After reading this morning all the comments about Chris Abele’s appointment of Demond Means to help the school board I will say this as we sit around or sit back and continue to waste time with senseless arguments: our children are not learning.
I am so disappointed with the way MPS is handling inner city schools. They are ignored in so many ways. I have been a volunteer at LaFollette School, 3239 N. 9th St. for the last three years and I volunteer three days out of the week. I will be very honest here. It is so disheartening to go into that building everyday and see the lack that goes on. Teachers lack resources. The discourse between the teachers and the principal is very disconnected. I have not seen the superintendent or anyone from the school board come over to the school and really try to help. The enrollment is dropping. One security guard is not enough. Fights daily. The classrooms have children who have behavioral issues and educational challenges, along with the students that really want to learn all in the same room.
I started volunteering because I saw the lack on the part of the school board and resources and I wanted to make sure my grandson and other children from our area have access to great learning and teaching, but when a teacher has to spend 90 percent of his/her time with disciplinary action in the classroom, how can they teach?
First- and second-graders have a bigger vocabulary using profanity than they do spelling words. Now the bigger concern is how do we get children prepared for school when they come from broken homes? Teachers do have to deal with a lot on a daily basis and I bet you the real classroom is much different than the training they received in college to prepare them for this. What kind of training do they give teachers to deal with and teach the children from our communities? Even white teachers who teach black children are faced with the need for diversity training.
My real opinion is that before we spend anymore money on a salary for a higher-up position, let’s put some real energy and money into making sure our kids have the supplies and tools they need for learning, no matter where the money comes from to pay a position. Put the money into our children and make sure they have what they need daily to learn. Stop making parents who don’t have the money but already pay taxes buy the copy paper and anything else needed for schools to function daily.
Let’s hire some parents that are involved everyday in their kids’ education and pay them instead. We need immediate hands-on attention inside the schools and it needs to involve the communities the school serves. Let’s start making sure all schools at least have paper and pencils for the kids. What I see in the classroom needs great attention, but I think there needs to truly be more community involvement, along with whatever else is decided, but please stop leaving the concerned citizens out.
It looks real sad to see everyone up in arms about this appointment, but nobody really fighting for the rights of our children to learn. We pay the teachers and the education professionals to educate our children. I as a parent should not be able to walk into any teacher’s classroom and have the power and ability to take over teaching their class simply because the children know I am there and I love them for real. You must be able to captivate the attention of the children and they must know and feel that you care for real. That’s what missing now — the real love for teaching and educating our children.
If our communities are suffering, maybe it’s because over the years public education has lost its purpose. I am a supporter of public education; I’m just disappointed in how things are going now. I’m hoping this new appointment will help, but tell me why we got all them other important degreed educated people on salary already, especially at Central Office?
Paid or not, I’m gonna work for and with the children. They really need our help and guidance. Remember they can read and see too. How do we expect them to feel when they see us having a discussion about their education but no words being said on how to really educate them. Talk to the children. They will tell you what’s wrong and what’s missing. How sad that we forget about the children.
Some years ago I watched a play entitled “Our Children Are Dying and no one seems to care.” Wow, it’s coming true. In the last three weeks I have been to two funerals, visited three young people in the hospital and talked to a number of young people that skipped school. Where are our priorities? Teachers need help too; get them their help first. Let’s help schools and students, not people’s pockets. Remember a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Just my opinion.