By Ruth Fritch
I don’t know the answer, but in my 38 years of teaching over 1200, mostly third graders, I do know this. I met many educators who are dedicated to a better future for our children. Not just our own biological children, but all the children we collectively teach. We are not just educators. We are parents, therapists, nurses, referees, analysts, friends, confidants, mentors, coaches, and much more. What other profession has so many responsibilities?
Now because of the recent shooting in Florida, we should become policemen, carrying firearms to school. That doesn’t feel good to me. Of all the educators I know, not one of them would willingly allow harm to come to their students. But to ask them to carry a gun to protect them just seems extreme.
Educators already have a plate too full. Every social problem becomes the responsibility of educators and the schools. There is never enough time, enough money, enough raises, enough praises, enough help. Educators are being criticized because they never do enough, never do the right thing, never pay enough attention, never solve enough problems, never teach enough, never help enough students.
In my preparation for becoming a teacher, I was taught strategies to teach math, language arts, social studies, science, music, art. I was taught classroom discipline strategies. I had a passion to teach students these skills, while also managing to keep order in the classroom so all students could learn.
I soon learned that all of that was needed but also I must deal with all the family and social dysfunctions. There are not enough hours in the day to deal with every student’s emotional, psychological, physical, and educational needs.
So ‘arm’ teachers with classroom supplies , with assistants, with counselors, with psychologists, with nurses, with money to get the extras , with a salary that makes them feel professional.
Author: Ruth Fritch is a 38 year veteran teacher from southern Indiana. She is still very passionate about education and solving the major issues with education in today’s world.
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