Recently, Donald Trump Jr. gave a speech at the Republican National Convention and in his speech he addressed education. I will admit I did not hear about his speech until I saw a response about education to this speech. After watching his speech, I am going to make my own response.
I agree that our school system is not in great shape, especially compared to other countries. I grew up in public education, unlike Trump Jr., and I know all about the shambles it is in. I watched as other schools in my county received new technology as my school had one iPad cart of 30 iPads for a school of about six hundred. I heard about the unveiling of a million dollar school in between schools that were some of the best of my county. I watched as neighboring counties had better supplies, better food quality and better facilities.
We do need change, not only in the disbursement of funds, but also in the actual curriculum. We focus more on making sure a child can pass a test than them actually knowing how to use what they learn and preparing them for their future. That is what school is all about: preparation for the future. Maybe our students aren't performing well on standardized tests because that was one of three taken in a week or their teacher had to move too fast to make sure everything was covered. We focus more on performance than the actual growth and learning of a student.
Where I disagree with Mr. Trump Jr. is his statement that education is focused more on the benefits of the teachers and administration than the students. As an elementary education major, I wanted to scream when I heard that. Yes, there are bad teachers that do not care and yes, there are ineffective teachers who get tenured in, but to state education as whole is focused on the staff is complete nonsense.
I have met so many amazing teachers who care for their students, every single student. They worry about them in and out of school. They spend their paychecks to provide for their students and classroom. I do not think I have ever met a teacher who does not care about their students. That is part of your job as a teacher, to care, protect, teach and support your students.
This semester I will finally have all education classes, but I have had two in my past semesters of college and one in high school. Our classes did not focus on how to make sure you get benefits and how to get ahead of other teachers. They focused on our students and how we should treat them. We have been taught that the students are our main priority, which is why we are teachers. We have been taught how to respect different backgrounds, how to have tough talks with students, how to make sure every student feels loved and respected in the classroom and how to bring everyone into the learning, not just the outspoken or the gifted ones. This has just been from three classes. I could go on about all I have learned in my classes, but my main point is I have been taught that as a teacher my students will always come before me.
To generalize that students are not a main focus in education is not logical. I agree there are problems in our education system and maybe not every student is receiving the education they deserve, which breaks my heart. Our first step to solving this problem is to go into the schools and see it firsthand, not as a top-down approach. Yes, education shouldn't be a top-down approach, it is much more complicated to solve than in that way.
Education is my passion. I cannot wait to be a teacher. My response is me taking up for the profession I love and adore. Let's start giving teachers the respect they deserve.
I wanted to add that I am not trying to attack Donald Trump Jr. personally, as some writers tend to do. I just wanted to defend a comment against my future profession, one that is close to my heart. This is just someone standing up for something they believe in.