Teachers are humans – we sometimes may forget that fact. With school funding having been slashed repeatedly, to the bone, teachers can easily feel overwhelmed. Add to that all of the new administrators assigned to each school, including campus police, and you create a perfect storm for the children who may not fit into the square pegs prepared for them.
In this perfect storm, labels have been created. As I have always been taught and definitely believe…kids WILL live up or down to our expectations. Given the ease of dismissing a child, lack of time to understand them, and the lower caliber of teachers available, an environment has been created that is not suitable or conducive for children’s learning.
I’ve witnessed firsthand, for about 24 years now, the explosion of labels on children in all levels of the education system. Districts too big to fail. Young teachers given tenure with one visit to the classroom that is announced in advance, allowing time to threaten the kids to submission – er, I mean, prepare.
I have four sons, all with an ADHD diagnosis; only one lacks hyperactivity. That son, the teachers adored. Because of his size and awkwardness early on, teachers felt for him. As I have pointed out many times, he could burn a school to the ground and a teacher would contact me to apologize for upsetting him to cause such destruction. His younger brother could look at the fire alarm and SWAT would be called. Same diagnosis, same parenting. The one the teachers adored scored well in school, yet upon his high school graduation, his essay writing is atrocious. His brother was in third grade reading “The Complete Parents’ Guide to ADHD” at an annual IEP meeting, while teachers claimed his reading level was low. He tutored other students in math, yet was held back. He should be a senior now, but has only 70 credits towards high school completion due to the constant suspensions.
The labels seem to be worse in the Special Day Class (SDC) environment, where teachers believe their actions cannot be questioned. It is the word of lower caliber teachers against special needs children, who are seen as exaggerating, or behavior issues. We have seen accounts in the news of parents going to the extreme of sending their kids to school, wired, to expose the inappropriate behavior of teachers.
What happens to the teacher…disciplined? In my experience, they are merely relocated to another school to harass and destroy children. The drop out rate here, in my district, is 30 percent! Is that acceptable?
So many empty words and promises about education reform. When will we open our eyes to see the tragedy, the destruction of a generation due to free reign offered to under-qualified teachers, with little or no accountability for their actions? The labels continue to be placed on children, and “teacher’s pet” has been taken to an extreme. As parents, we would not allow strangers or even loved ones to abuse our children, so why do we allow it to happen daily by teachers?