Tag Archives: classrooms

no. No. NO! Do NOT arm teachers.

I am a retired teacher.  I retired after teaching in alternative educational program for 20 years.  The President’s statement that we need to arm our teachers, much less to provide them a monetary bonus for carrying a gun into the classroom outrages me.

Teachers work to develop positive relationships with students.

How does a gun demonstrate trust?

Teachers already serve as surrogate parents (known by the legal phrase in loco parentis) while our children–students–are present on school grounds.

How does a gun teach students healthy relationships?

Teachers are coaches for our young people struggling to manage the game of life.

How does a gun teach life skills?

Teachers spend hours preparing lesson plans trying to teach basic knowledge in as many ways possible to meet the individual needs of the students.

How does a gun meet a student’s individual needs?

Teachers are paid only a nominal salary to fulfill all the educational, emotional, social, and basic needs for this country’s future.

How does paying a bonus to carry a gun improve the educational system?

The endless list of questions can continue, but there is absolutely no answer that makes any sense that our teachers should be armed.  Would this lead to colleges of education requiring certification in marksmanship?

The final suggestion that teachers be given a bonus for carrying a gun just appalls me.  We cannot pay our teachers a reasonable salary for all we expect them to do already, why would paying a bonus to carry a gun be appropriate?

Paying bonuses to workers who demonstrate exceptional salesmanship or innovative business skills has long been a practice in the corporate world.  Never, never has such a practice been part of the educational paradigm.

Gifted teachers focus on developing relationships with the students.

Gifted teachers focus on finding ways to teach to the individual needs of the students whether educational, emotional, social, or technical.

Gifted teachers operate out of a sense of unconditional love for the individual students who grace their classroom.

Why would anyone think it is beneficial to arm teachers in the classroom when their full focus is on doing whatever it takes to protect those kids in that critical moment that an armed intruder is storming through the school?  Stopping to pick up a gun and turn away from the kids may destroy the very lives they are working so hard to prepare for productive adult lives of our country’s future.

Do not insult the integrity of the teaching profession by rewarding them to carry a gun into the classroom.   No.  No.  No!  No guns in the classroom.  And absolutely no bonus to encourage these professionals to carry a gun.

Reward teachers by respecting the profession and paying them appropriately for being in loco parentis in those classrooms.

1 Comment

Filed under Education, History & Government

Suzanne Collins: Reading Revivalist

Having just finished reading Book One, The Hunger Games (HG), I cannot contain myself any longer.  Thank you to Suzanne Collins for writing a book that reaches out to younger readers and even to myself.

This is my third reading and I am using it in my alternative ed classroom.  Often reading is an impossible task, but right now HG is working.  Even I have struggled to find reading which holds my attention from one book to the second to the third!

HG leaves my heart racing, my emotions in a swirl, and a deep-seeded sadness.  Why?  The timeless storyline of star-crossed lovers is just one reason.  Then there is the eternal battle between good and bad.  How can the reader deny the sense of agitation in the midst of the battle!  And the music created by the mockingjay!  Of course, it is silent reading so there is no true music, but in my mind there certainly is.

In fact, putting the full realm of my feelings into words is difficult–especially since most say I am so wordy.  Yet, this trilogy has sent me into an entirely new world of the future, but also of the ancient world filled with gladiators.

I find myself struggling with the political conflict presented, too.  Not only am I a language teacher and trained journalist, but I like history, esp. American history and politics.  These books create an echo in my head that shouts an alarm.  Why do people have to be so power crazy?  Why does HG leave me with a sense of doom?  Is it because of the power struggles we witness in government?

There are so many things that go running through my heart–err, I mean head–while reading these books that I closed HG tonight almost drained, yet oddly pumped up by adrenalin.  I have a sense or urgency to open Book Two and I know I cannot do it at this moment.

Suzanne Collins is reviving reading at a level that even young people clear up to adults and even seasoned, near retirement teachers cannot put the book down.  Thank you, Ms. Collins.  I just really regret that I will have to put the books away after this semester.  Maybe in August I can begin the journey again.

And just for the record, the trilogy fits into a school semester.  I find so many literary elements, so many themes, so many characterizations, so much conflict in the story line, so many twists, settings that identify regions of the US and a style which lends to literary analysis.

This is a book that offers much for concrete readers, but possible is even more valuable for the higher order thinkers.  The series lends itself to developing curriculum which focuses on rigor and relevance.  The alternative ed arena proves it and reading can be revived!

Again, thank you, Ms. Collins.  Thank you, Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, Cinna, and all the others who bring the story alive.  Thank you.  I cannot wait until I can return to your world and share it with my students.

Leave a comment

Filed under Education