RSS

Tag Archives: Posttraumatic stress disorder

Due Process – Part 4/4

Once a teacher has job protection and has taught more than two or three years without being found incompetent, it is reasonable to assume that a teacher may be the victim of slander or there may be another compelling reason why a teacher that was found competent for years or decades suddenly appears incompetent.

According to Personal Injury Lawyer.com, “Defamation is defined as an untrue statement which causes you to be held in contempt or ridicule and as a result causes you damages.… Truth is a very good defense. It may prove an unshakable defense if you have unlimited funds to pay lawyers to defend it.”

This is where the teachers union steps in and provides the legal protection to defend a teacher that may be innocent of incompetence.

In fact, when a veteran teacher is accused of incompetence after being in education for decades and earning positive annual reviews, he may be a victim of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which The American Society for Ethics in Education says is, “The Hidden Epidemic in our Nation’s Schools. While formal studies have yet to be undertaken, post traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) appears to impact a significant number of teachers…”


How Does PTSD Affect Brain Function?

In addition, Heal My PTSD says there is job protection for those that are suffering from this trauma. “In many instances, time off to deal with a medical condition is covered under the government’s FMLA law. If your employer meets the criteria and you are willing to do the paperwork, the law may protect you from losing your job when you need time off.”

In the case of a teacher that appears to be incompetent while really suffering from job related stress and PTSD, it becomes a disability, which the Veteran Administration recognizes for combat veterans.

Instead of conducting a witch-hunt and attempting to remove job protection for teachers, the critics of public education should be offering the same support our military combat veterans receive for stress related job injuries such as PTSD.

If these religious/political critics are unwilling to do this, then we should be asking who is behind this assault on public school teachers and why?

The truth may be that incompetent parents are the reason students do not learn, but how do you fire an incompetent parent?

Return to Due Process – Part 3 or start with Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dumping Teachers due to Standardized Test Results and Student Performance – Part 6/7

I have a few more things to say to the Sydney Morrises of the world and those that blame teachers for the so-called failure of public education in America. [The real Sydney Morris spoke against seniority as a base for teacher layoffs in the August 2011 Costco Connection.]

It is a proven fact that teachers have PTSD because of the stress that comes with the job. In addition, there is a situation known as teacher burnout, which is probably caused by the same stress that causes PTSD.

This Australian Website on Teacher Burnout goes into detail and is a resource for teachers with any of the following nine symptoms.

1. insomnia

2. extreme tiredness

3. distancing yourself from colleagues and/or students

4. no longer caring what happens as a result of your efforts

5. an attitude shift to the cynical

6. hostility

7. taking more time to get less done

8. depression

9. drug/alcohol abuse

What’s interesting is the ratio of teachers found to have PTSD and/or Burnout is about the same. A study into stress in Western Australian schools in 1987 found that 10–20% of teachers suffered from psychological distress, with a further 9% suffering severe psychological distress (Howard and Johnson).

For more information on teacher burnout, see this report on several studies on the topic.

It is a fact that half of new teachers in America quit within the first few years and never return to education due the stress and the dysfunctional nature of an education system run mostly by elected officials and not teachers.

In addition, if you read the piece in the March/April 2011 Foreign Policy magazine, you discovered the quality of American students has always been poor and it it wasn’t because of the teachers.  Most of America’s public school teachers are highly educated, very dedicated and work extremely hard.

Continued on September 10, 2011 in Dumping Teachers due to Standardized Test Results and Student Performance – Part 7 or return to Part 5

____________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Dumping Teachers due to Standardized Test Results and Student Performance – Part 5/7

A recent study by an expert in combat related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), studied teachers in a Texas public school district and discovered that one out of three teachers had PTSD.

If seniority is removed as the sole factor for deciding which teachers lose their jobs, then every teacher in America must be evaluated for PTSD (possibly every five years) and when a teacher is discovered to have PTSD (a job related disability), he or she should receive a disability and free counseling from the Veterans Administration, which is organized to deal with this mental disorder brought on by combat and/or repeated stress related experiences.

The question in the August 2011 Costco Connection was “Should Teacher layoffs be based on seniority?”

The results arrived in the September 2011 Costco Connection and the result reveals that more Americans have abandoned its teachers after special interests have turned them into scapegoats for the failure of students that do not study and parents that do not parent and a system that does not allow teachers to make the decisions as Finland does.

The result was 31% yes and 69% no.

I’m not surprised by the results. My wife and I saw the documentary “Waiting for Superman”, which is an indictment of the public schools and teachers in America and it was pure propaganda and extremely misleading. As usual, nowhere did it mention that students must be held responsible by parents to do homework and study when a teacher assigns work to be done at home.

“Waiting for Superman” claimed the US was once a pioneer in public education, which is a lie. Ben Wildavsky writing for the March/April 2011 Foreign Policy magazine blows that myth/lie apart, when he said “Even at the height of U.S. geopolitical dominance and economic strength, American students were never anywhere near the head of the class … the results from the first major international math test came out in 1967 … Japan took first place out of 12 countries, while the United States finished near the bottom.”

In addition, what “Waiting for Superman” doesn’t want you to discover is that in the 2009 PISA international test, America placed in the top 26% for Math, top 11% for Reading Literacy, and the top 20% for Science Literacy, which is a huge improvement from near the bottom in 1967.

In 1967, twelve countries were compared in Math, but in 2009, that number was 64 countries in three subjects.

What happens when a student doesn’t perform, which means he or she does not participate in class, doesn’t ask questions when he or she is confused about a lesson [correct me if I’m wrong, but teachers cannot read minds], avoids class work, avoids homework, avoids reading assignments, will not read independently, will not study and/or misbehaves in class?

Is that the teachers fault?

Continued on September 9, 2011 in Dumping Teachers due to Standardized Test Results and Student Performance – Part 6 or return to Part 4

____________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Annual Autumn Teacher Blues – Part 2/3

What my teacher-friend mentioned in Part 1 is probably signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is something I am very familiar with since “it” came home with me from Vietnam in 1966 where I served in combat as a U.S. Marine, which may explain why I’m being polite when I call some people ignorant idiots.

In fact, I have much stronger language for those fools.

A few synonyms for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are battle fatigue, shell shock and trauma and a recent study revealed that about 1 in 3 public school teachers may suffer from PTSD.

No matter how you cut it, teaching is a stressful job for most teachers. If you listen to and believe the “ignorant idiots” that criticize public education in America, you may not believe this but it is a fact.

Medicine Net.com says, “Virtually any trauma, defined as an event that is life-threatening or that severely compromises the emotional well-being of an individual or causes intense fear, may cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The National Center for Children Exposed to Violence (NCCEV.org) says, “In 1999, one in six teachers report having been the victim of violence in or around school. This compares to one in nine teachers in 1994.” (The Metropolitan Life Survey of the American Teacher, 1999: Violence in America’s Public Schools – Five Years Later, Metropolitan Life, 1999)

“In order to maintain a clear view of the issue,” NCCEV says, “it is important to keep in mind that school violence can include emotional and physical ridicule or bullying, assaults, threats, sexual offenses, as well as the less apparent but equally important components of graffiti and vandalism, trespassing and gangs.”

May 26, 2011, Sarah D. Sparks wrote an update for Education Week.org on Can a Class of 7th Graders Give Teachers Stress?

Sparks wrote about Teresa McIntyre, a psychology research professor at the University of Houston that said, “Teachers don’t have one or two traumatic events; it’s a chronic daily stress that accumulates over days and months and years. It’s pretty equivalent in other high-risk occupations.”

In a pilot study conducted last year of 50 teachers in four Houston-area middle schools, Ms. McIntyre found as many as one in three teachers in the Houston district were “significantly stressed,” with symptoms ranging from concentration problems, fatigue and sleep problems.

Continued on August 23, 2011 in The Annual Autumn Teacher Blues – Part 3 or return to Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 5/5

Child Help.org says, “Over 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year in the United States; however, those reports can include multiple children. In 2009, approximately 3.3 million child abuse reports and allegations were made involving an estimated 6 million children.”

Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.

RAINN.org says, “Fifteen percent of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12 and 29% are age 12 – 17. Three percent of boys grades 5 to 8 and 5% of boys in grades 9 to 12 said they have been sexually abused.

“Children that are victims of sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression, six times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs and 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.”

The No Child Left Behind Act mandates (without directly saying so) that teachers are to overcome all of these challenges without any changes taking place outside the public schools when hunger, homelessness, gang and crime statistics, child abuse, etc. impact a child’s life.

However, when survival comes first in a child’s life, and other essential needs are not met, education takes a back seat and teachers in the public schools will not overcome these challenges no matter what mandate the federal government votes into law or how many critics claim America’s public school teachers are failing.

With these challenges, it is amazing that teachers have accomplished what they have.

For example, in California, 53.9% of Black or African American students in the public schools have met the English Language Arts Target while 56.3% have met the Mathematics Target.

Yet, in the United States, sixty-seven percent (67%) of Black-African American children live in single-family homes.  In addition, more than 35% live in poverty.

Among Hispanic/Latino children, more than 33% live in poverty, while less than 12% of white children do and about 13% of Asians.

The numbers of students that fail or succeed in school is easily explained by the numbers of those living in poverty, in communities dominated by youth gangs, and those that live in single parent homes.

Asking America’s public school teachers to overcome these obstacles is the same as telling someone to climb Mount Everest nude and without any climbing gear.  Only ignorant fools or people with political agendas based on greed or ideology would make such accusations.

The facts say, when a child’s basic needs are met, that child is ready to learn and not until then and the complexity of what it means to make sure every child’s basic needs are met is difficult to identify and achieve.  We cannot expect the government or teachers to solve everything for everyone. Individuals must take responsiblity for their lives and that means parents too.

Teacher’s cannot push these child to the next level in literacy or math even with the threat of lost jobs and closed schools.

Return to Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 4 or start with Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,