Tuesday letters: Teachers stifled in many ways

October 15, 2013 

In response to George Geckle’s Oct. 6 letter (“Let’s hear from real educators”), as an educator with more than 40 years in South Carolina’s public schools and elsewhere, I can say that K-12 teachers’ primary problem is not working with children “who have illiterate or semi-literate parents who struggle to feed their families.” It’s my experience that, more often than not, these parents want their children to receive a quality education experience.

K-12 teachers face far-too-restrictive classroom monitoring from school districts and school principals based not only on children’s performance but also on classroom clutter: too many wall charts and motivational posters, excessive (often repetitive) reporting, principals meeting with parents without the teachers being present and, far too often, a severe lack of support for the teachers from those principals.

Why are guest columns by “real boots-on-the-ground educators” seldom printed? Simply because a less-than-positive column would evoke a less-than-positive response from those who sign the paychecks. Though there is a world of good to be said from the South Carolina boots-on-the-ground educators, there is also a lot that needs to be said that won’t be because of repercussions that might result.

Jerry Durgan


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