Test the Teacher
Teachers are one of the most influential molding sources in the lives of American children. We can all remember that great teacher who had an effect on our lives during our growing years. I am increasingly disturbed by the effect that today’s teachers have on our future generations. Parents are required to enroll their most cherished and loved offspring into school, where they receive the education deemed by each state to be appropriate. But is it?
Those who control the curriculum to be taught have been eliminating the basics, reading, writing, and arithmetic, in favor of text books that are politically correct and historically and factually incorrect. The children are taught everything from a more liberal and progressive and indeed socialistic point of view than ever before. Instead of going to school and being drilled in the basic skills, they are taught a hodgepodge of politically correct subjects. Children graduate through class after class whether or not they have earned their way through. When students don’t make the grade, we don’t do more and better teaching, we just dumb down the tests so they pass. We have a generation of students that come out of school unable to spell, unable to calculate the simplest math equations, unaware of our American history, the real history, unable to communicate in an interview or to write an articulate, grammatically correct email.
To be a teacher, you currently only need to get a degree and a teaching credential. We as parents must demand much more. These are our children. We put them in the hands of strangers for a good portion of their formative years.
Before being hired, teachers need to have background and psychological testing, criminal and background checks, letters of reference. Perhaps then some of the predators could be weeded out before causing harm to a child. They need to be able to be fired for cause. Instead, some teachers in large cities who are under disciplinary actions are removed from classrooms and assigned to “rubber rooms” or teacher “homerooms” and get paid their full salary for doing absolutely nothing all day. This can go on for years at a time at huge taxpayer cost and zero benefit to our children.
Worse is the very disturbing increase in sexual predators amongst our educators. Where is this coming from and why do teachers think they can abuse their position and our children in this way? The number of teachers, both men and women engaging in sexual activities with our children is absolutely appalling and somewhat preventable. All students should be in a general assembly in the first days of school, and be given an age appropriate lecture on what should happen if a teacher makes inappropriate advances to a student. Students need to understand that it is not an honor to have a teacher give “special” attention, it is wrong. They need a safe way to report such issues, and those issues need to be acted upon immediately. We are so accepting of the Teachers Unions protecting the rights of the teachers, that we are under protecting the rights of our children. These are years and innocence’s that can never be replaced or brought back.
In contrast, a police officer goes through background checks, where family and friends and employers are interviewed to learn about the candidate and their ability to handle situations, learn about their temperament and their personality. They are run through physical tests and a battery of psychological testing and an oral board before being accepted as a candidate to become a police officer. They then are on probation for one to two years. This process helps to uncover issues that may be headed off before becoming a real problem later.
For those that we entrust our children to, those who have the power to affect children’s lives forever for better or for worse, we need to hold them to the same standards.
The standard must be that those who teach our children must be ethical, must hold to the highest standards in their work and their actions with our children, and must be able to be fired if those standards are not upheld. We cannot pay them for indeterminate amounts of time to do nothing while cases crawl through the system. Some things are so egregious, that immediate termination is called for.
Teachers Unions have become so powerful, that parents and students are really hostage to the greed and the ridiculous protections afforded teachers at the expense of our children. It is Unions that have lost sight of the reason we have teachers, and the need to protect our most important asset, our kids.
Not being naïve enough to think the demise of the Unions will be any time soon, I suggest private schools and home schooling to parents who do not feel that their school or teachers meets the standards they would like for their kids. Keeping the lines of communication open with our children and our teachers, and not giving our kids the opportunity to be at teachers homes or away with them is a start.
Demanding more from our states and boards of education, to prevent education from being dumbed down, and keep our core subjects at the core of education, and keep our learning materials true to the history that is real; adding back arts, P.E. and civics is something we should all get behind. If our next generation does not understand our history, our civics and basic reading, writing and math skills, our country will be less for it in future generations. If those we entrust to teach are predators to our children, who count on us to keep them safe, who then can they ever trust? We owe our future generations, our children, the best start in life, the best teachers, and the best education that can be had. We need to up the requirements and expectations from our educators and administrators and not be sheep just following the rules and curriculum set forth by those with their own agendas rather than the best for our children.