In her first month of teaching fourth grade in a lower socio-economic school district, a 10-year-old boy rushed at my friend with a sharpened pencil yelling, “I hate you; you are going to die!”
The teacher (who requested anonymity) had simply asked him to complete an assignment.
Now in her fourth year of teaching overall, she makes $33,500—while owing $40,000 in student loans.
My friend resents politicians who court voters with promises about education reform but have never taught.
Of her 20 students, 90 percent are minorities and only seven live with both biological parents.
Ninety-seven percent of district students are on subsidized meals. Some get no real supper the night before.
Most have no Internet connection at home.
“You can’t judge a school by looking in the windows. We don’t have the tools we need. For example, our dictionaries are tattered. When we get new ones, the kids want to take them home,” the teacher says.
“Some of my students have 24-year-old parents, who have three more kids and a baby on the way.
“Parents blame their kids’ failures on us, and think whatever behavior problems they have at home we can miraculously fix in the classroom. Even parents who want to help often don’t know how.
“Budget cuts are shortsighted. The less you put into educating a child, the less you get out of them as adults.
“Let’s reform that.”