Las Vegas Sun

October 31, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Teachers have never had it easy

Another view?

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In response to Kathi Mentlik’s letter, “Stop complaining, start teaching,” I am over 40 and do remember that class sizes were big and we all pretty much learned. But do you remember that we respected teachers, parents supported the teachers (and helped in the classes as you stated in your letter) and parents were involved in education?

I taught for 32 years, and everything was different “back then.” Many of today’s students are disruptive. The more students you stuff in a classroom, the more time you spend on discipline. When I would call a parent, if I could get in touch with them and speak their language, many times they implied that I was the one causing the problem. If I called to talk about a student failing my class, they wanted to talk about why I took their child’s phone. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t necessarily all parents but ...

As far as the teachers putting each kid in front of a computer, I ask, “When were you last in a school?” There are not enough computers in this district for every kid to sit in front of one.

If we could go back to the “good old days,” teachers’ only duty would be to teach. Now teachers parent, counsel, do administrative and custodial tasks besides learning new standards, teaching methods, English-language learner strategies and new technology to name a few — and all for no pay raises.

Walk a mile in a teacher’s shoes, then you can ask them to stop complaining.

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  1. Disagreements or differences in opinion are not indicators of disrespect. Parents and tax payers have a right to ask questions and seek answers. If a teacher can't handle differing opinions then they should follow your lead Nancy and get out of the teaching profession.

  2. The root problems of teachers and teaching today are societal and cultural: Breakdown in the family unit and absence of fathers in the home. Not much teachers can do about this except the best they can do. Let school administrators deal with disruptive students so teachers can teach.

    CarmineD

  3. Teachers get a lot of undeserved blame because they're the last ones to get a crack at compensating for poor parenting skills or limited parenting skills that expired nine months before birth.

  4. Teachers are at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to deciding on how public schools are run, so I do not blame them for the putrid failure of the system. Too much emphasis is put on nonsensical junk by "progressive" administrators. Who cares if "Heather Has Two Mommies?" Not a future employer. They'll want to know if you add, subtract, multiply & divide. If you can put 2 coherent sentences together. If you have the work ethic and show up to work everyday and on time. They won't care much if you "feel-good-about-yourself;" only if you can handle the workload efficently and productively. Employers will not molly-coddle you as they do in the public school system. There won't be any counselors to kiss those little "boo-boo's" and scrapes along the way. Getting students prepared for the "real" world used to be a priority in the public school system. Not so much today.

  5. "Michael Casler also made a few comments that are 100% true.

    "Yes, as Michael said, the family unit has broken down in this country and this makes the situation faced by the class room teacher a much tougher job that ever before." El Lobo

    Please clarify ...what post here exactly from Michael are you referring to so I can read it too.

    CarmineD

  6. Lvfacts101 (Jerry Fink): about your post today at 6:38 a.m.

    Right On!!

  7. Future: REf your post of 3:15 a.m. in which you said, in part:

    "E-schools are the future - nancy needs to embrace it.

    E-school reduces the need for costly education facilities."

    I don't know your age, but did you ever hear about "teaching machines?" They were a pop-culture item that were supposed to do all you claim. But that was in the late '50s. Ask a current student, you'll find they've never HEARD of teaching machines. Ask a teacher. If you find one that has actually heard of them, you'll probably receive an answer along the lines of "Yeah. Claims for them were exceptional. But they very quickly sunk without a trace."

    It still requires concerned parents and professional teachers - in person - to teach children. Did I manage to teach my children to read before they started school and without using a computer? Since only mainframe computers were available then, I certainly did! And now, nearly or quite 40 years later they still haven't stopped!

  8. "Its just that you say so little that makes sense, I can easily over look something that you say that contributes to the conversation...." El Lobo

    Not to worry. I do that with you ALWAYS. And you never let me down.

    CarmineD

  9. E-school will NEVER take the place of traditional education when it comes to teaching the basics of reading, writing, math, and how to be a human in general.

    E-school requires a level of motivation and dedication that must be taught by human interaction first.

    That is why I say the primary purpose of elementary school is to instill the desire to learn in a child along with the fundamentals. I don't care what programs or advanced technology is used, if that basic goal is not accomplished then a child simply won't give a damn and will never become a productive member of society.