Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Oh, stop picking on the teachers

I am really tired of the federal govt picking on teachers....it sort of reminds me of a saying that was around in Jimmie Carter's days- Don't complain about the farmer with your mouth full. So, don't complain about a teacher, if you can read this.
Yes, there are some 'bad' teachers. But the majority are not only good in their professions, but carry out their duties as professionals, at an hourly rate that would make most of us cringe.
Here is a copy of my letter to President Obama....hopefully, his team will listen.

Dear President Obama,
As former substitute teacher, and married to a teacher of music in public middle and high school, I wonder why the question is always 'Why aren't the teachers doing enough?' The question would be better put 'Where are the parents?'
While there are parents very interested in how their children and young people are doing in school, they are very much in the minority. Take the time to go to a well-advertised teacher/parent/student night, even to the point of mailed letters and phone calls to each parent, and you will notice about 10-20% participation.We have students whose parents are alcohol and drug-abusers, who cannot read and are proud of it, who do not know where their children are most of the time, much less provide them with regular meals and insist on doing homework and going to bed at a decent hour. Many of the students straggle in half- asleep, freely admitting they were out til 4am or later, drinking, smoking, doing drugs, or even the most innocent- talking on the phone. None of this helps a person stay awake and learn in school.
Until the parents are made responsible for the children they create, there will be little to no improvement. Until parents care about what grades their children are earning, there will be no improvement. Until the parents provide a sane, healthy atmosphere at home for their children, there will not be any improvement.
Until those days, punishing the teachers by loading in more 'trainings' that don't work, programs that don't work, and insistence on further education that is not necessary is only going to drive more and more teachers out of their professions.Where else do you find a professional who earns the equivalent of minumum wage, who is not only expected to teach their field, but also manners, morals, and how to communicate with their fellow humans?
Let's be brave, and put the blame squarely where it belongs- on the parents who, while they might celebrate the sports their children participate in, rarely know how their children are doing at their grade level.I would even suggest going as far as hitting these parents in their wallets- if the parents cannot show that they participate in their children's education process; i.e. coming to PTA meetings, attending appointments with educators when their children have shown they are having problems, signing and returning reports cards, etc, then they do not receive the tax break for that year, for having that child.
Please do not punish the teachers- they are already carrying an impossible load, attempting to teach to the lowest common denominator while inspiring the best and brightest, so that every child who wants an education and is willing to participate in that action, will receive the best education they are capable of absorbing.
Thank you for providing this venue. It gives me continued hope.


Ellen said...

Bravo, Aryd'ell!

Lidia said...

AMEN!!! and good for you to write the letter. I think I'll send one too. Lidia

Anonymous said...

What? Copying me? lol Teasing...I love being able to email the President. Who would've thunk it?


Veleta (Sammy) said...

I so totally agree with you and thank you for speaking out....