What happened to our education system?

When I was a wee lad in school there were 6 basic academic concentrations we had to learn. English/Lang. Arts, Math, Science, History, Arts (art and music) and Physical education. A lot of emphasis was put on the first 4 but the arts and Phys ed were always put on the back burner, but why? Interestingly enough, in our society, you get paid more as a music artist, actor/actress, or athlete. But we put all efforts into teaching the basics. Why? Well I have a theory. Society needs cannon fodder and we’re making it up as we go. 😉

The American teaching system is shot, lets just be honest. Think about this. Your teacher went to school (college). Acquired tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. Became a teacher. Before he /she teaches you anything they set up their classroom. Write out the Lesson plans. Read possible IEP’s of certain students in his/her class who might have certain accommodations. Sift through dozens of emails (daily). Manage staff clubs, student clubs and athletic teams. Teach. Assess. Grade the assessments (essays, papers, quizzes, tests, etc…). A lot in a school year. I didn’t even mention the union stuff.

Now if you read the paragraph above closely you might have noticed out of all that, teaching popped up once and it was a small part of the school experience. The education system in America is equal to fast food restaurants. Go to the window, order, get your food, pay, the food comes back and makes you regret it later.

I wonder why the education system is not like the military. Now you probably thought, “what, they don’t give their lives for us, for Umerrraca”? But like fire fighters, Law enforcement, life guards, coast guards, and the military, time equals experience and experience equals more money. BUT, after a nice discussion with a buddy of mine (Teacher with a masters) he told me about state laws and state certification and how teachers fall in a different bracket. (He teaches, Coaches 3 sports, life guards in the summer and it’s still not enough, every month. Oh I forgot to mention he pays back his college loans. He’s also 31, graduated at 23 and has only paid 25% of his debt back.)

To Me, it’s pretty unfair. So, as a teacher I’m supposed to pay all this money to educate an uncountable number kids, for the next 30 to 35 years of my life (yes 30 years because to get a good retirement in education you better work over 25 or 30 years now) and live a substandard life. Every teacher I have ever spoken to, that has a “great” life is either single with no kids, lives at home, or is married with no kids. Having a family is a no no as a teacher, if you want to live a middle American life (Yes some will dispute this, just keep reading).

SO, Back to my theory, now just imagine this scenario with me (humor me for a minute).

Do imagine with me if you will

You go to college, choose an education major. At that point you are sent to the financial office and 50 to 75% of your college is paid for after they talk to you about your major choice. BUT, you have to student teach at selected schools your senior year, in certain areas. The School you will be teaching at assesses you and that’s how you get your final grade and credit for a masters program (if you are deemed worthy).

Now some of you are thinking “they already do that”, “50%, that’s unfair.” Yes and No. Yes schools require student teaching but most make you hunt for loan forgiveness, tuition reimbursement, grants, and scholarships. It’s never just financially taken care of, “But J, if it was that easy everybody would do it just to get money to go to college.” True. So put teachers in the worst areas as student teacher’s. “That’s unfair too”. Is it? Most urban areas suffer because of lack of knowledge, money, and discipline. Put both in a school and give it time to grow and their should be results. A hungry young teacher ready to save every child, and an administration who is tired of mess and backs the young teachers, that’s a recipe for great change (if there is still no change, axe the whole administration department and start over). Also they are student teaching, free labor, sounds bad, but it’s the truth. Yes you still might get a huge influx of teachers, so, put program interest exams in place at schools. Make the Money only available after the first or second year. Add a grade stipulation to it. Colleges will find a way to weed out the posers and the ones who really want to teach.

Now, I said earlier “ having a family is a no no”. Yes you can be a teacher and have a life, 20 years ago. Look at it from this angle. The median teacher salary is said to be 38k – 39kyearly. The high being around 56k and the low around 38k. The average American family needs to maintain an income of around 56k to sustain just basic needs.

To give you an even better picture, a teacher out of college doesn’t make enough to maintain a family and still has to pay back college loans. SO, he/she spends the next 5 to 10 years, working poor, or splitting the cost with a friend, partner, living at home, etc.. just to get by. SO, why just teachers? Why do they need all these favors? I ask, why not? If you need any certification, class, seminar you have to go through a teacher. Your first school experience was a kind and cute (or old, lol) kindergarten teacher who introduced you to education. You are with a teacher 9 to 10 ½ months out the year for 17 to 22 years (if you count preschool and grad programs) of your life. You only see your doctor a quarter of that time. You see your lawyer a tenth of this time (unless you are a troublemaker). You shop, as an average American, 2 to 3 times a week, and you still don’t know the check out person you see every time you go there. BUT, a teacher is always there either as a teacher, coach, counselor, or just the one rooting for you at the game your parents never made it to (I know because, I have done it).

Stray thought: Watch the Key and Peele teacher draft. OMgoodness. In short teachers get drafted like athletes. Hilarious.

Call me a little bias, but I think (just my opinion) teachers get shafted. They wear so many hats, and get the least amount of respect and money after all their time in school. Every progressive country (Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, Germany) that really takes care of their teachers, if you notice, they have less pollution, less of a carbon footprint, better life styles, healthier people, and are called “progressive” because they are making progress as a country. Again just my opinion but I think the education system played a big part in that. SO, America, when will we start to progress? Not just in military power, sports entertainment, movies, or spending but as a whole intelligent country.

(I love my Marvel cinematic universe. Nothing against movies or entertainers. BUT, I would love to see our entire country do good as a whole and I think it starts with those fostering the next generations minds.)

Just an observation. Not saying its an ultimate solution but it’s a thought.

Published by Jamar Reed

I'm just a Father who likes to write. Hopefully my words will mean something in a sea of countless others.

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