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“The Onion” Does Satire On Teach For America

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The Onion has just published a pretty funny “Point/Counterpoint” satire on Teach For America which is very funny, though (as most satire is) not as fair to TFA as it probably could be.

The point is written by a “volunteer teacher” and is titled My Year Volunteering As A Teacher Helped Educate A New Generation Of Underprivileged Kids (by the way, when you click on the link you also see a prompt asking you sign-in, but just click cancel. There appears to be glitch in the site). Here’s how it begins:

When I graduated college last year, I was certain I wanted to make a real difference in the world. After 17 years of education, I felt an obligation to share my knowledge and skills with those who needed it most.

After this past year, I believe I did just that. Working as a volunteer teacher helped me reach out to a new generation of underprivileged children in dire need of real guidance and care. Most of these kids had been abandoned by the system and, in some cases, even by their families, making me the only person who could really lead them through the turmoil.

The “Counter-Point” is “written” by a student in that classroom, and is accessible at the same link. Here’s an excerpt:

I’m not some sort of stepping stone to a larger career, okay? I’m an actual child with a single working mother, and I need to be educated by someone who actually wants to be a teacher, actually comprehends the mechanics of teaching, and won’t get completely eaten alive by a classroom full of 10-year-olds within the first two months on the job.

How about a person who can actually teach me math for a change? Boy, wouldn’t that be a novel concept!

I fully understand that our nation is currently facing an extreme shortage of teachers and that we all have to make do with what we can get. But does that really mean we have to be stuck with some privileged college grad who completed a five-week training program and now wants to document every single moment of her life-changing year on a Tumblr?

For crying out loud, we’re not adopted puppies you can show off to your friends.

I’m adding this to The Best Education Articles From “The Onion”.

And you might also be interested in The Best Posts & Articles Raising Concerns About Teach For America.

Thanks to NEA Media for the tip.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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