August 9, 2002 at 12:00 am #28067
I am a high school science teacher in the inner city. I remember my professor said: 'Most of you will be gone after five years. It won't be the kids but the system you have to put up with.' Unfortunately, he was right. After two years, most of us are looking for other jobs outside of teaching. I teach in a school without enough classrooms, books or anything else, for that matter. As for the students, yes, some have no respect for teachers and will make your life miserable. What gets you through the day are the ones who want to learn. That's who I'm there for. Ninety-eight percent of my discipline problems come from students who know they can do what they want and face no negative consequences. They don't care if you fail them. The parents can't or won't help. In some cases, there is backlash against the teacher if the principal gets involved. Some principals would much rather have no learning taking place than having to explain to a superintendent why the level of suspensions has increased. I could go on. I disagree with one poster who said we should go back to the '50s. Society has changed since then. We have single-and two-income parents. What is true is that it takes a village to raise a child. There needs to be a shared understanding among parents, teachers, students, school officials and the community of what their responsibilities are and how they will be held accountable.