Thursday, March 22, 2012

What's Wrong With Teachers!?!

Paperwork up, class size up, homeless students up, students with emotional or behavioral issues up, range of academic levels within same class up... And, of course, level of blame on teachers- way, way up!

Let's be frank- there's plenty of blame to go around. There are still teachers out there who are ineffective at best, but a profession where salaries can often result in second jobs, where resources and expenditures are cut each and every year neither attracts nor inspires prospective professionals, or their students. Teachers deal daily with the after effects of parents who are often at there wits end financially and emotionally, not to mention those who are abusive or have just given up (or left), and have, in turn, passed down and ingrained that attitude, that anxiety, that psychic damage unto their children. Compound all the above with those (inexperienced or wantonly ignorant) individuals and institutions who pass legislation or create situations which prove or accomplish little- other than pressure an already broken system into emphasizing what is least needed (eg- excessive testing) at the expense of all the things which so desperately and obviously need to be done: smaller class sizes, more responsible (and student involved) disciplinary policies, more student and parent counseling, more trade oriented classes, free higher education (we had it till the '70s), and finally, the jobs that kids can actually see in their own neighborhoods to make that dream visible and real- not just empty words and broken promises.

Continue to blame the teachers, blame the unions too (if they had any real power, they would have ended, no- prevented this farce a long, long time ago)! But most of all, let's make sure not to blame ourselves. Let's make sure to blame those already trapped and struggling in what we have all allowed to become a purposely overburdened and underfunded system- and continue to undermine our nation's future as we do so!

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