Our Teachers Deserve More Pay, Not More Responsibility

Our Teachers Deserve More Pay, Not More Responsibility

They already deal with way more than what they're paid for, don't try to arm them as well.

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Throughout my K-12 Education, I have generally had good teachers. Of course, there was the occasional "Mr. I don't know, CAN you?" and the other few annoying or less helpful teachers, but I was blessed to have lived in a district where the standard for education was pretty high, due to the area being part of a higher-income, diverse town. However, even when I've had 'bad teachers,' like those who take forever to grade, or those who seem a little more detached from their students, I've always tried to see things from the teacher POV, since it is the field I am going into. And believe it or not, whenever I try to see things from the opposite point of view, my understanding of a situation deepens - shocking, I know.

Teachers work insanely long hours. No, I don't just mean the hours they spend in school, physically teaching. Aside from leading a classroom, teachers devote their lunch hours to helping out students and spend lots of time before and after school at their desks grading, helping students, or planning for the next day. Additionally, teachers spend a hefty chunk of their vacation days prepping for the upcoming school semester -- they have to create lesson plans, teaching supplements, homework assignments, and additional resources for their students. And as if that wasn't enough, many teachers coach sports or sponsor after-school clubs.

Yet, many teachers are still not able to make ends meet. According to this article, 20% of teachers have to get a second job in order to make ends meet. It begs the question, why aren't we paying our teachers more?

Teachers are the most essential workers in this nation, in my opinion. Pre-school and Elementary school teachers deal with snot-nosed buggers for 6-7 hours a day, essentially raising them and teaching them values, ethics, and the fundamental knowledge they need to get into the world. Middle school teachers deal with kids going through puberty, 'nuff said. And high school teachers are the ones who expose you to the world so that you can go out and get a job which you're passionate about (and then send your kids to preschool to go do said job.)

So now, you want to tell me, that there are people out there who want to arm teachers and continue to pay them the same wages? That's simply outrageous.

Forget the monetary aspect, arming teachers is in and of itself a ballistic (pun intended) idea, simply because that's not what we're signing up for. According to this Harvard article, arming teachers would not be beneficial because most teachers aren't trained to respond to conflict that way. If a threat is in the building, there is a lot of adrenaline and fear coursing through everyone's bodies, and though trained militia would be able to respond to threats calmly, teachers would most likely panic. The psychological impact is far too heavy. Additionally, if a student or teacher has a breakdown and finds themselves with access to the 'classroom gun', who knows what kinds of disasters could take place.

The answer to gun violence is not to turn our country into a militant state.

I've heard the argument that "if everyone had guns, then the mass shooting could've been stopped sooner." NO. If everyone had guns, especially in a bar, like the recent shooting in California, then it would result in more casualties, and it would be more difficult to identify the suspect because everyone would be holding a murder weapon.

What this country needs is stricter regulations, psych evals, and frequent checkups on gun owners. What this country needs is reform. What this country needs is proper education (ahem, properly compensated teachers!!!). What this country needs is empathy.

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Life Of A Science/Health Major As Told By The Cast Of "Grey's Anatomy"

Study. Mental breakdown. Repeat
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The science/health major is easily one of the hardest majors out there (don’t get offended math majors, we know yours is hard too.) Science/health majors include biology, pre-med biochemistry, chemistry, physical therapy, nursing, pharmacy, zoology, nutrition science, optometry, and etc. I don’t like to brag, but I’m pretty proud to be amongst these majors at my university. Most of us watch Grey's Anatomy religiously (as does America), so I wanted to express our problems and the suffering we go through with the wise words of the cast of Grey's Anatomy.

1. When I looked at the syllabus and immediately felt like



2. We do not have syllabus week. We get to chapter 1 the first day after discussing the syllabus for 15 minutes. So when friends rejoice due to their chapter 1 beginning next week, I’m just like:

See Also: Finals Week As Told By Grey's Anatomy

3. When someone says they think that being a science/health major is easy.

4. When you have 3 exams, 4 quizzes, two lab reports, and 6 assignments in one week.

5. What it feels like when you study for days and you end up failing the exam

6. When you ask your professor what to study for the exam and they say “the book.”

7. When you and your friends get an A on the exam

8. When you don’t have enough time to eat with all the studying you're doing

9. The one true way to compliment a science major

10. After giving up your soul to finals week and still not getting the grade you wanted

11. Will there be a curve?

12. When the lab instructor explains the procedure and you still don't understand

13. After studying for 10 hours

14. Because we all deserve a drink (and shots) sometimes.

No matter the struggles we go through, deep (deeeeep) down we truly love what we do and will do once we graduate. We love Science, and can't wait to actually use this information in the future to help people! To those applying for med school, optometry school, pharmacy school, nursing school, or grad school etc, GO KICK BUTT!

Anything I missed? Have something to say? Sign up to join the Odyssey community at Saint Mary's University here and have your voice heard.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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An Open Letter To Professors Who Assign Group Work

In the classroom, there is NO strength in numbers.

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There is something to be said about the workings of a well-oiled machine. The swift cohesion of pieces working together to create a masterful finished product. Each individual part bringing its own unique gifts and interesting character together to create an impeccable arrangement of academic collaboration. It is absolutely awe-inspiring that professors dream of this sort of outcome from the random chunk of students that they forced together. So sorry to break it to you, professors, but the group project you assign in your class is not going to work like this. The final product will not be a meticulously crafted work of art. It is going to turn into a flaming disaster as your bitter students shamefully share the work they have thrown together.

Group projects are the bane of my, and most students', existence. You assign them in large lecture halls, small discussion courses, and every class in between. Most of the time you assemble the members of each group yourself, creating the saddest excuse for a team to ever grace the planet. This leaves the students no choice as to who they will be working with, which essentially makes the grade out of the individual's hand because they have no power over which random stranger will be tossed into their group. In the rare occasion that you do not assign the groups yourself, you leave the fear-stricken students to frantically gather their own clusters of people. This is just as bad because in this case students typically choose groups based on geographical location in the classroom, their seats that they chose on the first day of class and never got around to relocating.

Regardless of how they were gathered, every group project will introduce your students to a dynamic range of personalities. There is the one super intense leader that thinks this project grade is the single most important moment of their entire life, and if everyone does not commit their full selves to it they will actually burn the school to the ground. Conversely, there is the lazy, weak link; who is consistently dropping the ball on the group's shared research document and honestly none of the other group members even know what this person looks like because they skip class so ridiculously much. There is the one person who works every second of every day and can never fit your group meeting into their schedule because their nannying job is so important (this is actually a subtweet at me, my apologies to all of my past group members, I just have a really busy schedule, okay). Please, do not subject your students' grades to depend on the work of these insane classmates. A student's grade should reflect their own, individual work, group projects skew and make that impossible.

I understand that you mean well by assigning these projects. You hope to teach us how to work well with others, a valuable communicative asset in the real world. However, in the real world, there are standards for hiring at a company and if a worker does not perform well they will be fired. There are no standards for getting into my psychology class, any student with a laptop and a break in their schedule on Tuesday and Thursday mornings is welcome to join the class. There are no standards for performance either. If a student does not perform well in a group project their grade will plummet, which to my surprise does not greatly bother as many students as I thought, as does every other member of the group's grade. So unfair, so unparallel to the real world. Stop comparing your English 101 class to the real world.

Please professors, just stop with the group projects. I will happily write all of the papers, study all of the lectures, and even read all of the chapters in my textbook. Just don't make me create another Google Slides presentation with a bunch of strangers again.

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