Xy’s job hunt is in full force. She had a interview at a nearby elementary school last week. Yesterday I came home for lunch to look after the girl for an hour while she did a phone interview with another school. And this morning she went in to teach a sample lesson at the first school.
I’d say it’s fairly important to Xy’s self-esteem to find a job, and teaching is what she knows. So I am hoping she’s successful.
But, boy howdy, is our education system messed up. Over the years — for generations now — we’ve piled all our hopes and dreams for a better future on the education system, to the point that we’ve totally overloaded it. It’s like as a society we expect education to solve all of society’s problems — and it can’t.
Teachers are asked to do the impossible, anymore. Sometimes I think it’s impossible for teachers in our current system to find fulfillment and satisfaction in their work. I’ve watched Xy try for years. She is an excellent teacher, and I am proud of her. But it’s like watching someone bang their head against the wall.
I believe very much in the value of education, but I also recognize that deep societal issues won’t necessarily be solved in the classroom. In fact, it’s fair to say that the classroom will mirror the problems in society. Education can surely play a crucial role as we strive together for a better world, but it is no panacea. We need something more.
It’s so frustrating dealing with all the problems. Good luck to Xy. Hope she finds a principal she works well with. Makes all the difference in the world. Leadership in a school counts.
Well, it’s clear to me that the US is not serious about providing public education to its children. Our education system only serves to reinforce the economic inequalities in society.
An exception would be the Harlem Children’s Zone, described here and here. When such investment in children’s education becomes the standard and not the exception, then we can start to discuss having a real system of public education.
I know many would look at the Harlem Children’s Zone and bring up the expense. And it’s true. We don’t have the money to make that kind of investment in every child, not when our military budget accounts for roughly half the world’s military spending (Hey, someone’s got to fight those unnecessary wars.), and not when we’re giving away trillions to the financial sector as a reward for their wrecking our economy, and don’t get me started about NASA. Don’t have enough for real public education? That’s exactly the point.
As always though, I have complete admiration to Xy for her work.
B, please tell XY not to give up. The children of New Orleans need her help. Since many of the parents have absolutely no interest in their children’s education it is more important than ever to have qualified teachers. They cannot take the place of a parent but a good teacher can help a child to know he has a future if he wants to work for it.
Good Luck, XY !!
“We’ve piled all our hopes and dreams for a better future on the education system, to the point that we’ve totally overloaded it.”
And money isn’t the answer, either. Adjusted for inflation, education spending has gone up exponentially over the past 30+ years with zero effect. The problems are systemic. Unless we can really start over, on every level, the ed lobby will ensure that nothing changes. Vouchers would be a good start.
I agree with you, B, that our “deep societal issues won’t necessarily be solved in the classroom.” We do expect too much of teachers, who are basically civil servants. Garvey is right, too: money will not change anything. That has been proven time and time again. The public schools are a mess everywhere–and not just in the inner cities. That’s why I am seriously considering homeschooling my child. Perhaps Xy can use her teaching skills to educate your daughter?