the man, Dawg!”)

In The Atlantic, a writer, who wantonly volunteered to teach in the… how shall we say it… rather ‘darkened’ Atlanta Public Schools system, explains why “I Quit Teach for America”.

Hilarity ensues.

Some choice sentences:

At the time, I appreciated TFA’s apparent confidence in me as a leader. I assumed that I would learn the concrete steps I needed to achieve this transformation during the training program. Instead I was immersed in a sea of jargon, buzzwords, and touchy-feely exercises…

That classroom training was completely unlike the situation I now faced in Atlanta: teaching math and science to two 20-person groups of rotating, difficult fifth-graders—fifth-graders so difficult that multiple substitute teachers would vow never to teach fifth grade at our school again.

I had few insights or resources to draw on when preteen boys decided recess would be the perfect opportunity to beat each other bloody, or when parents all but accused me of being racist during meetings…

I was not alone in my trouble with student behavior. Gary Rubinstein, a 1991 TFA alum and an outspoken critic of the organization, believes the training sets teachers up for failure: TFA teachers “don’t know how to deal with discipline problems, because they’ve never dealt with a class with more than 10 kids—there’s no way to deal with so many potential problems when they’ve never been practiced.”…

When I was once asked to fill in for an unexpectedly absent colleague, one of her second-graders chose to confide in me about his abysmal home life. He explained, with wide and trusting eyes, that his mother’s boyfriend enjoyed getting drunk, abusing the family, and sometimes shooting at the kids with a BB gun for fun. I immediately reported the incident to an administrator, who reacted with what appeared to be annoyance that one more paper had to be filed at 3:00 p.m. on a Friday. This was an administrator who really does care about children and wants to improve their lives—but the all-important duty of covering the legal interests of the district can make crucial social work feel like just another rubber stamp.

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