A Teacherís Refrain
me see if Iíve got this right.
You want me to go into that room with all those kids and fill their every
waking moment with a love for learning. Not only that, Iím supposed to
instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, behaviorally modify
disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse and T-shirt messages.
am to fight the war on
drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for guns
and raise their self-esteem. Iím to teach them patriotism, good
citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, how and where to register to
vote, how to balance a checkbook and how to apply for a job.
am to check their heads
occasionally for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of
potential antisocial behavior, offer advice, write letters of
recommendation for student employment and scholarships, encourage respect
for the cultural diversity of others, and, oh yeah, always make sure that
I give the girls in my class 50 percent of my attention.
required by my contract to
be working on my own time summer and evenings at my own expense toward
advance certification and a masterís degree; and after school, I am to
attend committee and faculty meetings and participate in staff development
training to maintain my employment status.
am to be a paragon of
virtue larger than life, such that my very presence will awe my students
into being obedient and respectful of authority. I am to pledge allegiance
to supporting family values, a return to the basics, and to my current
administration. I am to incorporate technology into the learning, and
monitor all Web sites while providing a personal relationship with each
student. I am to decide who might be potentially dangerous and/or liable
to commit crimes in school or who is possibly being abused, and I can be
sent to jail for not mentioning these suspicions.
am to make sure all
students pass the state and federally mandated testing and all classes,
whether or not they attend school on a regular basis or complete any of
the work assigned. Plus, I am expected to make sure that all of the
students with handicaps are guaranteed a free and equal education,
regardless of their mental or physical handicap. I am to communicate
frequently with each studentís parent by letter, phone, newsletter and
to do all of this with just
a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a 45 minute
more-or-less plan time and a big smile, all on a starting salary that
qualifies my family for food stamps in many states. Is that all?
you want me to do all of this and expect me not to pray?