Think About It: Just Say Whoa - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

July 18, 2011

Think About It: Just Say Whoa

It's tough being a teacher nowadays- here or anywhere. I'm not going to weigh in on the latest rhetoric and real issues between the governor, the HSTA and other interested parties about cuts, because what's at play here is something even larger, something even more fundamental. Yes, everyone has to sacrifice during tough times. And yes, the level of sacrifice is always contestable- just ask those in the private sector now doing 20% more work over longer days with fewer co-workers and for less money.

But are we really committed to providing more than lip service to upgrade our education opportunities in Hawaii? When you have sweltering classrooms, over-crowded conditions, bathrooms that don't work, teachers filling out required forms and buying supplies out of their own pocket just to get things done- are we really going to be able to provide the best tools? When some students don't even get required books due to funding issues or don't get a decent meal before heading to school, can learning really be considered a high priority for these adolescents?

Is it humanly realistic to expect more from possibly disgruntled teachers when things are broken, including, at times, the system? Do the federal mandates, accreditation rules, and compliance issues even allow for a day to day environment of creativity, of motivated individuals to strive to do well? Do the parents of school kids want to get involved at home and at school to help their kids reach desired goals and help to ensure an educational system we can all be proud of, and not just a place where kids hang out for six-hours a day? These are some of the hard questions that need to be answered and items that need to be fixed, or else we can expect more of the same, which might just be OK for far too many people after all these years of rhetoric. Think about it…

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