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How Teaching Is Like the Military

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Amy, the Denver public school teacher of Groovygrrl's Weblog, makes some apt comparisons when discussing budget cuts and teaching job "redistributions":

People who work in schools make friends in a foxhole--it's a hard job, no matter what you are doing, and if you work there, you automatically share a special connection with everyone else there. We talk about our time in schools like military folk do: long-term teachers are invariably called "veterans."
So it's that time of year, and the cuts are in. And, of course, one of my best friends has had her job cut. Rather, her job is one of three that has been "redistributed," so she has to decide whether or not to interview for the two remaining positions. ...
It sucks for her, because she doesn't know if she wants to interview. If not, it means she has lost her job. If she does, she would be interviewing for a different job which she doesn't like. More than likely, I'm betting she chooses not to interview, which means I will have one less friend at work next year

And teachers, like soldiers, perform a lot better when they've got backup support.

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Incidentally, school like the military, mental institutions and prison are the only places where people can legally be held against their will. So, I agree there's something to this comparison.

Andrew Pass

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