So much has been discussed, cussed, and evaluated regarding our school and college existence in the United States. Schools at all levels are often measured on student success without the variables that may affect success as it will be measured from a silo perception. Article after article is presented with philosophies of bias and conjecture about what is the best and what is the worst opportunities for students in America. As an educator and feeling the brunt of the articles produced I find that some go on without the true appreciation of teachers and without regard to what school or institution they are providing education. My perspective comes from over fifty years of commitment and dedication to respecting instruction in America. During this journey, it has been a pleasure to take part in all aspects of the delivery systems available to our population. These experiences span from public schools, secondary education, special education, career schools, advanced placement, poverty area schools, higher education, private, nonprofit, and for-profit. The fortune of this life experience is the opportunity to meet great teachers in all of these systems.
Our school year is starting for all these school organizations and there now is an outbreak of a shortage of teachers throughout the country. Deficits are existing in our delivery systems of education at all levels. This phenomenon has happened over the last several decades. The decay has been influenced by extraneous factors where schools received punitive restraints and demise on operations that had no relevance to what the teachers were accomplishing but only on school leadership practices of potential fraud, integrity, politics, and fear.
When you review negative press regarding the institutions making the news you find the majority of the dropping of the gauntlet on them was not a result of bad education or unqualified teachers. What happened was a vigilante approach that had effects on teachers and students. I am sure we would agree it would be appropriate to attack any lack of integrity concerning honesty, harmful treatment, fraud, or illegal practices. The old cliche is we don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. The condemnation of our schools has done just that.
Any organization or school operation operates with risk factors. The participants attending any school can determine what these risk factors may be. You cannot have a blind eye to the fact that institutions that cherry-pick their students by recruitment or by geographical location can either increase the chances of potential positive outcomes or decreases them by the willingness to embrace the high risk. Treatment of an education platform with human capital and finances will always have to be approached considering the bedrock of need. From this basis of the fundamental principles, we can begin to measure growth in outcomes from a baseline.
When politics become involved with the need for the patronage of the voting community while providing the opportunity to acclaim guidance through fear and scapegoating to the innocent constitutes provides harm to students in America.
This is not a point where “we should have or could have”, but is a time we can learn why we are in a desperate situation in need to provide best practices to the students young and old in America. Historically when it came to business or American commerce there was a consideration for the common good of the country. In the case of the American education system, the common good is overlooked. Thousands of jobs, students, employers, and families have been negatively affected by the abrupt closing of many schools in America. Please note that there were very few if any charges of how bad of education these students were getting. The focus was on high student loan interest, the integrity of leadership, and questionable business practices.
The heart of the school’s success rests with leadership and great teachers. Sadly there has been the closure of some great schools and the loss of teachers and leaders. Where did the students go who had hope of education that would change their lives? What happened to the great teacher leaving the profession in large numbers?
Here are a few comments from teachers from the National Education Association “NEA News”
“Survey: Alarming Number of Educators May Soon Leave the Profession”
That is it. This is making us tired and fed up. The destructive behaviors and disrespect will not be addressed. Every child deserves a safe place to learn and teachers a safe place to work, and that is not the case in our schools right now.
I agree. The disrespect is unprecedented and most parents are of little help. When students are sent to the office, administrators just give them warning after warning. The students know there are never any REAL consequences.
it’s almost like they want the system to fail. Here in Vegas, the big fights are almost daily occurrences and no one says anything productive.
That is exactly why I want to leave. I am so over it. I am a special education teacher and have been teaching for 36 years. I have decided to retire at the end of this school year. The last 2 years have been the hardest years for my teaching. We do not have enough tutors for my students to be able to adequately function in a classroom. I have had to be a tutor and teacher to my students at the same time this year. The stress this school year has been more than I have experienced during my entire career. I am sad to end my teaching career because I love teaching but the excess work and stress have broken me this year. I know many teachers I work with who have a lot less teaching experience than me and who are thinking of leaving the profession even teachers with 2-5 years of experience.
We cannot deny or endorse all of these comments but we must know that these impressions are not diminishing but growing across the board of our education community. I have to admit that when I joined the profession over fifty years ago my aspirations were positive and intentional to make a difference. What are the reasons why teachers today stay in the profession or want to go into the profession? Very simply it is not about constructing more rules but it is directly affiliated with support, pay, and development. The first to see this trend become a tragic dilemma will be our public neighborhood schools. Teachers will discover the best places to enjoy appreciation and support or leave the profession completely. Our schools are a national treasure. It is the responsibility to see through the distractions of sensational journalism that provides only fear and anger without solutions. The preservation of a society depends on education alternatives.
Gary R Carlson