Friday, March 12, 2010

Children are our future?

My name is Aneea Botan-Bote. I'm a 7th grade teacher for Sylvan Union School District. I can be reached at Dan Savage Middle School at 209-552-3300.
The attached document is a 250 word letter voicing my personal opinion on the crisis in education.
Thank you
Aneea Botan

With the advent of motherhood, I started paying attention to advice I’d earlier dismissed as “not applicable”. Though no stranger to hard work, I soon realized, PARENTS DON’T GET WEEKENDS OFF! In this context, I heard the best parenting tip, bar-none. “Don’t ever leave your child where you wouldn’t leave a million dollars of cold-hard-cash.”
This mantra echoes in my mind as I stare at the avalanche of foreboding headlines spelling destruction for our public school system. “Don’t ever leave your child where you wouldn’t leave a million dollars ... ” In times of crisis, we ARE leaving our children where we wouldn’t leave our money!
To add insult to injury, politicians shake menacing fingers at educators. “Hold teachers accountable!” seems to be the catch phrase of the day. As a middle school teacher, I cringe at the probable witch-hunts that will likely follow.
I know, first hand, the hours spent trying to find a new angle on an old lesson. I can easily rattle off the names of colleagues who do the same. Are there teachers who don’t pull their weight? Name a profession that is immune from such pestilence.
Do we then opt for merit pay? It sounds like sound business advice. Successful businesses, however, reserve the right to refuse service. Will teachers be able to screen their clientele? From the proverbial “hot seat,” we ought to get one last request. If other institutions are worth bailing out, couldn’t we do the same for our kids?

Aneea Botan-Bote