Letter: Teachers aren’t the problem

As a current high school senior, one of my top career choices was to become a history teacher because I enjoy working with children in educational development. I enjoy making a positive impact on children and the community, and history is my passion. I adore all history: Louisiana history, American history and world history.

Throughout my high school career I witnessed some of the hardships teachers go through on a daily basis. Besides managing over 100 children five days out of the week, they grade papers, create assignments and lesson plans, go to teacher meetings, administrative meetings, parent conferences, deal with principals, assistant principals, guidance counselors, professional development meetings, standardized testing, mid-term tests, final exams, School Board, test scores, evaluations and student behavior.

Teachers also have to manage their personal lives. Many teachers are mothers, fathers, grandparents, or wives or husbands, and could be dealing with a personal issue. Teachers deal with students, parents, and administrators firsthand and take most of the blame when a school does poorly Yet they get little to no recognition when a school does well. Educators are passed over as some of the hardest-working people in the country. For a job that has to be done so efficiently, teachers are underpaid, undermined and are severely penalized for something they have no control over.

I disagree with Gov. Bobby Jindal, who believes that if students fail, teachers’ livelihoods are affected. I feel if a teacher presents the information in an effective way and thoroughly explains the information, they have done their jobs. It is now the student’s responsibility to receive the information. If a student still does not understand a concept, it is the student’s responsibility to set up an arrangement for further explanation. What is school without work? There should be an equal amount of effort.

I personally cannot speak for all the teachers in America, but I can say, all of my teachers, from as far back as I can remember up to my senior year, have gone out of their way to make sure every student was helped and encouraged to pass. Teachers are responsible for teaching students, not passing tests, not studying for a quiz and not “giving” students grades. We students, of all levels, need to stop being lazy. The teachers have done their part. It’s up to us to make sure we do what we need to do to get a good grade and be successful. The preceding factors are some of the reasons why I have decided not to become a teacher.

D’Marqus Jamal Forbes

McKinley Senior High School graduating senior

Baton Rouge