November 15th

Hello:) Today the sun is shining and although I haven’t been outside I anticipate a brisk cold air. Fog  warnings have been out for our area.

I am always happy for the sun as not only does it wake me up but it energizes me for the day.

Today my heart is heavy and I wish to address some issues that I have seen on both the news and on Facebook.

I will start with the news.

A local area teacher was targeted when her class didn’t reach their reading goals. Those students not reaching the goals were given the choice of either having their face drawn on my other students, ( moustaches, beards, etc) or missing recess. All but one chose to have their faces drawn on.  I believe there was a total of nine.

Then parents complaints came rolling in and the teacher was accused of bullying and given a weeks suspension and it is still under review.

Yet I have to ask the question where were the parents when their child didn’t meet their reading goals.

The reading goals aren’t hard it means reading a book from the accelerated reading program which they can check out from the library. Then they take a quiz on the computer and need to reach 80% to reach their goal.

Some students read more than one book in the time period. Obviously reading isn’t a priority with the parents who complained.

Now the questions is was it really bullying or was it good old clean fun that the class agreed on?

The parents don’t have a problem when teachers get their head shaved or sit on a roof top for a day when students meet reading goals. However, don’t do anything to the children.

Yet parents continue to vote down tax levies and do nothing to support the teachers when class room sizes increase, materials decrease, discipline is not permitted and yet teachers must meet state standards or be considered a poor teacher.

What ever happened to the rule at home if you’re in trouble at school you’re in trouble at home? What ever happened to parents making children doing their homework and not watching television? What ever happened to pure simple honest communication?

Now a days no matter what a teacher does its let’s hang them up and lynch them. Maybe this teacher gave the students the option of consequences from day one. Maybe this is what the class as a whole wanted to do.

In my forty years of teaching I found that the first child to run home and complain was usually the first child to come up with the ideas that they knew would not be approved of at home allowing them an out no matter what they did.

Did the teacher use poor judgement, maybe for today’s world but there was a day that parents would have laughed and joined in the fun.

Now they say that the teacher encouraged bullying but gave no examples of bullying.

Is it bullying if a class laughs at something funny.?Are we so mixed up in our world that we can’t teach our children how to accept failure, play a game and laugh and have fun?

This is why I would never go into teaching this day and age. When I started teaching it was fun and we could laugh and enjoy the students. Now you are always looking over your shoulder and wonder how long before your name ends up in the media. Shame on the parents, shame on the community and shame on today’s world.

This teacher is a well liked teacher with experience. She didn’t deserve her suspension and it will affect her ability to teach for the remainder of her career.

It is this kind of bullying the teacher that caused me to leave my career. It is time to stop pointing fingers and help.

Then on Facebook today I read from a person I know fairly well her anger towards the schools because her daughter had a grand mal seizure and the school asked her how they should handle it. That made her made and she wanted to know why there wasn’t training for staff in this matter.

Having lived with seizures all of my life this angered me. First of all even if you are used to being around it you are always in doubt as to whether or not you are doing the right thing. Parents live in fear of it daily as does the person having the seizure.

You are expecting a teacher with thirty plus students who many have multiple types of disabilities in the classroom to know what to do spontaneously every second of every day. Come on let’s get real.

Then there are legalities here to be taken into consideration. Does the parent want the ambulance called when this happens or not. Rule of thumb is after five minutes you always call for Emergency Responders because it then is life threatening and yet there are parents who would have a fit because they had to pay the bill.

When a staff member gives a parent the opportunity for input and they get mad then they should have no right to expect any communication with the schools because they closed the door when the schools tried to have open communication.

Obviously if a child is in high school and having grand mal seizures they aren’t being controlled medically and the doctors should be the ones questioned not the teachers.

When did the schools become expected to be trained medically? Our schools don’t even have a nurse.

I had more medical training than the average teacher and it wasn’t the schools that didn’t listen to me it was the parents.

You can’t have it both ways.

Teachers are academic personnel. They don’t get any medical training. If fortunate enough to take a first aid class or CPR you are lucky.

However, emergency situations are not trained for just like bomb threats and evacuations aren’t trained for.

The problem then becomes a break down between medical and educational staff.

The doctor should be releasing appropriate information to the school including what to do in case of a seizure. The doctors are the professional.

I think it is time that the public stops bashing teachers over every thing that happens. It if doesn’t stop eventually public schools will close their doors and history will repeat itself where only the rich attended private schools.

Take time to be supportive. Parents do your part and see that your child is doing their homework, taking their medication, getting plenty of sleep and realize the value of education.

Well that’s all I’m going to say about this today. So until next time 🙂



2 Responses

  1. Janice, You bring up a lot of good points with no easy answers. I think we over-react to some things and under-react to others-like you said-a fine line. When we were kids teachers had the right to smack us, make us look stupid in front of our peers and yet we improved ourselves and would never in a million years go home and tell–or our parents would give it to us even worse. You should write some more on this–maybe tackling one or two issues at a time.i

    • Thanks Micki I plan to start writing more about school issues and bullying. The point that needs to be made is bullying doesn’t start at school it starts at home. When parents can come into the school yelling, screaming, using profanities and throwing temper tantrums of course their children will repeat the behavior. We have to start working with the adult population and then trickle down to the young population as to what is right and what is wrong. That has become a forgotten concept.

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