Teachers are not to blame for lagging education system



This commentary is written to everyone and anyone who prides themselves on having common sense. Unfortunately, this leaves out the very people I wish to reach. Our educational system, or more precisely, our governmental bureaucrats, have decided to build a road that must have been designed and constructed by individuals who know nothing about education, or at the very least, never conferred with experienced professional educators.

It seems they make decisions on education by ignoring the very foot soldiers in the battlefield … and if you know anything about education, it is a battlefield.

What boardroom banter or experience did these misguided master planners have in mind when they decided to alter the very process that educated our forefathers and generations before and after them that created the most powerful and educated country in the world?

Why did our educational system start to break down and in so doing, lose its place on the top of the list? I am no scholar and I understand when things are broken you look to find the broken hinge and fix it. Did anyone really find the broken hinge or did they just not see the “forest from the trees” as to the real reason why our education goals have declined in our elementary schools?

Does anyone know who these people are who have formulated and designed the new “core curriculum” platform and all the administrative changes and procedures that have the entire American school system scratching their heads? Who are these people and what are their credentials as it pertains to making these educational changes that do not have a “wing or a prayer” to succeed?

Where is the proof of the success in what they present and why is there so much resistance to these unrealistic changes on the part of teachers and administrators who are the front-line soldiers in this battle to reestablish our dominance in the field of education?

There must be someone who has the intelligence to look in the eyes of these “educational architects” and tell them they don’t know their derrière from their elbow; someone who is not afraid of bucking the companies feasting off the billions of dollars earmarked for new curriculum, books, procedures, tests, etc., that do no more good than line the pockets of very bad governmental decision-makers and committee members and further continue to do nothing but defeat the very core of what they want to accomplish.

We blame the teachers and look for ways to rake them over the coals and point the finger at them as if over the past 50 years they have totally forgotten how to teach. Teaching is an art … and it is not new books, procedures, tests, curriculum, reports, or any of the new-fangled teaching methodologies that will pull us up by our bootstraps and place us back on top of the educational leadership board.

It is the understanding that teaching has worked successfully in its purest form over decades by giving teachers the tools to do their job, while allowing their creativity to reach and inspire their students. When did the trend to reverse our support of teachers take root?

Where, in the not so distant past, did we give rise to blaming the downward trend in our educational goals by directly pointing our fingers at teachers and the established teaching methodologies they used daily for decades with great success?

Who made this decision that we must change the direction of teaching? It has to be by those who benefit from a warped sense of values who fail to see the real problem and who fear the wrath that comes from telling the truth and stepping on toes.

Where we have gone wrong in our educational goals is not within the teaching profession. It has been in our society as a whole as it expands through technology and economic changes. And it starts at the very core of what made this country great — discipline, parenting and respect.

I can go on and on about why the parents of today are coddling their children and overlooking the only true responsibility their children have as children — learning, studying and being prepared and that all other activities are secondary. Parents have neglected their role as parents, failing to make sure this one responsibility takes preference to all others.

Stop blaming the educational system and start looking in a mirror. Look over your child’s school work, their homework, their projects, their study habits, their preparedness, etc. Work with their teacher and principal, not against them. What other responsibility do your children have and what could be more important?

Do this and we will once again return to the top of the mountain where we belong as an educational example for the world.

Continue on the same road by placing your child’s education solely on the school system, blaming everyone and everything else and neglecting your responsibilities, and you fill the pockets of greedy entrepreneurs and watch your child fail because you were afraid your child would protest. Grow up. Be a parent, not a friend. Any questions? Bring it on.

Robert Lamber is a resident of Marlboro. He is the spouse of a teacher.