Education Hiccups

Becoming a teacher runs in the family. Both my wife and I have education running in our blood. My late grandmother, my aunt, and numerous other aunts, uncles, and cousins who are or were educators. My wife’s mother and sister are educators too. Being an educator is such a rewarding and selfless act in life. There is great pride taken in being able to educate the future leaders of this country and world. Nevertheless, nothing brings more joy in seeing them return to the classroom and visit; and even speak with the current students.

It is no secret that educators are underpaid and underappreciated in this country. As my wife and many others have stated, “If it wasn’t for teachers, who would teach people to do the jobs that they do?” I will admit that being an educator is no easy task in today’s times of 2019, from having state or district assessments, large class sizes, dealing with students’ outrageous attitude and behavior, hidden agendas by both school and district administrations, lack of parental involvement, and the usage of cellphones in the classroom. However, there are many positives to being an educator that are beneficial: teaching and molding the next generation, always an exciting and different day at work, teacher discounts, and extended vacations (Christmas, spring break, and summer).

But with the good, comes the bad or terrible in education. Speaking from my experience as a high school teacher, it is understandable why many educators are burned out or change careers after three years in the classroom. Local school districts and state educational departments are completely sold on assessment tests. I understand that students need to be test to assess their learning ability, but not where it prevents a student from graduating high school. As I have always stated in my classroom, no future college/university or employer is going to ask you what was your FSA Reading, or FSA Writing, or FSA Math level (FSA–Florida State Assessment). Aside from the salary challenges, the workload of educators at times can be very overwhelming especially with class sizes. Having to teach 30-35 students in a classroom is no easy task, no matter how great you are with classroom management. Because when students need help, how does one person make rounds around the classroom to make sure that all students understand and receive attention? It is no secret that the attitudes and behaviors of this generation is an issue. The disrespect, instant gratification, cellphone obsession, and the entitlement without having earned or worked for it. But the worst problem in education today is the lack of parental involvement. As a high school teacher, Open House is attended well, but it should a traffic jam of parents in the hallways. But no, a complete opposite! However, when there is a football game: parents of players, cheerleaders, and band members are out giving 110% support. But the academic side of parental support is completely lacking. Parent conferences are no shows or cancellations, failing grades on progress report cards and/or report cards itself still don’t encourage parents to be concern; but once school administration calls and leaves a message stating that your “angel” is not graduating–What? No one ever told me? What were you doing throughout the school year? Parents also fail their children by dropping them off to school 30+ minutes after school starts, but have time to get them breakfast from McDonald’s, Starbucks, and even Waffle House. Another failure of parents would be the calling and texting to their child(ren) while in school. Now I’m not saying a parent should not have contact with their child, but there is a time and a place. But parents make it an issue when we as teachers say “no phones” in class. Let’s just say that there is plenty of blame to go around with the hiccups in education.

This will be an ongoing blog for open discussion about the issues and problems in today’s education. Although I am a veteran educator, I do agree that some teachers do not need to call themselves teachers or be in the classroom. So there will be some transparency within this blog.

Lastly, I am currently writing a book that will address many of these topics and issues will be discussed in this blog. The book is entitled, The Miseducation of the Negro 3.0. The availability of this e-book will be late 2020. At times, excerpts from this e-book will made availability throughout 2020. Stay tuned for updates.

Feel free to offer suggestions or your own educator issues down in the comment section below.

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