Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Opus 2011-265, Reality Check for Teachers

If you wonder why education is such a mess look at teachers.  I am one.  I work with them every day.  They are a wonderful group of people.  They “care.”  They want to help.  Many of them work very hard at what they do.  Yet they, or we, are a danger to society.

A large part of the problem is that teachers are educated by teachers.  It is a self perpetuating cycle.  They live in their own little world, protected from much that life throws.

The core of the problem is that teachers as a group have lost contact with reality.  The example that is most clear to me at this moment is reinforced by the beginning of school.  As I walk through the doors I am coming off a three month vacation.  When I made a career change at 40 and went into teaching I worked summers and had a second job and a Christmas job.  My main summer job was teaching summer school.  I have not done it in years but I think it is running about $35.00 and hour.  How many of you could find a part time summer job making $35.00 an hour.  Time for a reality check.  Teachers are immersed in the warm bath of the public dole.  We are lined up at the public trough, sucking up tax dollars with no concept of what it takes to generate wealth.  Our pay raises are based purely on how many years on the job and how many classes we have taken.

We are well paid.  You will hear differently.  Don’t fool yourself.  I make less that my kids, true.  They also put in a longer week and only get a couple of weeks off for vacation.  They also graduated at the top of their class in hard subjects at demanding universities.  They did not get a degree in liberal studies at the State University of Partyville.  On our districts teachers start at around $42,000 a year.  Not bad for someone with no experience and it includes summers off, full medical, two weeks off at Christmas and a week off to celebrate the pagan beginning of spring.  (Easter vacation is not politically correct any more.)  Would I like more money?  Sure.   I am human.  But I really should not complain.

Teachers don’t live with their failures.  Every year they pass on their failures and take on someone else’s.  It is easy to take a short term view of what is success.  It is hard to feel guilty when the kids coming to me in 7th grade are reading on a 2nd grade level and have been taught that they don’t have to do anything to move on to 8th. 

Teachers are gullible.  At our beginning of the year meetings I kept hearing about how “studies” have shown _________.  I was told that “research” proves _________.  You can fill in the blank with the educational hail Mary toss of the week.  Anyone over 16 knows that research generally shows what the researcher wants it to show.  Just ask the Professors of East Anglia University.

This is a hard one.  How do I say it?  Is there a way to be gentle?  No.  Education prostitutes itself.  People buy their loyalty.  We are currently in a “block program.”  We have four periods a day instead of the traditional six.  The block program increases class size, reduces flexibility in scheduling, eliminates elective choices, keeps the kids in class longer than is productive.  For years we have spent countless hours in meetings talking about how to deal with it.  We have expressed our frustration with it.  We have petitioned, voted and complained.  At one point we were told that a 78% vote to go back to the six period day was not strong enough.  We needed a unanimous vote.  Finally in a moment of honesty that could get her fired an administrator admitted we were doing the block schedule because someone (probably a Federal agency) had donated several million dollars to the district on the condition that we have a block program.  Your tax dollars at work.

Children need to be educated.  They do not need to be programed by the state.  The current goal of public schools seems to be a generation of compliant mediocrity. 

homo unius libri


  1. I wasn't sure there were any teachers who even KNEW the whole truth, let alone that were brave enough to tell it. God bless you, my friend.

  2. School is a very unnatural system, a product of the Industrial Revolution. Parents used to teach their children their trade at home. In the first two hundred + years of SA's written history, children were "home schooled", using the Bible, hymn book and catechism. Instead of grounding them in the 3 R's we pump them full of useless facts for the next test. Then complain that they can't read.

  3. Georges, I may never have complete control of all the facts. I may never see the line between opinion and reality. I may be losing my memory due to age. BUT I know the One who is the Truth and try to filter all things through that. You do the same. That kind of filter will always bring us close enough to be headed in the same direction. At least such is my hope. That is why I can keep telling the kids at school who ask me "are you a Catholic or a Christian?" that Catholics are Christians.

    Thanks for your times of agreement. It makes the world a little less lonely.

    Grace and peace.

  4. Philip,

    I could not agree with you more. We home schooled our children. They never went to a public school before college and in spite of, or because of, their lack of "socialization" they are doing quite well, thank you.

    I accept that home schooling will never be for everyone. I understand we will probably always need some form of public education. But that doesn't mean that it needs to be so mind numbing and mediocre.

    I always laugh when I see the bumper sticker, "If you can read this, thank a teacher." For most of the kids I know who read well that teacher is their mother not a state employee.

    Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.