Write Again … A better way to do the job

Published 9:39 pm Monday, April 28, 2014

By Bartow Houston

If you are not now, or never have been, in the education field, then this week’s little offering probably won’t interest you very much.

So, not wishing to waste anyone’s time, perhaps moving on to something else in our little hometown gazette, kind reader, would be a good move.

Now, I’m not trying to discourage readership. Of course not. I’m just attempting to be realistic. Having said all of that, however, I do hope a few of you will stay with me.

That which I wish to present here are my recommendations relating to educating our children, and their teachers and administrators.

Teachers, specifically, should be allowed to retire after 20 years service. Any who wish to remain should be carefully, objectively evaluated as to their effectiveness if they continue teaching. Those who opt for retirement would do so with ample time to find some other worthwhile vocation.

There should be a model, a structure in place that would allow/require classroom teachers to take a sabbatical every few years — maybe every five or seven years — in which they would be away from their traditional duties and responsibilities for an entire year. No teaching.

For half of their year out of the classroom they would become engaged in some learning experience, and this could encompass a diverse range of traditional and non-traditional activities. Pre-approval of this would be required by a cross-section of educators charged with this responsibility. Of course they would still be paid during their “year away.”

All those in administrative positions, such as superintendent, principal, supervisory personnel et al, would go back into the classroom as teachers for an entire year. No exceptions.

Then – and this is also important – all in our colleges and universities who teach teachers-to-be would be required to teach in their field in a school system for a whole year. No exceptions. And that’s it. Does any of this make any sense at all? Could it prove beneficial to our schools, our children?

Is something like this, even similar to it, ever going to happen? You know the answer to that.

APROPOS – “Education is not a product: mark, diploma, job, money – in that order; it is a process, a never-ending one.” -Bel Kaufman 1967