A Former Teacher's Advice On What 10 Things Teachers Should Be Armed With Instead Of Guns
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A Former Teacher's Advice On What 10 Things Teachers Should Be Armed With Instead Of Guns

Respect: Teachers get hit from all angles.

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A Former Teacher's Advice On What 10 Things Teachers Should Be Armed With Instead Of Guns
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I spent nearly 10 years of my life as a teacher in the School District of Philadelphia until illness sent me into retirement and I had to pursue other avenues of satisfying work. If my path had not changed, I more than likely would have retired as a teacher. My last 5 years were spent teaching English Literature and Creative Writing to juniors and seniors at a High School in Philadelphia. I will not say every minute of my career was joyous, but it was a career filled with intense emotions, hard work, and enlightenment.

More children go to school hungry, anxious and depressed in America than any other country. Do some research; America invests more in the defense of its country than the education or healthcare of its people. Teachers should not be armed with guns; they require these 10 things in their schools:

1. Supplies

Teachers are provided with a classroom, desks, teacher’s desk and maybe a filing cabinet. Once a month, I would have the gift of one ream of paper in my mailbox. In August, I spent nearly $800 getting my classroom ready for the Fall. Items I purchased included: chalk, paper, erasers, markers, crayons, activity books, books I felt my students would benefit from, lesson plans, and snacks. This does not include the additional $1000 I spent over the course of the year providing materials I felt my students required to enhance learning.


2. Food

As stated earlier, most of my students came to school early to get breakfast. If they were making even one cent above the poverty line, they had to pay for it and came to school hungry. Some days, I gave away my bagel or whatever I had for breakfast to a hungry child. At lunch, I packed extra in case a student came to my class asking if I had anything eat.

3. Nurses

My last 3 years saw major cuts to schools. Nurses were provided on an interim basis. We had a nurse in our school 3 days a week. Schools really need at least 2 full-time nurses.

4. Technology

Teachers have to file for grants in order to get Smart Boards. During my final years as a teacher, the school had received a grant for 5 of these. My classroom did not receive a Smart Board. I was lucky enough to gain access to a projector. I purchased a $1500 computer with my own money so I could enhance learning with PowerPoint and Videos.

5. Teacher Aids

The teacher aid went out of the budget many years ago. Some schools are lucky enough to have them, but most schools in Philadelphia are not equipped with teacher aids. If you think one teacher can diversify learning and manage a classroom of 35 kids, you are sadly mistaken and need to spend one day in a classroom of this size.

6. Counselors

In this day and age where children are suffering from mental illness, poverty and physical disabilities counselors are a teacher’s first line of defense. There should a counselor for every 15 children in a school. Most schools are lucky to have one. Counselor’s bread and butter these days are helping students fill out college applications.

7. Psychologists

School Psychologists are spread out across the district, which means they visit a school maybe once a week because they have 10 schools are their list. Students miss out on evaluation and counseling because they have to be severely emotionally disturbed in order to be seen by a psychologist. Many students fall through the cracks because they are not acting out in class and have not been reported.

8. Families Who Care

Education is a social issue, if a child comes into my classroom after a beating from a parent; I’ve already lost the battle. If just one family member: a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or non-blood relative supports a child to the fullest, we have half a chance and reaching this child.

9.Respect

Teachers get hit from all angles: Administration blames them for low-test scores and for not being able to reach kids. Parents blame them for neglecting their kids in a classroom of ridiculous size. Kids blame them for all their issues and for not being “fair” or for just not putting on a good show that day. I often felt like I had to put on my tap shoes before entering a classroom. The respect is not taught at home, so it is not received. I was once told by a parent that her son could talk to me anyway he wanted.

10. A Seat at the Table

Meetings are held frequently at the district level. Philadelphia has a School Board and on that board, not one member has ever taught in a classroom. Teachers are almost never asked what would be best for the students they teach. They are provided with a curriculum and some books and often told never to go off “script”. The focus is on high-test scores, graduation rates and college admission percentages.

Yes, teachers need to be armed with defense and coping mechanisms, but it does not take the shape or form of a gun. “If God is bullet, have mercy on us, everyone.” – Concrete Blonde.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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