This opinion piece was written and submitted by Rock Springs resident Erin Wall.
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We as a society are doing a great disservice to our teachers, which in turn is a great disservice to our children. With standardized testing being used as the all holy measuring stick to gauge how our youth are learning and how our teachers are teaching, teachers are being forced to teach for the test rather than for the learning. The passion is gone, and the rote memorization seems almost omnipresent in classrooms across our nation.
A frenzied fear that teachers are teaching our youth anything we parents disagree with is creating a new problem of almost impossible new laws for teachers to try to follow. In the name of transparency we are demanding teachers show us their lesson plans a year in advance to make sure we are not challenging our kids with new or different ideas. This leaves little to no leeway for teachers to teach impromptu, fun, engaging lessons, but instead cold, sterile “same old, same old” lessons that bring no joy for teachers and students alike.
Add to this stringent COVID regulations that teachers are constantly having to deal with AND the final straw-of-all-breaking-back-straws, the new cultural shift of “my kid is not the problem, you and your teaching are the problem.” Combined, these have created a toxic classroom where learning is no longer conducive for teacher or student. Instead, the teacher loses all power and authority to actually run a class, the student is king and the teacher their puppet jester thanks to the threat of parental usurpation.
We have only ourselves to blame that there are fewer and fewer individuals choosing to go into the education field, not to mention that teachers are leaving their careers in droves. I for one cheer them on in this choice.
Nothing will change in public education until teachers finally say “enough is enough” and leave. A massive overhaul in how we run education and how we as parents support our children’s teachers needs to happen, and soon! We need to support our educators in their flight of this damaged system or no one will wake up to the desperate need for change. This is one time where the old cliché “the squeaky wheel gets the oil” is true and needed.
To my teacher friends I say, “I hear and support you…be that squeaky wheel and let your voice be heard…leave my kid…it’s the best thing you can do for him.”