October 11, 2018

What if your child's teacher thought this about your son: "He was a loner and isolated and off by himself all the time"?

Teachers want us to believe that they love children and care for and support them. They have — through the compulsion of the state — the opportunity to observe them and interact with them for long hours and many days in their formative years. To trust teachers in that role, we need to believe that if they saw that our child was a loner and isolated and off by himself all the time, their heart would go out to our poor little child, and they'd talk with us and try to help. Or maybe we would wonder whether the teacher understands psychological diversity. Why is she tagging our child as "a loner" rather than appreciating the introvert or trying to figure out if there's some unseen burden making the child withdrawn? The teacher shouldn't be like another one of the children, who decide that a kid is a weirdo and shun him. But imagine a teacher who remembers the children she thought about as a weirdo, waited decades, and when that fellow human being achieved some success in his adult life, she wrote a newspaper column to tell the world "He was a loner and isolated and off by himself all the time."

This is Nikki Fiske, Stephen Miller's Third-Grade Teacher. Stephen Miller is a Trump political adviser. Maybe Nikki Fiske was lured into "writing" this article. I put "writing" in quotes because the byline is "Nikki Fiske, as told to Benjamin Svetkey." I hope she's dreadfully sorry at her terrible breach of a teacher's moral responsibility toward a child. I was a teacher for more than 30 years, and my students were all adults, but I have never — in all the tens of thousands of blog posts I've dashed off and published impulsively — even considered naming one of my students and saying something negative I thought I observed about their personality.

I googled the line "He was a loner and isolated and off by himself all the time" and not everything that came up was about Nikki Fiske and Stephen Miller. There was also:

1. "The Badass Personalities of People Who Like Being Alone/Four studies shatter stereotypes of people who like to be alone" by Bella DePaulo (Psychology Today).
True loners are people who embrace their alone time.... If our stereotypes about people who like being alone were true, then we should find that they are neurotic and closed-minded. In fact, just the opposite is true: People who like spending time alone, and who are unafraid of being single, are especially unlikely to be neurotic. They are not the tense, moody, worrying types.
2. "The Lethality of Loneliness/We now know how it can ravage our body and brain" by Judith Shulevitz (New Republic).
“Real loneliness”... is not what the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard characterized as the “shut-upness” and solitariness of the civilized. Nor is “real loneliness” the happy solitude of the productive artist or the passing irritation of being cooped up with the flu while all your friends go off on some adventure. It’s not being dissatisfied with your companion of the moment—your friend or lover or even spouse— unless you chronically find yourself in that situation, in which case you may in fact be a lonely person.... Loneliness... is the want of intimacy.
3. "The Virtues of Isolation/Under the right circumstances, choosing to spend time alone can be a huge psychological boon" by Brent Crane (The Atlantic):
And even though many great thinkers have championed the intellectual and spiritual benefits of solitude–Lao Tzu, Moses, Nietzsche, Emerson, Woolf (“How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table”)– many modern humans seem hell-bent on avoiding it....

Generally, [Matthew Bowker, a psychoanalytic political theorist] contends that our “mistrust of solitude” has consequences. For one, “we’ve become a more groupish society,” he says.... “We’re drawn to identity-markers and to groups that help us define [ourselves]. In the simplest terms, this means using others to fill out our identities, rather than relying on something internal, something that comes from within,” Bowker says. “Separating from the group, I would argue, is one thing that universities should be facilitating more.”
4. "Why do some people become loners? What type of people become loners? What are the advantages of being a loner?" by Anonymous (Quora):
I don’t really have any big hopes for future. At least I am glad I live in North America where loners are somewhat accepted by the society. I used to blame my parents a lot for being this way. I used to be very angry, especially at my father. There is a saying “You become like the people you resent to”. I think it’s happening. My father is a loner too. The difference is that he belongs to a different generation. He was able to build a family and his own family is big. He is a loner at heart who never had a chance of actually becoming one. Now he is in his 60s and my mother complains that he has no friends to spend time with so he is bored all the time.
5. "Depression is a disease of loneliness/A lack of friends can suck someone into solitude – sharing the language of affection could help to ease the pain" by Andrew Solomon (The Guardian):
It would be arrogant for people with friends to pity those without. Some friendless people may be close to their parents or children rather than to extrafamilial friends, or they may be more interested in things or ideas than in other people....

Many people, however, are desperate for love, but don’t know how to go about finding it, disabled by depression’s tidal pull toward seclusion....

For some, friendship has become a vocabulary as obscure as Sanskrit. Lack of emotional fluency may cause depression; it may exacerbate it; it may cast a shadow over recovery. But there are ways to help people who want friendships to learn the language of affection. Parents and schools can teach children productive ways to engage....

293 comments:

1 – 200 of 293   Newer›   Newest»
Annie C said...

Again and again. Why I love reading Althouse. Depth.

Annie C said...

Or Width.

rhhardin said...

If you don't know what instrospection means, you need to take a long hard look at yourself. (A&G)

AustinRoth said...

The depths that the Left will go to in their politics of destruction has no lower limit.

John Lynch said...

I pushed over my little sister when I was three. She fell on her butt and started crying. Clearly, I'm an awful person forty years later.

Rob said...

We know that one’s behavior at age 15 is fair game. This merely moves the time horizon back seven years.

Tim said...

The Left is garbage. We ALL know that.

ndspinelli said...

The contempt teachers have for students and parents is on full display in the teacher's lounge. When I taught, I learned quickly the lounge is a toxic culture and avoided it completely.

BamaBadgOR said...

This teacher has breached an implicit confidential relationship while perpetuating the myth that being an extrovert is preferred.

Susan Cain - Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Barry Dauphin said...

I wonder if Ms. Fiske violated FERPA.

hiawatha biscayne said...

I wonder if she's got a GoFundMe page yet?

President-Mom-Jeans said...

I'm so sick of public school teachers demanding that they be worshipped as some sort of fucking hero. For the most part, they are a bunch of otherwise unemployable lefty losers who get gold plated benefits, pensions, and every fucking summer off. It's bad enough we have to financially support them and their lefty political activity, but then they have the nerve to complain about not being paid enough and demand people kiss their ass.

Fuck this old bitch, I imagine she was the 1960s version of that twat in Minnesota who just got busted for calling for the assasination of Kavanaugh.

The reason Betsy Devos is so hated is that she actually might allow parents some choice to break the public school union stranglehold on education.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

According to her Facebook, which she has not locked down, she is still employed as a teacher at Franklin Elementary in Santa Monica.

What a complete human shitstain. I hope she gets fired.

Wilbur said...

My friend says he has LMAS.

Leave Me Alone Syndrome.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

1.) When I say "the Media is so terrible they're nearly beyond parody" this is the kind of thing I mean. The Hollywood Reporter isn't the NYTimes but this "story" is getting plenty of mainstream airplay. Ridiculous!

2.) We should question both the assumption that Miller's social situation in 3rd grade has any predictive ability and/or gives any insight into his social or emotional situation and the assumption that his social situation today definitively tells us anything useful about him as a person. Your linked articles address the latter point (that we shouldn't automatically believe that a loner should be pitied/is deficient in some way and that loneliness is a complicated subject) but not the former. If she remembered me at all my 3rd grade teacher would probably say I was fairly outgoing and had a number of friends but today I'm much closer to a loner.

What predictive value does "how social someone was in grade school" actually have? If low/none, what's the value of the POV of this teacher at all?

Bay Area Guy said...

We had this really hot 3rd Grade teacher, Miss Hersh. Yowza. She looked like Gail Gadot, but transplanted in time to the early 70s. I think we would act up just to get her to pay attention to us. Nothing like being scolded face to face by a clearly agitated, but hot 25-year old teacher. "I'm sorry Miss Kersh, I promise not to put chewing gum in Billy's hair again."

Michael K said...

Blogger ndspinelli said...
The contempt teachers have for students and parents is on full display in the teacher's lounge.


I was married in medical school and my wife, for a couple of years, taught second grade in an east Los Angeles school. She had my older son and quit teaching.

About 30 years later, we had been divorced but still friends, she went back to teach as a long term sub after she was laid off in a bank merger. She told me that everything had changed. She was appalled at the teachers' attitude, mocking children, being uninterested in the kids. She complimented a third grade teacher on how well her kids did in reading and the woman burst into tears. No one had ever complimented her on her teaching.

She had always been a public school supporter. After this, she told me, she would home school kids if she were doing it again.

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Borell said...

I don't trust anyone that wants to be worshipped as a group or class.

Teachers. Women. Doctors. Lawyers. Police. Nurses. Firefighters. Men. Clergy.

They are all groups of people made up of humans.

I reject the notion that people are inherently good as they are not. As a group or class, some humans are saints, some are monsters, and the rest of us are somewhere in between.

jwl said...

I think there is difference between introverts and loners.

I am introvert but I still like people and socialize with others regularly but I know two guys who are loners and they have misanthrope tendencies because they were bullied throughout their public school years.

I don't believe teacher's claims, I think she just another uncivil left wing ideologue who is willing to say anything to help the cause.

Sebastian said...

"But imagine a teacher who remembers the children she thought about as a weirdo, waited decades, and when that fellow human being achieved some success in his adult life, she wrote a newspaper column to tell the world "He was a loner and isolated and off by himself all the time."

An odd way of describing what happened here.

1. We don't have to "imagine," an actual teacher actually did this. 2. "remembers" -- or made up or embellished in the telling? 3. "waited decades" -- or saw an opportunity to join the #Resistance? 4. "a fellow human being" -- you mean, a despised Trumpist, complicit in evil? 5. "achieved some success" -- you mean, joined the forces of evil? 6. "to tell the world" -- to attack a Trump official, thereby to undermine the administration in some small way, and to show that progs will scorch the earth, including our personal histories, by any means necessary.

It is a maneuver in the culture war. Decoding the meanings of loneliness is beside the point.

Freeman Hunt said...

If I had a child in her class, I would be at the school today.

SayAahh said...

An interesting read on isolation is The Stranger In The Woods. The extraordinary story of the last true hermit. A national best seller. It is about the Maine hermit who lived alone in the woods for 27 years. It explores the need for loneliness and the sacrifice some have made to obtain it. A good read.

campy said...

"I hope she's dreadfully sorry at her terrible breach of a teacher's moral responsibility toward a child."

She's proud of herself for punching that nazi.

traditionalguy said...

Miller proves once again that free speech draws attacks from the most unexpcted of places. Especially if that speaker defends Jews. At age 7 he was thought weird about his personal space and he ate dried Elmer's glue. Ugh!

If that's all they have on you, you are home free. No gang rapes of 15 year olds, no saying bad words. Just boldly speaking truth with glue on your breath.

Henry said...

Adults worry about loner kids because loner kids suspiciously might have their own thoughts.

Some loner kids go along to get along -- "I’d noticed soon after starting the job that whenever I got angry at the same things as everyone else, they all seemed happy."

And some don't play along and that give adults the willies.

tim in vermont said...

I love being alone. I guess I would really like it if the people in my life were more interesting to me, but mostly they are quite bored by the stuff I find interesting. When I used to comment on Disqus a lot, my favorite comments were when I would make a really off the wall, almost narcisso grade comment, but have a point, and I would get a single like. I would say to myself, "There's one person out there...."

JAORE said...

Vile, disgusting, beneath contempt.

Both the teacher and the publication.

And, one hopes, counter productive. Does the left really believe a minor player (ask the next 10 people you see, "Who is Stephen Miller?") being described in an unflattering way is relevant to the Trump Administration? Does the left really not believe this attack will not cause normal. non-political people to recoil in horror?

Henry said...

As a confirmed loner from a family of loners, one thing is true -- there are a lot of kinds of loners.

tim in vermont said...

We knew of a hermit in New Hampshire in the '90s. I don't know how anybody could claim to know of "the last true hermit."

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

Because she’s a piece of shit. They exist in abundance and, really, there’s not the slightest reason to over analyze the wellsprings of their shittiness. Simply treat them as befits their character.

tim in vermont said...

I had the weird experience of having a sister who substituted in my HS and she told me she overheard two of my teachers discussing me in the teacher's lounge. It was kind of like Tom Sawyer attending his own funeral.

campy said...

"I wonder if she's got a GoFundMe page yet?"

She already gave it away for free, so why would the Johns pay her?

Henry said...

I don't know how anybody could claim to know of "the last true hermit."

That's my retirement plan.

Phil 3:14 said...

Well, he wasn’t REALLY a child.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I have to agree with Annie C.: great post.
Maybe O/T, but we see how someone who really hates Trump and/or what he stands for can violate professional ethics and common decency in order to become a soldier in the cause. I don't know why Blasey Ford said what she did, but there may be some relevance here.

Martha said...

Conveniently there is no corroboration of the weirdness of little Stephen:

“So the principal took some white-out and blanked out all my comments. I wish I could remember what I wrote, but this was 25 years ago. I've taught a lot of third-graders since then.”

But the memory is burned into her hippocampus.

Unknown said...

I very much enjoy periods of solitude in my life. Love my family and friends too. There just are times when being by myself is relaxing and enjoyable.

Shame on this teacher for outing Miller's 8-year old self. 8 years old, for god's sake.

-sw

SayAahh said...

"We knew of a hermit in New Hampshire in the '90s. I don't know how anybody could claim to know of "the last true hermit."

@Tim
That is author Michael Finkel's subtitle... not my quote. An interesting treatise on the deep desire to be alone. 27 years deep in the woods during severe subzero Maine winters.
Order it through the Althouse link.

Francisco D said...

I heard of this story yesterday. I thought it was meant as a joke.

The next joke is that Democrats will try to impeach a POTUS and SCOTUS Justice on false charges with ZERO evidence.

Thank God for political humor. Life would be boring without it.

Bay Area Guy said...

It's hard to drill down into the warped Leftist mindset, but it goes something like this:

1. Trump is a racist, which is the worst thing a person can be!

2. Trump's supporters either tolerate his racism or are racists themselves.

3. Therefore, the normal rules don't apply. We are in a war to stop racism!

4 Hey, 22 years ago I had this Trump ally, Stephen Miller in my 3rd grade class!

5. The little shit used to sniff glue and eat his boogers! Let me find a like-minded reporter to tell my story - I'll get a lotta nice tweets! Hah-hah-hah!

That's how these morons roll.

Ray - SoCal said...

Agree - A+ post!

The morality / privacy / professional ethics issues are troubling.

Rick said...

By Any Means Necessary pays off yet again. After all those others don't deserve the basic respect we grant in-group members. I bet the people asking "why would Ford lie?" as a defense can't even understand the connection.

Amadeus 48 said...

Those resistance people are going full-time making fools of themselves. A woman who was my dinner partner on Tuesday gave a full diagnosis of Barron Trump's learning disabilities. I asked her how she knew. "Just look at him! He's been bullied!" I burst out laughing.

Henry said...

Clicked through and read the article. What a vile breach of trust.

Ray - SoCal said...

Stephen Miller is 33, so this was 25 years ago.

MadisonMan said...

If I had a child in her class, I would be at the school today.

Same here. I would be so beyond pissed. Do not rouse the ire of a parent.

Whatever you think of my kid, you tell to me, and not to reporters.

Ralph L said...

all the tens of thousands of blog posts I've dashed off and published impulsively

Ha! She admits it at last.

Michael K said...

I don't know why Blasey Ford said what she did, but there may be some relevance here.

Interesting speculation. We may see more of this.

glenn said...

Nikki Fiske is a turd. Anybody who supports her and approves of what she did is a turd. But it figures she’d be a public employee.

Martin said...

Well, I did learn one thing from that article, Nikki Fiske and Benjamin Svetkey are both dreadful excuses for people.

And I will echo others--if my kid was in her class or even that school, I would so be insisting on meeting with the principal, pronto. Damn right Miller's parents were horrified and the principal whited-out her unprofessional comments. But what if anything did the principal say to Fiske and put in HER file?

Fernandistein said...

I googled the line "He was a loner and isolated and off by himself all the time"

No you didn't. You googled those words, not that line.

“Real loneliness”... is not what the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard characterized as the “shut-upness” and solitariness of the civilized

Real "word games" make for silly philosophy and subsequent redundance.

There is a saying “You become like the people you resent to”

No, that that's not a saying, even without the 'to'.

Now he is in his 60s and my mother complains

But HE doesn't complain.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Simple explanation: Most liberals are assholes politically, and that is crossing over into all aspects of their lives at an increasing rate.

Rory said...

They give affirmative action spots to children, then tell the grown child, "We gave you this. You owe us." The children serve the system.

Henry said...

Consider the possibility that this eight-year-old boy was dealing with bullying, a learning disability (teachers are not so good with spotting them), or an actual neurotic condition such as OCD.

It just makes Ms. Fiske look even worse -- then and now. Appalling.

And perhaps, that is where young Sheldon learned that adults cannot be trusted.

Martin said...

Two weeks ago I though the Left had gone about as low as you could go, attacking someone for some really stuff they are implausibly accused of doing in high school. Now we have reduced the age from which we can dredge up bullshit attacks to 8?

At 8, I had a big magnifying glass that I occasionally used to focus sunlight on an anthill and burn some ants, or to melt holes in a plastic toy, or make "caps" explode. No government appointment for me, that's for sure!

AllenS said...

It's been a bad 2 weeks or so, for the bad people. They've got nothing but to ridicule people when they were kids. Shame.

Ralph L said...

Wasn't there a whole subculture of Paste Eaters in elementary school?

Seeing Red said...

There’s a cacophony about today’s society. Downtime is good.

AustinRoth said...

"When he was in kindergarten, little Jared had a poop accident in his pants", stated Kushner's kindergarten teacher today in an exclusive interview with CNN. "I knew then what an anal-retentive little sh1t he was, and that he would grow up to be evil."

chickenlittle said...

Somewhere George Soros is smiling and thinking “they mocked what I did as child— this will surely show them.”

Eleanor said...

There are kids who are loners because they've been shunned by their classmates, and there are kids who are loners from personal choice. A good teacher tries to insure the kids have the choice to become part of a group if they want to be and doesn't invade the personal space of the kid who prefers to be left alone past the point of his comfort. When a reporter approaches a teacher about a student from her past, the correct response is, "I remember him fondly" unless it's the FBI. Then you can talk about the time he killed the class guinea pig.

Chris N said...

‘Psychoanalytic political theorist?’

Fernandistein said...

Again and again. Why I love reading Althouse. Depth.

I would characterize reposting parts of some googled MSM opinion pieces as, well, the opposite of "depth"

And they're pretty silly articles:

"True loners are ..." not false loners.

"'Real loneliness'... is not" false loneliness.

"our “mistrust of solitude” has consequences", as does everything else.

Here's my favorite vapid statement from the bunch:

"A lack of friends can suck someone into solitude"

LOL. Solitude can suck someone into a lack of friends.

CWJ said...

John Borell,,

As Shaw wrote "All professions are conspiracies against the laity."

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Who mocks a child? Especially someone whose entire career is supposedly built on empathy for children?

Again. Human shitstain.

Henry said...

For one, “we’ve become a more groupish society,” he says.... “We’re drawn to identity-markers and to groups that help us define [ourselves]. In the simplest terms, this means using others to fill out our identities, rather than relying on something internal, something that comes from within,” Bowker says.

Go bowl alone! It's good!

Chuck said...

Another great blog post, Althouse.

And on the heels of the liberals' revolutionary guard going after Brett Kavanaugh's high school yearbook, it is not just a morally depraved move; it is a morally depraved move at the worst possible time for the liberals' intended cause.

And it seems to be getting the appropriate response beyond the Althouse blog.


Francisco D said...

Matthew Bowker, a psychoanalytic political theorist...

Psychoanalysis is a cult.

Crack needs to get on this.

chickenlittle said...

Fiske cries out for a thorough fisking.

Char Char Binks said...

I always thought the Permanent Record was a joke, and a tool to control students' behavior in their school years, but it seems it was aspirational, and now they have it.

Mike said...

What kind of lowlife, child-hating human does something like this? I'm especially appalled though not surprised it is a teacher, a person who has practiced the art of pretending to care for what must be 30+ years now, who has finally revealed her lizardlike tiny heart. Children are to be nurtured and loved not treated as political objects. Her lack of compassion perfectly reflects the party her union supports, and their evil foray into the childhoods of people they hate is a new low.

Never saw a pop-culture reference to "Choom gang" or Obama's rampant drug use in HIGH SCHOOL but some scumlicking journ-o-lister now sees THIS as fit to "report" and they put their name to it?

tim in vermont said...

Again. Human shitstain.

"A teacher is a person who used to like kids" - Old joke.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

John Borell said...
I don't trust anyone that wants to be worshipped as a group or class.

Teachers. Women. Doctors. Lawyers. Police. Nurses. Firefighters. Men. Clergy


I share your impulse but struggle with the group "U.S. military members & families." It's hard not to revere them as a group (any given individual, of course, is just as likely below as above average) and possibly let that carry over to giving members too much credence in other areas of life. I guess a distinction there is that most military members don't want to be "worshipped."
I probably let it slide for pediatric medical caregivers, too.

Michael K said...


Blogger glenn said...
Nikki Fiske is a turd. Anybody who supports her and approves of what she did is a turd. But it figures she’d be a public employee.


"Forget it, Jake. Its California."

I had to look but, sure enough, it was deep blue Santa Monica.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The leftwing brown shirt witch hunt trickles down.

Annie C said...

Actually Fernandistein, I was referring to the fact that not only did Althouse discuss the fact that a teacher did such a horrible thing to a person who was a child in her class, but that she went even deeper to discuss whether what the teacher said was even valid to an 8-year old that is now an adult. Depth, or width depending on your geometrical stance.

BudBrown said...

I was 5 and didn't want to do something and my mom in a mean voice says I'm anti-social. I didn't know what that was but it didn't sound good.

JAORE said...

"I hope she's dreadfully sorry at her terrible breach of a teacher's moral responsibility toward a child."

Her FB page is still up. A short scan is all that is needed to make me believe she's not sorry. She is likely basking in the sweet stench of her Resistance score.

tim in vermont said...

The Loneliness of the Gifted Child - U Chicago

"There is a definite possibility that we as teachers may be contributing to the loneliness of the gifted child..."

James K said...

I'm gonna call BS anyway. How likely is it that a 3rd grade teacher, one who has taught probably thousands of students over at least 25 years, is going to remember one student's rather unremarkable behavior from 25 years ago? That's on top of the fact that it's disgusting and probably illegal to speak to a reporter about it.

Chris N said...

I remember Mr O’Hara who made me interested in how numbers clarify and simplify complex processes and Mrs Krebs who helped me find stuff I actually to read, and to just keep going, no matter what.

I also remember Ms. Clauser who required 50 properly cited sources for a report on glaciers NO MATTER WHAT. I found 27 decent ones, 9 good ones and 3 authoritative ones. Why 50?

She didn’t explain and didn’t really seem to care. I just listed 50, even 23 I hadn’t touched. I put errors in them to see if she’d checked. Don’t think she did. She was phoning it in. 2 years until retirement. I came to see she was happy to waste my time. I was happy to waste hers when the opportunity arose.

It always smelled like a French whorehouse in there but without any decent looking French whores. Thanks for the lesson, you old bag.

Robert Cook said...

"I'm so sick of public school teachers demanding that they be worshipped as some sort of fucking hero. For the most part, they are a bunch of otherwise unemployable lefty losers who get gold plated benefits, pensions, and every fucking summer off. It's bad enough we have to financially support them and their lefty political activity, but then they have the nerve to complain about not being paid enough and demand people kiss their ass."

You obviously have created a detailed fantasy of who public school teachers are and how privileged they are, simply so you can hate them, but you don't know what you're talking about. As with any other cohort of workers, teachers run the gamut of personality types and political beliefs. This means there are excellent, dedicated teachers and terrible, uncaring teachers, and the spectrum between these poles.

Many public school teachers must find summer jobs to get through the months of no income from teaching: my brother was a public school teacher for 14 years, and he did lawns every summer. This proved more profitable to him than his teaching income, so he left teaching and has carried on his lawn business year round ever since. It's a cash business and he rakes it in. (He's also conservative.) When my father was a restaurant manager, my mother worked with him, hiring and scheduling the wait staff, and there were a few public school teachers among them every summer.

I know a woman now who works in the NYC public schools, and every summer when she's not working, she is perennially worried about paying the bills. (Her husband is employed full time, but they need her income to make ends meet without strain.)

"Gold-plated benefits?" Maybe in some high income school districts, but certainly not in most. Many teachers take out of their own incomes to buy school supplies for their students, as their school districts are too underfunded to provide enough. They don't ask to be worshiped, but they would appreciate being treated and paid decently for all the work they put in, much of it unpaid time, (do you think they're paid for after hours grading papers? Ha!)

Chris N said...

Also, I’m doing an NPR report and I need a politico-ethicist-environmentalist-minority-expert.

Any takers?

bgates said...

When they go low, we taunt them for how they behaved when they were eight.

Michael K said...

HuffPo is all in and running with the story.

They have the rabbi and an uncle to quote.

Last month, Miller’s former rabbi, Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels, condemned the “zero-tolerance” immigration policy Miller helped to craft, saying it was “completely antithetical to everything I know about Judaism, Jewish law and Jewish values.”

In August, Miller’s uncle, retired neuropsychologist David S. Glosser, said his nephew “has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.”

His uncle told HuffPost that Miller likely views certain ethnicities as “unworthy or inherently unsuited to life” in America.


Wow ! A "neuropsychologist." Is the like Blast Ford ?

I didn't know they were illegal immigrants.

Michael K said...

Blasey Ford. Autocorrect is sneaky.

AustinRoth said...

Chris N - with or without a degree in LGBT Studies, Womyn Intersectional Studies, and/or Black Feminist Physics?

tim in vermont said...

and every summer when she's not working, she is perennially worried about paying the bills

So she has chosen eight or ten weeks of vacation time over income. This is America, you are allowed to do that. She could, of course, work during the summer.

CJinPA said...

Gold-plated benefits?" Maybe in some high income school districts, but certainly not in most.

Certainly in most unionized districts. Unless my perspective is off, having dealt with teachers unions for eight years on a school board.

DanTheMan said...

>>I hope she gets fired.

She's a public school teacher. You might as well hope she gets elected Pope.
Both are equally likely.

tim in vermont said...

How likely is it that a 3rd grade teacher, one who has taught probably thousands of students over at least 25 years, is going to remember one student's rather unremarkable behavior from 25 years ago?

He was probably actually gifted, and therefore interesting.

Freeman Hunt said...

One friend reports that her kids watch a lot of television in school. There's an "educational" program shown pretty much every afternoon (Sid the Science Kid and the like), and often kids' movies of no educational value at all. No books are sent home. Elementary reading class consists of reading/scanning passages as quickly as possible with a highlighter to mark key facts and then answer questions about them; the goal is to get one's time down as low as possible, so the children are encouraged to go faster and faster.

Another friend's child was plopped into ESL because she was adopted from a non-English-speaking country, even though English was the only language she knew.

No, thanks.

CJinPA said...

I'm so sick of public school teachers demanding that they be worshipped as some sort of fucking hero.

Norm MacDonald just addressed this in a show, and was challenged by a teacher in the audience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAg9M-O9wGo

Warning: Norm is not everyone's cup of tea.

tim in vermont said...

Feminist physics has made only one prediction: Things would all be perfect in the universe if we only voted Democrat.

DanTheMan said...

>>How likely is it that a 3rd grade teacher, one who has taught probably thousands of students over at least 25 years, is going to remember one student's rather unremarkable behavior from 25 years ago?

It all came back to her during a home remodeling.
That's how it works now.

Freeman Hunt said...

You can tell that this teacher is a jerk because she complains about his messy desk. That's a big tell.

Darrell said...

The Democrats own the level under a snake's belly. They only go high when the drugs come out.

James K said...

He was probably actually gifted, and therefore interesting.

If so, she managed to leave that part out.

Still, I've taught for 30+ years (university level) and from that long ago could only remember two students: One who died on Pan Am 103, and one young woman who seemed to want to get a bit too personal with me (which I politely rejected, decades before #MeToo). And by now I couldn't tell you their names. And there were plenty of exceptional and weird kids.

Yancey Ward said...

Have you ever heard people talk about a third party's children- and I mean people who aren't related to each other? I would wager that teachers are multiple levels worse.

rcocean said...

That's where the Kavanaugh opponents went wrong.

If want to destroy someone, talk to their 3rd grade teacher.

Darrell said...

Matthew Bowker, a psychoanalytic political theorist...

Psychoanalysis is a cult.


"Political theorist" means you'd be unemployable in the real world.

Darrell said...

Blogger Annie C said...
Or Width.


Althouse prefers "girth."

Robert Cook said...

"'and every summer when she's not working, she is perennially worried about paying the bills....'"

"So she has chosen eight or ten weeks of vacation time over income. This is America, you are allowed to do that. She could, of course, work during the summer."


She could, yes, but that's not my point: I was disputing the other commenter's remarks suggesting teachers make so much money they can sail through the summers "on vacation" because "we" are supporting them. The woman I know gets by not because she's so well paid, but only because her husband works. If he did not work, or if she were unmarried, she would have no choice but to find a summer job.

Mike said...

"Gold-plated benefits?" Maybe in some high income school districts, but certainly not in most.

Most? You don't know shit then Cook. Maybe in the old days that was how your brother rolled, but today's teachers can pad their income by moving across the schedule with continuing ed, then up the schedule with seniority (since about 30% burn out in 2-4 years). Once you make it past the 5-year mark in California you're set. Then by banking vacation (easy when you have summers off) and working "overtime" in their last two years by covering the open period in their schedule, teachers can game the retirement system too by getting 105% of their last two years' pay FOR LIFE starting at age 50.

So yeah, for the rest of us funding our own "defined contribution" plans while "they" suck down a "defined benefit" plan indefinitely, the Teachers' gig does have gold-plated retirement benefits, at the very least. Oh yeah, and they don't pay Social Security, so they've banked an extra 13% from every check that you and I would have paid into Uncle Sam's scam. Oh and they keep their gold-plated health care benefits into retirement, avoiding the crappy "medicare for all" that their union keeps trying to sell the rest of us on.

You're a hack and working awfully hard at disinformation around here.

Annie C said...

Darrell said...
Blogger Annie C said...
Or Width.

Althouse prefers "girth.


Lordy Darrell, you win!

rcocean said...

All of Miller's "friends" and relatives are coming out of the woodwork, because he's working for Trump and trying to enforce the immigration laws.

Seems to be a big issue with them, so big, they'll destroy their nephew or "friend".

Its like the Kavanaugh nomination. All his liberal "friends" at Yale came out of the woodwork to destroy him, and it looks like some of his Liberal Judicial "Buddies" that he had such a great relationship have filed ethics charges.

Of course, you only have to look at the Winsconsin Supreme Court to see what happens when a liberal "Buddy" decides you're too conservative and doesn't like you.

rcocean said...

Can a teacher, who remembering back 30 years, REALLY remember what one student was like?

This seems like BS to me.

rcocean said...

All my grade school teachers were great. Looking back, I'm surprised that people with their intelligence were satisfied with teaching little kids.

Of course, all of them were married, and "back in those days" I suppose opportunities for women were much more limited.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Mike said...Maybe in the old days that was how your brother rolled, but today's teachers can pad their income by moving across the schedule with continuing ed, then up the schedule with seniority

In my state the big thing is masters & PhD's in Education. Many of the programs are...less than rigorous but almost all teachers get direct bonuses and step bonuses (where future raises are calculated based on a better rate) for holding those degrees. Schools get to brag that 70% of their teachers have advanced degrees and teachers get to take home more cash. I am not aware of any body of research that shows STUDENTS receive much benefit, but here we are.
(Not that I blame the teachers for taking full advantage of the system--I blame the system whereby teacher's unions collude with school boards and state legislatures to make this kind of stuff possible. So, you know, I do blame the teachers in the form of their unions, I guess.)

DanTheMan said...

>>Can a teacher, who remembering back 30 years, REALLY remember what one student was like?

It was at a school, but she's not sure which one, or what grade it was. There were 4 other teachers there, or maybe two, or was it three?
She doesn't remember how she got to work, or how she got home, but she remembers the laughing, and his name. Its in her hippocampus. Seared.





Robert Cook said...

Commenter "Mike" generalizes from his own perception of what goes on in California, and asserts all teachers throughout the U.S. operate under the exact same circumstances, (also assuming all teachers enjoy huge salaries, apparently).

Case closed!

(Hmmm...I wonder why, with things being so peachy for the teachers, "30% burn out in 2-4 years"?)

Night Owl said...

Is it civility bullshit to say that this teacher should be ashamed of herself?

gerry said...

Nikki Fiske just proves the old adage "Once a bitch, always a bitch."

AZ Bob said...

You've got nothing if you have to go back to the third grade to attack someone's character.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

"Show me the kid, and I will find you the Crime"

Yancey Ward said...

If I had seen this story quoted without a link, I would have guessed it was from The Onion or Th Babylon Bee. That it is intended as a serious article is astounding to me.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

"(Hmmm...I wonder why, with things being so peachy for the teachers, "30% burn out in 2-4 years"?)"

Because progs have turned schools into unworkable, undisciplined, failure mills? Just spitballin'...

The Left has an indefatigable enthusiasm for fouling it's own nest.

Laslo Spatula said...

Lee Harvey Oswald's grade school teacher could not be reached for comment.

Because she's probably dead by now.

I am Laslo.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

"he would kick his pregnant mother while in utero"

Jersey Fled said...

My oldest daughter was a quiet shy child who I am sure some would call a loner. It seemed like every other year in grade school she would get a kind, caring teacher who would help her along, encourage her, and find ways to help her get out of her shell. I remember her 4th and 6th grade teachers especially in that regard.

In the alternate years she would get harpies who would either ignore her or discourage her. They just did not have the time for a child who was a little different. She was little more than a nuiscense to them.

I have no doubt that there are many Nikki Fiskes in our public schools. In my experience in very good suburban school system, it was about 50%.

That's why I have a hard time swallowing the "teachers as heroes" meme.

becauseIdbefired said...

There is a book about Isaac Newton called "The Loneliest Genius."

From a biography of Grigory Perelman, the guy who solved the only solved millennial problem: "So Perelman forged on alone; he had little contact with his colleagues for several years. Though he was isolated from other mathematical thinkers, the rapidly growing Internet medium allowed him to keep abreast of developments in the field." Note, Perelman was so disgusted with people upon proving the Poincare conjecture, he has left the field of mathematics (he also rejected the $1M prize). But, no one knows what he is in fact doing as he lives with his mother alone, in Israel.

"The more gifted a child is, the more alone they tend to be."

--Albert Einstein

It makes sense to me. If you are going to think outside the mainstream, thoughts outside the mainstream, you will not fit in, and you will either be forced to conform or be rejected.

Imagine a world in which teachers could prevent loneliness. At what cost? Lose all our free thinkers? Forced conformist thinking as many on the left demand?

Michael K said...

Blogger rcocean said...
All my grade school teachers were great. Looking back, I'm surprised that people with their intelligence were satisfied with teaching little kids.


Mine were nuns. A couple were a bit priggish but most were great. My second grade teacher, Sister Jean Philip, went to my 25th class (8th grade) reunion. By that time nun's habits were gone. She looked no older than us, her former students.

It made me wonder how old she had been when she was teaching second grade.

I once accidentally hit her with a snowball. I had to write on the blackboard "I will not throw snowballs" 500 times.

YoungHegelian said...

@MK,

Last month, Miller’s former rabbi, Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels, condemned the “zero-tolerance” immigration policy Miller helped to craft, saying it was “completely antithetical to everything I know about Judaism, Jewish law and Jewish values.”

Lord knows, the shtetls were famous for how welcoming they were to Salvadorans.

I keep on hearing this sort of shit about "Jewish values". What I never see is any sort of reference to any Jewish sources that say such things.

Yeah, I know, there are those passages in the Hebrew Bible that talk about being kind to the "sojourner", whatever the hell that means. I think it means being kind to the Jewish traveler, not just any clown who happens to pitch his tent in your back yard. The ancient Israelites stood out in the gleefully syncretic Greco-Roman world for how non-syncretic they demanded to be. I mean, are there any passages at all in the Old Testament that have the general drift of "Ya know what would liven up this party? Let's bring in some more Gentiles!"?

rcocean said...

"I once accidentally hit her with a snowball. I had to write on the blackboard "I will not throw snowballs" 500 times."

Accidentally?

Because you aiming at another Nun?

Rick said...

"Gold-plated benefits?" Maybe in some high income school districts, but certainly not in most.

It's revealing none of Cook's objections are in any way relevant to the issue of benefits yet he presents them as proof. Apparently we're to believe medical coverage and pensions aren't valuable because their salaries aren't high enough to take three months off as well.

In fact teacher benefits are far beyond what is reasonable. In Maryland teachers can retire and start receiving a pension at 55 or with 30 years of service whichever comes first. This means many retirees will receive pension benefits for more years than they worked. This sort of gamesmanship is common with unions who play the politics game - push all the comp to benefits and then complain the salaries are too low and must be increased.

EDH said...

Roy Orbison's grade school teacher is unavailable for comment.

William said...

I can see talking about Jeffrey Dahmer or some famous war criminal in such a way, but this is a bit much. It's strange that she remembers him after all these years, and stranger still that she doesn't realize it's wrong to voice such sentiments publicly. I guess she really looks at him as some type of Jeffrey Dahmer whose pathology the world needs to study.

Ann Althouse said...

"We knew of a hermit in New Hampshire in the '90s. I don't know how anybody could claim to know of "the last true hermit.""

I know. It's a very off-putting title. I went to the Amazon page and played the sample of the audiobook. I only put up with a few sentences. The writing style was that breezy peppy tone that feels like an insult to the reader's intelligence.

By the way, I can see how one could claim X is "the last true hermit." The trick is in the word "true." Any suggestions that Y or Z is also a hermit will be met with the objection, not a true hermit.

That's the "no true Scotsman" fallacy:

Philosophy professor Bradley Dowden explains the fallacy as an "ad hoc rescue" of a refuted generalization attempt.The following is a simplified rendition of the fallacy:

Person A: "No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."
Person B: "But my uncle Angus is a Scotsman and he puts sugar on his porridge."
Person A: "But no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge."

The essayist Spengler compared distinguishing between "mature" democracies, which never start wars, and "emerging democracies", which may start them, with the "No true Scotsman" fallacy. Spengler alleges that political scientists have attempted to save the "US academic dogma" that democracies never start wars from counterexamples by declaring any democracy which does indeed start a war to be flawed, thus maintaining that no true democracy starts a war.

narayanan said...

Robert Cook said...

(Hmmm...I wonder why, with things being so peachy for the teachers, "30% burn out in 2-4 years"?)

So, Is it pupils or fellow teachers who cause burn out?

We are now discussing who last more than 10 years ... Hmmmm, Hmmmm

johns said...

Responding to Robert Cook's comment that teachers have a 30% "burnout rate" in 2-4 years: I don't think that is a high turnover rate, since this refers to teachers entering the "profession"; how high is the turnover rate for other jobs that people get right after college?

Also, teachers have a moderate starting salary, but the unions structure it so that salary rises much faster than productivity, and the retirement benefits are astounding. A close relative of mine retired at age 60 with over $100k per year without spending her entire career in teaching (CA of course)

victoria said...

Listen, John. i locked my mother out of the house when i was 3. My little brother, all of 6 months old, was in the house, by himself, with me. My mother, who didn't drive at the time, had to go next door, call my grandfather, and get the keys to the house. That was 64 years ago. Till the day she died, 10 years ago, my mother talked about this incident. Talk about bad. Shame on me. Does my brother remember it, no.


Vicki from Pasadena

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

How many people named "Stephen Miller" would you estimate there are in the US? Has to be at least in the high five figures, wouldn't you say? I think Ms. Fiske is either guessing, or else has put in some considerable research time to be sure that she has the right one. So: Criminally feckless, or else a serious Democratic operative. Take your pick.

Ms. Fiske, I was a "loner" in school. Not in third grade, but certainly by the end of fifth, when we moved. I spent as much time as possible by myself, largely because there were five or six other girls (yep, they were all girls -- not a lot of sweetness and light to be had there) bent on tormenting me every chance they got. By ninth grade, it got so nasty on the school bus that one day I bugged myself with my mom's mini tape recorder, then wrote out a complete transcript that evening and dropped it on the principal's desk the next day. That put a stop to it, pronto.

But that was harassment from other kids. Harassment from teachers I don't understand and never will.

M Jordan said...

I taught for 35 years, mostly in public high school. I saw every single personality type that exists and a few that don’t. I had one young man go to the front to give an oral book report and he froze solid. Just stood there, eyes fixed on some distant object. After a minute or so of this, I told him, “Lamar, you may go back to your seat.” That was the last time I forced students to give a speech.

Schools are tough, hyper-socialized places. We all, students and teachers, have failures there. What bothers me about this teacher is that she’s using her observations from decades ago to score political points. I hope I haven’t done the same thing here.

James K said...

“I bugged myself with my mom's mini tape recorder, then wrote out a complete transcript that evening and dropped it on the principal's desk the next day. That put a stop to it, pronto.“

Impressive! Nowadays you’d probably get disciplined for violating your tormentors’ rights.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Too bad we'll never hear from the Democrat senior leadership's 3rd grade teachers, they all died somewhere between Fredricksburg and Cold Harbor.

Night Owl said...

The left has gone beyond parody. Bubble people can't hear how ridiculous they sound to those outside the bubble.

Ann Althouse said...

It's not really a mystery. Children require a lot of work, and people need jobs. It's hard work, in that the children are childish and needy and there's a very high level of character that is demanded, and it's not going to be compensated like work where you're making a product that the market will either reward or reject. The product of education will be cranked out massively even if it is bad and even if the workers are not up to the task.

It's one thing to take care of your own children, who will grow up and get better at things and (potentially) reward you directly for the good efforts you made. But to be responsible for numerous 9-year-olds, a new group year after year and to need to do it for your livelihood? That can't be easy. Yet all 9 year olds require teachers. How good can this possibly be? We're lucky it's not much worse. You'd think the teachers would at least follow some rules that help us maintain our faith in teachers! How could Nikki Finke thinks this was okay?

ALP said...

Begs the question: would a male teacher have understood the solitary male child a little better? I'm fairly antisocial for a woman - never had that 'group of female friends' experience that seems so vital to so many women. Half the women I meet feel I have a 'problem' and try to nag me out of my solitary activities. Given all the press about bad male behavior, its interesting that a push for more male role models in school (aka more male teachers) isn't happening.

Teacher in our city were on strike recently. As I was driving by the picket line one day, I was struck by how few men there were. How can one support such a clearly non-diverse group when diversity is all the rage?

hombre said...

"I hope she's dreadfully sorry at her terrible breach of a teacher's moral responsibility toward a child.”

There is no morality in Leftworld. There is only the agenda.

The sponsors of Leftworld, the leftmediaswine, not only encourage amoral and illegal behavior to further the cause, they revel in it: Breaches of confidentiality; Leaks of classified information; Investigation unsupported by probable cause; Calumnious, uncorroborated allegations of sexual misbehavior; Mob action against, and suppression of civil rights of, people not aligned with the cause. All supported by anonymity and/or accolades for the miscreants.

Nothing is too low.

Freeman Hunt said...

"That's why I have a hard time swallowing the "teachers as heroes" meme."

The good ones really are heroes. A great teacher is a gem. The key is getting to pick.

This public school business where you have horrible teachers like this mixed in with fantastic ones, and it's a lottery for which kind your kid will get each year, well, that's impossible to swallow.

becauseIdbefired said...

Another thought. Perhaps there are about as many people alive today as there were between one generation ago and say 4,000 BC. Where are all the geniuses?

Nothing in physics, outside of (currently, and for the foreseeable future) unprovable string theory (unimportant too, as it predicts nothing you can observe), Climate science? Multiculturalism? Inconsistent jokes. Almost everything seems to be coasting on technological advances and group think.

Where is our Shakespeare, Newton, Galileo, Einstein, Homer, Voltaire, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Rembrandt, and others who often so change the way we look at the world we never look at it the same?

I suppose there is Rap, crosses in jars of urine, and shredding your art-work which, in today's estimation, supposedly adds value.

Either we have come to the end of our geniuses, coasting from the past with technology, or something is wrong and we are not finding them.

William said...

The Jacobins put the five year old Dauphin into solitary confinement in a stone prison. The Bolsheviks on Lenin's written order executed all the children of the Czar. We know something of the pathology of Jeffrey Dahmer but very little about the pathology of social activists. Stephen Miller is lucky that this deranged woman didn't strangle him in front of the whole class.

James K said...

“How good can this possibly be? We're lucky it's not much worse.“

And yet it seems to be much better in most advanced countries than in the US. And I say this knowing most such claims about the inferiority of the US (healthcare, crime, etc) are if not bogus, at least misleading. The US educrats are by and large incompetent and politicized hacks. With some exceptions of course. And that spreads to teachers. Yes, there are many fine and dedicated teachers, but too many who should be fired but cannot be.

ALP said...

AllenS: It's been a bad 2 weeks or so, for the bad people. They've got nothing but to ridicule people when they were kids. Shame.
******************

And they keep reaching back further! I look forward to the articles uncovering bad toddler and infant behavior! "He smeared his feces on the wall well into his tenth month of life - we can't trust him because most infants stop at six months."

Disclosure: I have never had a kid; if my ignorance of baby feces smearing doesn't ring true, that is why. But you get my drift.

becauseIdbefired said...

It's one thing to take care of your own children, who will grow up and get better at things and (potentially) reward you directly for the good efforts you made. But to be responsible for numerous 9-year-olds, a new group year after year and to need to do it for your livelihood? That can't be easy. Yet all 9 year olds require teachers. How good can this possibly be? We're lucky it's not much worse.

My brother is a principle at a "last stop for bad children" school. He says young teachers come in with great thoughts to help these troubled kids, until they have children of their own.

Big Mike said...

Based on my experience putting two sons through the elementary and high school education programs in two of the highest-rated school districts in the country (Montgomery County, MD and Fairfax County, VA), I would have to say the teachers who are good at their job and dedicated are a very tiny minority. For every good teacher there are at least two awful teachers, where the kids learn despite the teacher, at least two burnt-out cases where they are just hanging in for the pension, and a bunch who are mediocre on their best teaching day ever.

Jupiter said...

"I hope she's dreadfully sorry at her terrible breach of a teacher's moral responsibility toward a child."

Sorry to rain on the parade, and it's a long one, but this stupid woman did not betray a child. She talked about the childhood of an adult. Has anyone here ever read a biography? There is widespread interest in the childhoods of people who are remarkable as adults, for whatever reason, and the people who knew them as children often supply stories when asked. If the stories are favorable, no one would think of complaining.

Jupiter said...

"I was a teacher for more than 30 years, and my students were all adults, but I have never — in all the tens of thousands of blog posts I've dashed off and published impulsively — even considered naming one of my students and saying something negative I thought I observed about their personality."

Did you ever write any letters of recommendation? I don't know how it works in Law, but the rest of Academia runs on a thin gruel of letters of recommendation. These are expected to come from the people whose classes you took, and they are expected to be at least marginally honest.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Robert Cook said...

It's a cash business and he rakes it in.

The only reason for an adult to run their lawn care service as a cash business is to avoid bank records. Is he doing it to cheat on his taxes, or to pay his workers under the table? Just wondering.

William said...

If you have Netflix and Amazon Prime, you don't even have to watch commercials. There's so much good stuff in tv I don't see why people bother socializing. In the old days, people had to go to bars or card parties to find entertainment. Those weren't the good old days. Human beings are annoying and/or boring. They're best encountered on television where they're carefully screened to insure good looks and interesting situations.

James K said...

“teachers have a 30% "burnout rate" in 2-4 years”

I suspect it’s many of the best that burn out. My mother taught grade school for 2-3 years after the rugrats were out of the house. I can’t speak to whether she was among the best, but I’m sure she had a great work ethic. She found the atmosphere intolerable, quit, and went to law school in her 40s.

Jupiter said...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Public Schools or the Rat Bastards who teach in them (Gahrie excepted, of course). It is a rare person, almost always a woman, who is able to feel nothing but affection for Other People's Children.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Robert Cook said...

...every summer when she's not working, she is perennially worried about paying the bills.

It's a shame it's not possible to earn money in one month, but not spend it until a later month. Such money could be hidden under your mattress. Maybe someone could even come up with a financial institution that could hold on to your money until you need it.

I know, crazy talk...

Mike said...

Commenter "Mike" generalizes from his own perception of what goes on in California

Did I? Or did I just give an example from the state I know best, which represents about 30% of all teachers in public schools and almost half of all federal welfare? You painted with broad brush and alluded to the mythical "spending their own money" on "teaching supplies." Oh the humanity!

I just scratched the surface of the truth, which I saw from inside the system for ten years, Cookie. I could fill a blog (and have told some here) of the illegal use of state funds for campaigning, the way CA teachers union uses public resources to scare Spanish speaking parents into voting (illegally) for Democrats. Specific examples. Not a broad brush.

Teachers do make higher than median salaries, which would not comport with your assertion, but also doesn't support the straw man of "huge" salaries that you pulled out of your ass.

cubanbob said...

"She could, yes, but that's not my point: I was disputing the other commenter's remarks suggesting teachers make so much money they can sail through the summers "on vacation" because "we" are supporting them. "

RC, the teacher's salaries are annualized. They don't get paid for piece work. She could have asked to be paid on an annualized weekly basis thus getting checks during the summer. If you are arguing that teachers don't get paid enough, thats a career path choice.

Howard said...

Incompetent parents blame teachers like the hack tradesman blames his tools. Cuck-logic to salve the continuous butt-hurt. We are at the pinnacle of success yet so many want to drag down others into their lonely pit of despair because depression loves company

Francisco D said...

My fourth grade teacher (Mrs. Z) treated me like crap. She constantly sat me in the hall for talking out of turn and sent me to the Principal, a matron who terrified the entire elementary school. At one point, the school psychologist got involved, because of my acting out behavior.

Mrs. Z gave me a "D" in Spelling although I had a perfect score on the Iowa Basic Skills Test. She really must have hated me, although by all measures I was the smartest kid in her class.

The following year, I was accepted to a prep school on scholarship. My behavior turned around immediately in this more academically challenging environment where teachers took a more laissez faire approach to discipline. I was really happy to be away from Mrs. Z.

I later found out that Mrs. Z and the school psychologist teamed up to get me that scholarship. It completely changed the course of my life for the better.

Jupiter said...

James K said...
“teachers have a 30% "burnout rate" in 2-4 years”

"I suspect it’s many of the best that burn out."

Kids burn out too, but they don't get to quit. I had enough of 7th grade before I ever even got in the ugly brick building, but they made me stay, and continued to torture me for another year and a half before I found a way to escape. I'd like to say I gave as good as I got, but I didn't. The motherfuckers outnumbered me.

hombre said...

“You obviously have created a detailed fantasy of who public school teachers are and how privileged they are, simply so you can hate them, but you don't know what you're talking about.“

Here’s the predictable Cook, dazzling us with his insight by speaking from his bubble where public school teachers are not indoctrinators, Christians are not persecuted and socialism works.

Generalizations are frequently misleading, sometimes not. Attempting to contradict them with anecdotal information is delusional.

James K said...

Sorry to rain on the parade, and it's a long one, but this stupid woman did not betray a child. She talked about the childhood of an adult.

Why are you calling her 'stupid' if she did nothing wrong? First, there's a difference between something negative, and of dubious veracity, with a political motive. Second, this adds nothing to our understanding of Mr Miller. And third, recommendation letters are miles away from relevant. if I ever got a recommendation letter for an adult that referred to his 3rd grade antics, I'd disregard it and probably send a note to the recommender's supervisor.

Michael K said...

Yet all 9 year olds require teachers. How good can this possibly be? We're lucky it's not much worse. You'd think the teachers would at least follow some rules that help us maintain our faith in teachers! How could Nikki Finke thinks this was okay?

When my kids were little, an Episcopal priest named Father Sillers started a private school in San Juan Capistrano named St Margaret's Episcopal School and he acquired a nucleus of dedicated teachers. He was an amazing man. He was a retired headmaster from elsewhere who just decided to found a school. He got a group of parents interested, many of them doctors. A third of the parents were Jewish and Father Sellers attended quite a few Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs.

He later founded several other private schools in Orange County at a time when the Catholic Church was uninterested in schools.

His cadre of excellent teachers followed him and helped him get new schools going. I knew teachers who were willing to work for less at his schools. There was a real esprit de corps.

Jon said...

Well, MichaelK, that explains it.

But please don't ask me what "it" is.

Michael K said...

But please don't ask me what "it" is.

I won't but there is a spirit among teachers that wants the kids to do well and wants to teach, even simple stuff like fourth grade math.

Then there was my grandson's fourth grade public school teacher who told his mother that she could not do the math problems using "Common Core." She told his mother to teach him at home using "traditional methods."

Fortunately, he and his sister are now in a charter school where teachers are enthusiastic and he loves it.

Some of the problems with education fads like Common Core and "New Math" are boredom by Ed school instructors. They don't want phonics or multiplication tables because it is boring.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said: it's hard work...and it's not going to be compensated like work where you're making a product that the market will either reward or reject.

Why isn't it going to be compensated that way? I'll agree "teacher quality" is difficult to measure but that's true of any number of other jobs/professions. The effect a given level of "teacher quality" has on "student achievement" is likewise very difficult to measure but the market deals with the same problem w/r/t compensation in all sorts of other jobs, too (eg worker #274 out of 455 in the accounts receivable dept of a huge multinational corp--what's her contribution to this quarter's profit and how much should she be paid for that?).

I'm not sure why the job of teacher should be uniquely difficult to properly compensate or evaluate in terms of compensation. Other than, you know, kids are involved.

I suppose if we're talking just about public schools then there is the added difficulty of coming to a consensus about what the overall pay scale/range should be--maybe you mean since most people don't agree on that nor with whatever the implied "going rate" is that we're unlikely to agree on any given evaluation.
For private/market-funded schools presumably the rate is set by good ol' Supply and Demand.

Caligula said...

"Teachers want us to believe that they love children and care for and support them."

Teachers can think whatever they please (thoughts are free). We care about what they do and not so much about what they think. What this one did was nurse a grudge against a third-grader for decades and then denounce the adult that third-grader became.

It's the behavior that's despicable (not the thought).

"the teacher understands psychological diversity"

Well maybe they should, but few expect they will. Except where prohibited by law, teachers mostly prize conformity and (consciously or not) punish non-conformity.

Perhaps they shouldn't, but, does any reasonable parent really expect any better?

Jay Elink said...

Martin said...


At 8, I had a big magnifying glass that I occasionally used to focus sunlight on an anthill and burn some ants, or to melt holes in a plastic toy, or make "caps" explode. No government appointment for me, that's for sure!
******************

Caps? CAPS?? You mean those explosive strips of paper you "shot" in a toy pistol at your friends, pretending to kill them?

You MONSTER!!!

/sarc

gahrie said...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Public Schools or the Rat Bastards who teach in them (Gahrie excepted, of course).

Why thank you. Just for the record I support public schools, but I believe the best way to improve them is through competition, so I support vouchers, charters and parental choice. There is a lot of poor teaching and indoctrination going on in our schools, but they get away with it because an awful lot of parents just see school as daycare centers.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Why isn't it going to be compensated that way?

Because we've taken the free market out of it. So the people setting the overall compensation are spending other peoples money on a product that is mostly benefiting other people's kids.

gahrie said...

For every good teacher there are at least two awful teachers, where the kids learn despite the teacher, at least two burnt-out cases where they are just hanging in for the pension, and a bunch who are mediocre on their best teaching day ever.

If you are depending on teachers to educate your children, you are going to be disappointed. Parents have a much larger effect on their child's education than teachers. A well motivated kid who wants to learn and has involved parents will learn in a classroom with the worst teacher in the world. A poorly motivated student who doesn't give a shit and has parents who didn't give a shit will not learn in a classroom with the best teacher ever.

I see my kids for one hour a day, five days a week, 180 days a year....and I am expected to transform them into educated, socialized, motivated, college bound young adults. I do what I can, and try to make a difference but I am not a miracle worker.

As a teacher the thing that amazes me the most about my fellow teachers is not their ignorance (and some are incredibly ignorant) but how many of them don't like kids or enjoy being around them.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

“zero-tolerance” immigration policy Miller helped to craft, saying it was “completely antithetical to everything I know about Judaism, Jewish law and Jewish values.”

Anti-nativism is not a Jewish value. Planned Parenthood is antithetical to Judaic morality. Immigration reform is often avoidance or a cover-up of emigration reform (i.e. tending one's own garden) and counterproductive to making the Earth and people bloom.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robother said...

You are a woman who teaches, or grew up in the same community with, some guy who goes on to become famous, but associated with Trump. Your 15 minutes of fame is only a constructed "memory" of them doing something bad or at least contemptible (e.g., loser/loner eating dried glue). #Believe Women?

Why assume there's anything credible to these "memories"? Its like trying to credit the spectral evidence of the Salem witnesses, maybe it wasn't Goody Proctor who came to them in a dream, it was someone else. Nikki Finke is lying Leftist tool. Plain and simple.

Bay Area Guy said...

AA asks:

"How could Nikki Finke thinks this was okay?"

Because she's a leftist, and thinks that her feeble resistance to Trump is much more important than embarrassing a grown man (Trump supporter!) about his 3rd Grade quirks.

That's how they roll.

Qwinn said...

Every time I think the Left can't go any lower or be any more disgusting, another lefty somewhere seems to take it as a "hold my beer" challenge. And they consistently succeed.

gahrie said...

Why isn't it going to be compensated that way?

Well for starters, because I don't get to chose my kids. I have to teach whoever shows up at my door. This includes the homeless kid that moves every six weeks and will drop out and re-enroll three or four times this year. It includes the kid just across the border from Mexico who can't speak English and hasn't been in school for five years. It includes the kid who doesn't like rules or authority figures and is disruptive in class every day. It includes the kid who has been told that his teachers are racist and hate him. It includes the kid who had a crappy teacher last year who never opened a social studies book. It includes the kid who has failed every class for years but still keeps getting promoted.

n.n said...

In retrospect, he was productive, and ultimately successful. I'm not sure if this recall is insulting or congratulatory of a life-style misunderstood but a life well-lived.

Annie C said...

Gahrie said...

There is a lot of poor teaching and indoctrination going on in our schools, but they get away with it because an awful lot of parents just see school as daycare centers.

This, this, so much this!!!

Leland said...

I agree that calls for civility are bullshit, but what to do with so many calls for incivility and so many on the left answering those calls.

Bay Area Guy said...

I had a great 3rd grade. I got into two fights, MG and FR. I think both were "ties," which saved my young reputation. Both of them later served time, although they were non-violent offenders, mostly just thieves.

MG lost his virginity in the 8th Grade!

It was a small town.

traditionalguy said...

Red Alert: Camille Paglia has released a 700 page compendium of her works with a narration that zings like a master Provocation.

Bay Area Guy said...

"I agree that calls for civility are bullshit"

I think the calls have to be for the other side to be civil. There's nothing wrong with calling your own side to be civil (I think).

n.n said...

A priori civility may be authentic. Privileged? A posteriori calls for civility are likely bullshit. Uncle!

exhelodrvr1 said...

parents are the biggest problem with today's schools - not supporting the teachers, not willing to discipline their children so that they respect the teachers.

The bad teachers do have a disproportionate impact, though. Example: a K-5 school, with 4 classes per grade, will have 24 total teachers. One bad teacher, just 4% of the teaching force, will negatively impact 25% of the student, because 1/4 of the students will be in their class at some point.

Excessive bureaucracy siphons away teachers' time, and takes funds and manpower from where they are actually needed.

The most important attribute for a teacher is the ability to control the classroom. If they can't do that, in today's environment, it doesn't matter how well they know the subject or how much they love teaching.

stlcdr said...

This is an example of the reason why we, the tax payers, are reluctant to put more money into schools (apart from the fact that it's used to pad administrative budgets).

Henry said...

Sorry to rain on the parade, and it's a long one, but this stupid woman did not betray a child. She talked about the childhood of an adult.

Google FERPA.

Here's one hit: Privacy of Student Information

Ken B said...

James K doubts she can remember one kid. We had a 40th reunion of our grade 4 class. The teacher was there, and she clearly remembered our characters. I had an enormous vocabulary for a kid. At one point she said she was a supernumerary. Then she turned, looked straight at me, and asked me what it meant. So she remembered doing stuff like that with me 40 years earlier.

(Surplus to normal requirements.)

n.n said...

parents are the biggest problem with today's schools

That may well be. Secular education at school. Raising a child begins at home.

Henry said...

Ironically, since Ms. Finke reports that the principle whited out the information she was trying to put into the student's record, it just falls into the category of gossip.

n.n said...

She betrayed a confidence. We assume there is a teacher-student confidentiality.

gahrie said...

I send home dozens of "barely passing" and "presently failing" progress reports six times a year. Every one of them has the comment "please contact your child's teacher". Most years no one ever contacts me. The only times I see parents is at IEPs and graduation.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Young Hegelian: Yeah, I know, there are those passages in the Hebrew Bible that talk about being kind to the "sojourner", whatever the hell that means. I think it means being kind to the Jewish traveler, not just any clown who happens to pitch his tent in your back yard.

I think “immigrant” may be the best translation of the word in question.

On the other hand, the same book mandating this love of the stranger/sojourner/immigrant also called for entirely exterminating the Canaanites, so extrapolating to current political conundra (is that even a word?) is a little thorny.

Bay Area Guy said...

I had really good teachers in a public grammar school. They probably made $8,000/year at best, but you could rent a house for $200/month, so it worked.

Fernandistein said...

Funny Drudge Fake Headline: "SHARKS UNLEASHED ON SHORE..."

--> "Hurricane Michael SHARK warning as 160mph winds 'sending killer beasts' to Florida"

Nobody gave a warning about SHARKS.

'sending killer beasts' is a quote of nothing and nobody.

"Fisherman Garfield Chambers" does mention sharks: "We always plan a fishing trip about this time of the year and the storm makes the fishing better. Right now is the best time, the storm brings in big sharks," . He doesn't seem to be afraid of the sharks.


Article: "But as beach towns flood, huge predators could be washed through the streets – just as we saw when Hurricane Florence swept through the US."

--> linked article does not mention sharks, with or without their leashes.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Probably just a personal anecdote, but of all the people that I have had as clients in my financial planning practice.....public school teachers are the dumbest, least educated, least knowledgeable people I have ever come across.

With the exception of a science teacher and a math teacher, the most basic concepts just bounce off of their foreheads like nerf balls. They think with their emotions. They are unable to grasp any new ideas or ones that don't agree with their political (almost 100% liberal) leanings. They won't take advice. They don't listen.

WHY THE EFF are you even in my office?!?

Char Char Binks said...

"I ate glue with my friends. Almost everyone did. Sometimes I had too much glue, sometimes others did. I liked glue, I still like glue, but I did not eat glue to the point of blacking out and I never sexually assaulted anyone."

But seriously, folks, I just read the article; what a horrific violation of the trust parents put in teachers, and of the rights of that boy she had in her care. Should we really trust a nasty cunt like that with our children?

Francisco D said...

parents are the biggest problem with today's schools

I have long suspected that and it has been doubly affirmed recently.

My fiancee is teaching 4th grade for the first time. (For over 25 years she taught in college).

Many of the parents are insufferable.

They want to be informed every day of grades and assignments. Others protest when the kid doesn't get a high enough grade. Some do their kids homework for them. This is FOURTH GRADE!

Michael said...

Read "the last samurai" . Also The Autobiogrphy of John Stuart Mill. Learn about what a child is capable of learning.

tim in vermont said...

It's not a Cat 5 until the sharks have frickin laser beams.

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