Let the teach­ers teach

The Dallas Morning News - - Nation & World -

Why is there a short­age of teach­ers? The an­swer is the same as for nurses and po­lice: They can’t do their jobs. It’s not a crit­i­cism of their abil­ity or ef­fort but rather the ad­min­is­tra­tive tasks that stop them from do­ing their ac­tual jobs.

The of­ten-re­ported short­age of ca­pa­ble, ex­pe­ri­enced teach­ers is ex­ac­er­bated by the num­ber of young teach­ers who start with great en­thu­si­asm but leave dis­il­lu­sioned within five years. Teach­ers want to teach, for which they have been study­ing for at least four years, but they are stuck with do­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive work and repet­i­tive pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment in or­der to stay reg­is­tered.

What can be done to rem­edy this at a rea­son­able cost and in a rea­son­able time? More money is al­ways a pos­i­tive, although most peo­ple don’t en­ter the pro­fes­sion for the fi­nan­cial re­wards but for what they can do for their stu­dents. Re­spect for teach­ers has de­clined and it can’t be ad­dressed by gov­ern­ments but, rather, by in­di­vid­ual teach­ers who earn it.

Per­haps the only sig­nif­i­cant change at the mo­ment is to rec­og­nize that teach­ers teach and ad­min­is­tra­tors ad­min­is­ter and never the twain should meet in one per­son. Den­nis Fitzger­ald, Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia

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