Why young peo­ple don’t want to be­come teach­ers

The Morning Call - - TOWN SQUARE -

Young peo­ple don’t want to go into teach­ing be­cause they see teach­ers treated poorly.

I’m a re­tired teacher with 35 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the pub­lic schools. Every five years of this ex­pe­ri­ence saw a new ap­proach to how I should teach. Some ap­proaches re­ceived great-sound­ing goals like “No Child Left Be­hind.” We found it was leav­ing many stu­dents be­hind, be­cause it was a po­lit­i­cal re­sponse, not a so­cioe­co­nomic so­lu­tion.

Politi­cians and tax­pay­ers talk about how im­por­tant ed­u­ca­tion is, but im­pose im­pos­si­ble mandates with­out any will­ing­ness to pay for what is re­quired. This means aca­demics and the arts get cut. What doesn’t get cut is class size.

Over decades, teach­ing be­came more en­ter­tain­ment and less a se­ri­ous en­deavor. Mem­o­riza­tion of mul­ti­pli­ca­tion ta­bles, gram­mar, spell­ing, civics all re­quired a gim­mick or game with­out any knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing of the ba­sics by stu­dents. The ex­per­tise of the teacher is dis­re­spected.

Fund­ing pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion is where the prob­lem be­gins. The un­fair school prop­erty and oc­cu­pa­tional taxes are from a 19th cen­tury model where wealth was prop­erty. How do you ex­pect tax­pay­ers to sup­port pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion when the money they must pay is un­fairly levied? Phil Van­der­s­tine Rich­land Town­ship

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