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diatribes against teachers (long)

updated tue 12 aug 03


Dupre Mr Marcy M on mon 11 aug 03

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The current topic of debate concerning teachers--bad and good--has sparked
some thought in this old gray head. Yeah, I know... THAT'S a danger!
Warning, Will Robinson! DANGER!

As with any other career, any other field of endeavor, there are people who
are really good at their line of work, and others who aren't quite so good.
BUT, teachers themselves, while culpable in certain instances, are NOT to be
generically faulted for a *system* that has inherent errors and abuses. I
am reasonably certain that no teacher in my experience got up in the
morning, cackled maniacally, rubbed his hands in anticipatory glee, and
muttered in a hoarse curse, "I wonder how I can REALLY screw things up
today." The vast number of teachers with whom I have come in contact do the
best they can under the circumstances.

And, if you ain't been there, do some more research before lambasting an
entire group.

Parents, as a generic group, are equally to blame for the sad state of
affairs in the United States, and elsewhere. While there are many
dedicated, educated, caring parental couples, who are trying desperately to
rear decent, productive citizens, there are other, more visible ones who do
not seem to care that Darling Little Billy hasn't done homework in a year,
skips classes whenever he can go over the wire, and gives as much bad
attitude in class as he can get away with.

Silence is consent. What ever the system does not condemn, it supports.

I served many years in uniform, policing the world for the political
interests of the United States. In more than 36 years of military service,
I saw many fine officers and non-commissioned officers. These were men and
women for whom their subordinates came first. They took care of their
folks, made certain of their personal and professional knowledge, and
rewarded those who worked hard, and had sharp words with those who slacked
off. Some made higher ranks, and others did not. The "system" seemed
arbitrary in its rewards for many of these folks, and capricious in the
advancement of people whom the rest of us considered "slugs."

There were good folks and REALLY bad ones. Careerists whose only motivation
was self-advancement, often at the expense of others, made life extremely
difficult for the rest of us. And so it is with just about every career you
can name.

"POLITICS" is the interaction of people with other people, from the Greek
*politikos,* meaning "citizen," or "people."

In ANY system of people, with an established hierarchy of management,
supervision, and workers, there will be the visible few who abuse the system
for their own self-aggrandizement, and the invisible many who struggle hard
to make it all work.

One bad general doesn't make the entire military all bad. One insensitive
teacher doesn't make the entire education system all rotten to the core.
One dysfunctional family-group doesn't make the entire concept of "family"

Again, silence is consent. If we do nothing, we accept what is happening.
If, however, we mass a group dissent to "policy" or misbehavior, things will
change. I offer in evidence the current political squabbles in California.

You have to also keep in mind that "change" is not necessarily
"improvement." Leaping from the frying pan into the fire is "change." But,
is it improvement?

Just a few thoughts from a simple mud-chucker...

in Springfield, where it cannot seem to be Summer...