A Teacher's Lament

This post is hosted on the Huffington Post’s Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and post freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email. State Ed. does not care about our kids. Okay, maybe I’m stretching a bit in my frustration but I believe that they would rather harass teachers and defend their power to dictate policy. I love these kids; I really do. Sure, they can be annoying, disruptive and downright mean to one another, but on the other hand they are capable of being charming, caring, and so many of them are so darn needy. My students need me. They need us. We certainly hope that they score high on their state exams but applause from state officials is hardly our collective motivation. High scores would be nice but we really want to see these kids grow up to be good human beings. Our hopes for them are not about competing in the math and sciences with the Chinese. No, we want them to be moral, free from illicit drugs and alcohol, and we want to see an end to the nature of abusive behaviors which have been perpetuated by their family history. Teachers want their students to value education, respect their boundaries, become community-minded, and to love their neighbor. I teach in a economically challenged area. I’ve been inside a few of their homes. I have perrsonally witnessed the filth, the littering of empty beer bottles, and the bare food cabinets. Every kid seems to have their own cell phone, but half don’t even know where their father is. Okay, so i went to college to learn to teach math. My only job title is to do just that. State Ed. has tied my hands in an effort to undermine my effort to reach these kids and I suppose it’s also true that my tenure is being challenged. These poor kids need more from me than how to solve a two-step equation. But that’s where State Ed. stamps its emphasis. Teachers wish to stamp hearts! But we can’t do it alone. We require support of administrators, support of the local board of ed., help from the parents, and the students need to step up to the plate and accept their responsibilities too. How does the Governor and State Ed. fail to identify the real problem? How can anyone fail to see that the teachers are not to blame? I can’t be the only one whose vision is clear. Does anybody else see it the way I do? Comments

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