Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bad Teachers?

Just heard something on NPR - folks dissing teachers, blaming teachers for failed schools.

Wish it were that easy.

Blaming teachers for failed schools is like blaming the faucet for bad water.

So, blame the teacher; kill the messenger - feels good and absolves us of blame for a little while longer.

Sadly, in America, the mantra of the conservative press, a servant of the privatization of schools (???), has been a constant condemnation of our teachers, their unions and school administrators.

Once again, the issue calls for critical thinking, and it seems that Americans are terribly short on the necessary skills ... meanwhile, the real issues are ignored - like family life and the values we give to our children via TV and music - "American Idol" and "Fame," and all the other glitz and glamor, not to mention the junk food we're dumping into their bodies and brains - massive amounts of salt, sugar and fat in processed foods.

The teacher is at the end of the pipeline, just like the faucet. Neither harsh discipline at that point (like spanking the faucet - either the student or the teacher) or replacing the faucet (like getting new teachers) will solve the problems of classroom discipline, ADHD, the lack of ambition distorted by dreams of fame and fortune and chaotic family life - the craziness of the rich and the famous, and all their wannabees, driven by poverty of soul, and the desperate effort of the poor just to survive, driven by a poverty of the flesh.

Bullying and fighting, drugs and cheating, emotional and physical lethargy - this is the stuff of the life we chosen for our children - Enron and Madoff, needless prescription drugs, power and domination, to hell with the poor and, please, cut my slice a little larger; honk, honk, get out of my way; all the non-sense of being self-made and being bigger and smarter than all the rest; American militarism, saber rattling and tough talk. Our children have learned all of these lessons very well; they are a mirror of the American soul!

Shame on those who add to the problem by leading our attention away from the problems that make millions of students ineducable.

It's time to quit spanking the faucet and replacing it with newer models.

It's time to support our teachers, their unions and school administrations.

It's time to deal with the real issues confronting American education ... I think Jesus said, "The judgment of God begins with the church" ... we might well, say the judgment of God begins with American culture and the values we have nourished in our children for the last fifty years.

Painful as it is, that's worth looking at it!

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