Sarcasm alert: This piece is dripping with it and, if you’re not careful, will ruin your clothes.
Grumpy Old Teacher (GOT) really should have thought of this years ago. How much easier his life would have been and how far fewer the many, many hours he has put into teaching would have been.
Why struggle the entire year to cram an overloaded curriculum into a short-circuited school year? Why sweat out the pacing guide that says a 13-year-old child will outrun a racehorse over the course of nine months? Why put in 10 or 11 or 12 hours a day, arriving at school two hours before the first bell rings and staying until the last child who has come for after-school help has to leave?
All it takes is one simple opt-out form given to parents at the beginning of the school year with all the year’s topics listed. Check off everything you don’t want your child to learn in Algebra or Geometry.
Proofs are hard? Check it off. GOT will excuse your child.
Too many defnintions to learn? Check off half the topics on the list. It really doesn’t matter which ones; pick them at random. But your child will only have to do half the learning.
Theorems? Schmeorems. Check off the ones you don’t want taught. GOT will respect your orders.
In return, his long day will dwindle into those obscenely-short, but in the contract, hours that makes teaching the laziest job in the world. In fact, even during those must-be-on-property hours, GOT can finally, finally … HALLELUJAH! … become that tired cliche that never really existed and sit at his desk, feet up, cup of tea in hand (GOT is not a tea drinker, he loathes the stuff unless it’s on ice, but let’s not spoil a long-held false idea that namby-pamby, liberal teachers don’t drink real American beverages like coffee) reading the newspaper.
They still print newspapers, don’t they?
All because the world of education has become one of parents checking off a list of what children should learn. Father knows best, amiright? Amiright? AMIRIGHT?
Let’s time-travel back to the 1950s, a decade of segregation, a decade of long-faded TV shows that featured no black people, a sterile world of white-people-only …
Go ahead and make checks on that list. GOT double-triple-dog-dares you.
An end-of-year bonus awaits GOT. When the test scores come in and are atrocious, the administrators, state inquisitors, and district staff like the assistant deputy nepotistic washes-the-board’s-cars-on-the-weekend in charge of raising test scores superintendent show up, all GOT has to do is pull the forms out of his desk.
The parents opted out.