– It has been awhile since I hooked up with Jen over at Ramblings and I thought I would pay a visit. Today is the last day of the school year!!!!!! Tonight I get to put on my robes and walk down the isle to say goodbye to all of our Seniors. This year is going to be very difficult as I have become close with so many of my students. A few have become like family. Despite my optimism that they are marching out into the world to make a positive difference, I have become increasingly concerned with the lack of student and teacher funding, and the overall atmosphere here in the United States when it comes to handling children and their future.
– Have you seen your local public school’s lunch budget, I guarantee it does not even begin to provide enough money for truly healthy meals. What about the statistics that show that United States houses over 60% of the worlds prison population as we privatize more jails? Even more concerning, most of our inmates come directly from our public schools.
– Last week I kept asking myself over and over why I choose to teach. Is it really worth it? The answer, it depends. I find teaching stimulating and I love what I do. What I find troublesome is educators no longer appear to be taken seriously by the government and most of society. What teachers are facing is not something many even consider.
– I have a post-doctorate degree and teach High School, and yet parents not only act like I am just playing school, the government seems to want to spend less and less each year on education as prices soar due to inflation. My State ranks 49 out of 50 states for student and teacher spending. They make our job so difficult but so do parents. It appears that many parents, instead of treating teachers how they deserve, send their kids off to school to what they would consider “glorified babysitters.” How many families show true educational commitment? Is this why we see so many online for profit schools appearing…it’s easier to learn in our pajamas?
– I ask myself regularly, why is it that I can travel the world and go to schools where teachers are treated as professionals and their value is recognized. Students are held accountable in other countries and so are their parents. In China, the parents are told they must check their children’s homework every night and sign their name on it. A friend of mine said that this has become difficult because his daughter is surpassing his own educational background; I say this is wonderful! He also takes his daughter twice a month to the school to clean on Saturdays. Students clean up after themselves, we need more of this in the United States. How do I know? I have a coffee bar in my classroom where students regularly just leave their messes, cups, tea bags, etc. Did I mention the amount of balled up paper that they leave for our janitor?
– I have taught all levels from Pre-K to Graduate School for over 15 years and I want tax payers to know one thing….education is the only way we are going to improve society. If we want our government to stabilize, and the needs of all people to be met, it starts in schools. What many considered at one time the Land of Opportunity, they now realize there is opportunity but for those with high levels of socioeconomic status. Am I a bleeding heart? No, I am a realist and if you truly believe the poor are not affluent because they are not working hard enough, I challenge you to go follow someone daily as they work two to three minimum wage jobs and try to raise a family. Education is our only leveling agent. Who has the most to gain by keeping the economic disparity for public school educational funding? The elite become more rich and stay powerful, the poor or the diminishing middle class become unemployed, in debt, or worse case scenario, one of our many, many inmates. We need to teach students about what really matters; how to take care of themselves, save their money, participate in government and so much more. Teachers and parents are the backbone that will make this all work, but only if we demand that education is a priority in this country.