Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Short Rant

While most blogs that I have read are in response to various intellectual articles or classroom experiences, this blog is a little different-- it is a chance for me to vent about the little appreciation that teachers seem to receive. After two semesters of being in the School of Education at W&M, I am sick and tired of being told that it is a "joke" and "the easiest major". I get very frustrated with these comments from students who have chosen different majors. Yes, our class assignments may not be deriving complicated calculus problems, but they are a challenge in a different way...

After reading an article about a 10-year-old girl named Lisa who has Down's Syndrome, it reminded me just how challenging being an educator can be. Lisa is only in third grade, but functions at the level of a first and second grader. She is two years older than her third-grade peers because she has already been held back. The ultimate dilemma in this situation is whether or not Lisa should be held back again so that she can be caught up academically, or if she should be promoted to the next level so she is not so isolated in terms of age. Furthermore, should Lisa be constantly pulled out of class for special services? Or would her needs be better served in a regular education classroom where she can be integrated with the other students? All of these questions are questions that have no clear answer and can be debated in circles over and over again.

Although such problems may not seem as complex as a tough math or science problem, the problem can get that much more frustrating when you realize there is no good answer. For this reason, I ask that all of my non-education friends who have looked down upon the education field, spend a day in a classroom dealing with 25 first-graders who all need special, individual attention.

1 comment:

Tessa said...

I agree with education not being an easy job. Although I am only a preservice teacher I have family and freinds who are teachers. Tell my friend who has several students with autism and learning disabilites in her classroom that she picked an easy major. The future of these kids lives are in your hands and while the homework in college may not be as difficult as calculus, the real world of teaching is alot different. I am also tired of hearing I picked an easy major!