This I Believe

Camilla - Renton, Washington
Entered on December 6, 2006

There is more beneath the surface of what has been happening in our public schools than meets the eye. There are many who blame the school system for not meeting the needs of America’s children, who of course, are our future. Those same people who point fingers at public education teachers should volunteer in a classroom to find the real story of what goes on inside those walls. I believe if they did, they would discover some truths that would give them pause. And what would they see? What would they learn after working in a classroom alongside the teacher? I believe they would learn that many teachers spend part of their own paycheck each month on supplies that run short in schools. I believe they would learn that teachers in some districts are paid for only 7.5 hours per day; but work well beyond those hours with no extra pay. I believe they would learn the workload expected of teachers is unrealistic. I believe they would see those students who come to school not ready to learn, because emotionally, they are trying to process the problems they face at home; whether those problems are abuse, drugs, or poverty. I believe they would be appalled after hearing that many teachers cannot support their own family on their paycheck alone;and the children of those teachers qualify for free or reduced lunch. Is that true with children of physicians? Is that true with children whose parent is a sports icon? And after witnessing all of this first-hand, I believe, those volunteers would see teachers in a different light. I believe they would begin to question the politicians versus their local school districts. And I believe, that even though public education teachers are paid much less than their experience and education/training say they should, they will not quit doing what they do best; what they love to do; and that is caring for America’s future!