Teaching | Eastern North Carolina Now | The multiple problems todays public school teachers face are daunting.

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    The multiple problems todays public school teachers face are daunting. I know I would NOT want to be a public school teacher today even with 38 years of experience in my background. The first and most overriding concern for teachers is a lack of students with self-discipline. I used to tell students that there are two kinds of discipline; external and internal. Failure to utilize internal discipline invites external discipline. Today, the problem in our public schools is that there is precious little external discipline. Bad behavior receives little in the way of consequences. There is a crying need for some published "Standards of Behavior" that parents and students must sign to participate in public education. The understanding being that the consequences for violations of "The Standards" will be consequential. Personally, this is something that I done in a situation involving more than 600 students. It worked because it freed teachers to teach and students to learn.

    Self-respect is crucial to learning. Persons with NO self-respect sense their uselessness and know intuitively they will never amount to anything. DON'T talk to me about self-esteem because praising mediocrity will get you nothing but more of it. What students need to achieve is SUCCESS. Some SUCCESS, somewhere in the curriculum. SUCCESS does a lot of things for people including a new self image, a belief in yourself, and a thirst for more SUCCESS. The old saying that "nothing succeeds like success is certainly true. A school must provide enough areas of endeavor for all students to find an avenue to SUCCESS.

    All teachers need to know that administrators have their back. Too often, this is not the case. In far too many instances, administrators resort to self-protection of position and salary and instead of solving problems this allow these problems to fester which handicaps teachers. Festering problems leaves a school leaderless and encourages good teachers to hit the road prematurely. This lack of consequences has led to certified teacher shortages across the country and in Beaufort County. For any teacher that is a fount of knowledge, creative and imaginative modern teaching is incompatible with the top-down curricular promoted by the politicians in any federal or state board of education. Teachers need to be inculcated with content knowledge rather than theories about how to teach and allowed the FREEDOM necessary to engage students on a personal level. Without this we will NOT achieve any desirable goals. Only teachers know what they face and everything else in a school system should be focused on supporting those teachers.

Follow the Yellow Arrow

    John W. LaCava  •  Bath, NC  •  June 25, 2022
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