Clarion Review


The Other Side of Teaching

Evelyn Uddin-Khan


 This is a deep, stinging indictment of the education system from a teacher’s point of

 The Other Side of Teaching, by Evelyn Uddin-Khan, is an emotional look at the trenches of education from a veteran teacher.

Uddin-Khan has a doctorate in comparative and international education, lending her book a broad perspective and deep insight, but the heart of her understanding is intensely personal.

The book examines teaching conditions, internal and external politics, and the shifting balance of power in education. The first two parts of the book share stories from her teaching experience. The third part discusses policy desksproblems specifically, but her experience is critical to her insights. The fourth part gives the author’s view of the positives of the teaching profession, such as the students themselves and friendships with other teachers.

It’s clear through her sincerity and intensity that Uddin-Khan loves teaching and students. But the depth of her love makes her hurt deeper. After years of service, being essentially demoted made her feel like a commodity to the school system—a system that she already felt didn’t give teachers their due respect. Her pain and anger are quite smudge-chalk-girlsunderstandable, but at times they overshadow the ideas she wants to present.

Her discussion of policy and problems with the system is best suited for those who have a relatively good grasp of the education system: She begins, “It is obvious that education policy in its present form is excluding the majority of poor and middle-income children from receiving the education they deserve.” For some teachers, parents, and concerned citizens, Uddin-Khan’s ire will fuel desire for change.mind

But those unfamiliar with the day-to-day realities of the teaching profession will find her experience eye-opening and even shocking (such as how verbal and physical abuse from students goes unaddressed by administration and parents), prompting the question, “It can’t possibly be that bad, right?”—a question that Uddin-Khan hopes will encourage people to take a deeper look at education.

school busThe cover and back panel copy don’t fully show how personal and emotional the book is. They set a more academic expectation that may make Uddin-Khan’s earnest and sometimes angry voice jarring. The Other Side of Teaching is an inside look at the education system through one teacher’s tell-all point of view.

Melissa Wuske



Should there be greed and corruption in academic institutions? one dollar

In a conversation with several educated people who are in responsible positions in medicine, law and technology, I said that the corruption in the academy is shocking.

One person said, “Corruption is in every profession under the sun, why should education be different?”

Another said, “It is shocking, but why should teachers, professors, administrators – why should they be less greedy than other people?”

Well, I tried to explain why people in the academy “should” be different, but I failed miserably.

Here is my weak argument:the journey

People in the academy are responsible for preparing the citizens of tomorrow. From kindergarten to graduate school, teachers, professors, administrators, all teach a subject. They also teach by example. That is, they must be honest, upright citizens, role models who students admire, emulate and want to place on a pedestal.

Children from kindergarten to adults in graduate school see more of teachers and professors than they see of their parents. Some times adolescents might trust their teachers more than their parents. Therefore, people in the academy must be, should be, above greed or dishonesty of any kind.

The citizens of tomorrow should want to emulate the citizens of today. But they can’t or won’t if today’s citizens in the academy are the corrupt people they listen to by day and spit at by night.

The argument went on. I felt as if I was wrong. Then on the point of frustration I added:law-books-4

Look, we in the academy owe our students our honesty and integrity. We more or less tell them how to live their adult lives. How can we tell our children what to do, how to do it, when we are corrupt? And that is why people in the academy must be above the dirt!

Their reaction:

Oh! Get real!

You don’t really believe what you just said?

Ha! Ha! Ha! Academy! The perfect world!

The media hates teachers. Torturing teachers is the favourite sport of media people. On slow news days they have to fill the air waves and the pages of the newspapers. A quick target and a ready topic is the over paid, lazy slobs who show up daily in school buildings to teach their

It is a sad commentary on the society we live in that the dedicated people (who are perhaps more educated than most media folks) who are responsible for educating future generations of Americans should have to put up with abuse and condemnation from low-lifers who dish out unfounded accusations against teachers when they have very little knowledge of what actually goes on in a school building.

There are corrupt doctors, lawyers, bankers, etc. and corrupt media who spin propaganda. Propaganda sells newspapers and keep people glued to their flat screens and hand held devices. Propaganda is also destroying education in this country.

News reporters are very creative in the ways they turn dross into gold. If they want to write about teachers and teaching then they should actually teach before writing about a profession in which they have not a clue.schoolroom

Teach for a year. Teach five (5) classes per day. Be responsible for 170 students per day. Prepare multiple lessons per day. Grade 170 papers per day. Take home work for every evening and weekends and holidays too. Have administrators and politicians (and the media) breathe down your spines. You media folks should experience a teacher’s life before writing about the punishment, discipline and dismissal they should receive.

Here is one paper’s advice to the new mayor on how to approach the teacher problem. One, scrap the seniority clause since young teachers maybe more talented. So a talented 24 year old just out of college who has exceptional singing and dancing skills but no teaching experience in English, math, biology, or physics would do a better job than a senior teacher with 20 years experience.

Two, get rid of the ATRs. Those people lost their jobs through no fault of their own. They want to work. Some of them are in their 30s and 40s and 50s. Teaching is their life, their vocation. The newspaper suggests terminating their employment. End of Story! Who would hire fired teachers?flag

Three, The newspaper likes charter schools. Charter schools carefully select the students they accept. What happens to the other 99%? Public Schools serve the masses. Charter schools are private. The foundation of this country was built on public schools and the future of this country depends on public schools and the teachers who serve in them.

To make a long story short, the media should write to educate the public not spread propaganda. It’s been a long time since the media did the job they are supposed to do – serve the public.



How do we explain this phenomenon?KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Is there an acceptable explanation?

The USA is the richest country in the world! The USA has the poorest, most deprived kids of all the developed countries in the world.

We have unlimited $$$$$ for war, troops, military equipment, drones, cyber spying, domestic spying, international spying, and every other evil under the sun, the moon and the stars. We have the power and the ability to destroy nations (and we do), to eliminate elected leaders (and we do), murder innocent children and their mothers (and we do).

However, we do not have money to improve public schools, for lunch programs, for health care for poor kids, for additional care for malnutrition and obese kids, for after school programs for under privileged kids. Our solution is to close their schools in their poor run-down areas. welcome

Let’s look at kids in the following categories:

– Special education

–  Poor and below poverty line

– Older students still in high school – 18 to 21 years old

–  Minority students (students of colour & language learners)

–  (It is customary for psychologists in public schools to feed these kids lots of drugs.)

The students in these categories make up a large percentage of students in our public schools. Every year this student population increases. In NYC the solution has been to close their closed

Is closing their schools the way to solve their problems?

 These groups of students need an academic program, but they also need two additional costly programs. First, they need special care and nurturing including health care and healthy food; and second, they need to be given special non-academic skills so they can leave school and function in the larger world and become productive members of our society.  

In the US of A we spend our money on world dominance while perhaps 45% of our population go hungry, has no health care, live in shelters, and fall through the cracks.

 May God be with the war mongers of this patriotic country.    




Good: A long awaited, well deserved raise!

Bad:   A certain clause that spells and smells of corruption!breaking news

The Mayor of NYC and the teachers union (UFT) are about to announce a new contract and a proposed salary increase is expected. This is excellent news since these teachers have had no raises since 2009. (NYC teachers are the lowest paid professionals in this area.)

The bad news is the clause that will pay “good” teachers bonuses for “good” teaching.

The UFT must insist that this clause be deleted from the contract because it lends itself to fraud and corruption in every school building.crayons

Here is how: Every ass-kisser, boot-licker friend and relative of the immoral principal will automatically be judged a good teacher and qualify for those bonuses. (I know. I have witnessed money corruption in these buildings.)

There are other ways to determine how effective a teacher is, and the Mayor and the UFT must explore alternative ways of rewarding those “good” teachers. And there are many of them!

UFT, one hopes that you will stand up for your dues-paying teachers. It’s been years ….

PS: Have Mercy of those homeless ATRs.

%d bloggers like this: