Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The American education system is worthy of an elegy
At a time like this, I wish that I could write poetry. I write words that rhyme but I can't follow iambic pentameter or any of the formal poetry writing styles. As anyone watching the news knows, Detroit has closed down close to half of their public schools. I cannot fathom what the teachers and students are doing to compensate for having their rights taken away from them. Despite this blog's name, I do believe that public education is a right. My issue is with higher education. I believe that it is too expensive and does not give everyone the advantage of a better paying job and the so-called success that they sell to you in school and on the television. For instance, my parent had a Master's degree upon entering the military. Usually, this would have secured him a position as an officer; however, he was not offered that opportunity-- neither am I when I speak with recruiters-- and did not "pick up" officer despite putting in the application for the officer program. I can barely write a complete sentence, but I was able to make the Dean's List and graduate with that fancy title for having good grades--that is a problem. Grammar is being compromised by text and other forms of communication and at the college and university level it should not be tolerated. Grammar does not always compromise comprehension, but there have been lawsuits over something as simple as a comma changing the entire meaning of a contract and that is why I stress proper grammar (and continue to lack it). I go astray but this is the point I wanted to make today: teachers are professionals; they should not be regarded as baby-sitters and other forms of day care. A woman mentioned that it was a half day at her daughter's school and that it was inconvenient because she needed to have someone watch her child. I often hear that--during summer and other breaks because parents have to find someone to care for their child while they are at work. However, I find it personally degrading. I had planned on being a teacher. I paid to be a teacher. I would love to be a teacher. Teaching is a profession that is truly based on gratitude. I knew that teaching would not make me rich, but yet--despite protestations of "you are smart enough to be a doctor"--I chose to be a teacher. Now, I am an unemployed teacher and regarded as a baby-sitter. It is disheartening that teachers are disrespected with low pay and the lack of prestige that some professions are automatically granted. A fat cat CEO can sit on top of hundreds of millions and be respected and successful--without education beyond high school. A teacher can have a degree, license and any other certification available and still be treated as a baby-sitter. That is irony.