In the strictest sense of the word, APATHY is defined as the absence or suppression of passion, emotion or excitement. In my mind when I think of apathy a very specific vision comes to mind. It’s from my Intro to Psych class freshman year at Dartmouth when I was introduced to the idea of Learned Helplessness. Basically, if an organism perceives that it has no control over the negative stimuli it faces then it just gives up. So think about how this applies to the leaders of our educational system, our teachers…
The end of the school year is when teacher apathy is so pervasive that it’s hard to ignore. It’s partially the disjoined schedule with exams and student absences combining to
remove most of the flow in the classroom. But mostly, it’s the effect of the pressures from the year and trepidation of the year to come. Some teachers are innately apathetic, those who dislike their job but are too far in to change, those are the perennial complainers and they probably just need a change. My concern is that the good teachers, the ones who really like their jobs and care about the students become victims of this apathy as well. These teachers have put their heart and soul into their students all year but they
are told that it’s not good enough and they now have to do 10 more things the
following year with 20% more students and a 10% pay cut to boot. Teachers also know that next year they will be in the exact same situation again. The education system doesn’t look like it will be changing to alleviate any of this, so how can we expect anything but growing apathy from our teachers.
So if teachers are supposed to be the flames that light the candles of our students, what good is a teacher whose fire has been extinguished?
We need to keep our teachers excited about the profession and committed to their students’ successes. While we can never take away all of the stressors of life as an educator we can give them something to stoke their flames. I keep coming back to that image in my mind from Psych class, the dog laying on the floor accepting the shocks. Apathy. So how do you help the dog? You give him control. How do you help the education profession? You give the teachers control, maybe not everywhere but at least in this aspect of their job. That’s where we come in. As a Top Teacher Test Prep Partner your reward is directly and immediately correlated with your effort. The better you perform in your role as an SAT tutor or college consultant the better your students perform. The better they perform the more business you get. And the more business you get the more money you make and the more respect is accorded to you in the community as a whole. Those rewards stoke your flame and that extends back to the classroom.
If the system won’t do it we will.