(Jim Blockey) – This is what happens when you have a generation not learn to think for themselves. Actually for over one generation this has been taking place; John Dewey himself said that those that learn to read too early and too well will learn to think for themselves, which would cause anarchy. And the NEA was his biggest supporter.
What is sad is that almost 75% of the teachers in Wisconsin did not go along with this walk-out and very few told their students to go participate in the rally. Those students did not even know what it was all about. When asked why they were there, “I don’t know, but this is great!” was the response; another perfect example of being a follower. But rest assured, you can bet ALL teachers will be ridiculed for this.
The truth is, the teachers associations are responsible for what is taking place and our education system for breeding followers instead of entrepreneurs and leaders. Since America’s education system has stopped emphasizing reading, writing, math, science, true American history and demanded respect for authority, including teachers, our education system has been on a downward spin.
Now I grant you that those teachers involved in this “strike” are responsible for their own actions in this, as well as some individual teachers are responsible for the downward trend also; but teachers, on the whole, are hard working, devoted to their students and are not responsible for what takes place in the classrooms. How can they be at fault when they are told to control their classrooms, but not given the tools or resources to do so?
Proof of this would be the speaker, supposedly an expert in school discipline, who tells 1100 teachers here in Nevada, “If a student hits you, spits on you, or slaps you it is YOUR fault.” Another telling example of this is teachers evaluations are heavily weighted by the number of kids you have to remove from your classroom. In other words, the only people who have consequences for students acting out, disrupting the classroom and being disrespectful are the teachers… student have little accountability.
Solutions for improving education are so simple, but few have the courage to speak out and fewer the courage to act out. Why? Fear! Fear of losing their jobs and reputations. I am a perfect example of that; although I was completely vindicated by the courts, I was terminated from my teaching position after 20 years in the Clark County School District. Why? Because I DO see what and who the problems are, I DO have solutions, and I DO speak loudly and as often as possible about them. Ask the teachers I have worked with.
(Jim Blockey is a former teacher and author of “Teachers… It Ain’t Your Fault.”)