Wisdom brightens a person's face and changes its hard appearance. -Ecclesiatstes 8:1

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Underappreciated


*WARNING: This is my opinionated post for the week.*

My mom has been teaching public elementary school for 34 years. She has 3.5 years left before she retires.

When I was young, she would get to work before school started. No more than an hour early. Then she would leave approximately two hours after the final bell.

These days, she gets to school about an hour early and stays about 4-5 hours after the kids leave.
Yes, FOUR to FIVE hours. Meaning, she works at least 10 hour days.

I can reason this to be partly because she is older and takes longer to accomplish tasks.

But I KNOW for a fact that she stays that long because of the requirements that are thrust upon teachers these days.

Politicians have taken over the school system and if you don’t follow their guidelines, you are out of a job, or out of a raise, or pushed to a different grade or altogether overlooked. 

Teachers do not earn enough as it is. If the regular hourly employee worked as many hours as my mom does, they’d be earning time and a half doubling their annual salary. My mom isn’t even getting a cost-of-living increase this year.

Teachers are not allowed to do their jobs. They can’t make learning fun. They have to make sure kids pass a test so that the school can get their ‘A’ and so that the principal can keep their job and their good standing in the eyes of the superintendent. 

I could keep going. But I won’t, because it will raise my blood pressure.

I don’t have a solution. Except to take the politics out and focus on the meaning of education and focus on using the gifts that those teachers have to help children learn.

I in no way suggest taking children out of the system. Running away from the problem won’t help fix it. And it definitely needs fixing.

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