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The Education Issue

Teachers Aren't Stupid

Sweeping generalizations, backed by mere opinion, don't hold much validity as far as I am concerned.
Κείμενο Viviana Benitez

Teacher of the Year, 2004. Photo from AP

Sweeping generalizations, backed by mere opinion, don't hold much validity as far as I am concerned. There is not much depth in the claim that teachers are "stupid." After reading the comment about teachers being stupid many questions arose: How do you define stupid? Are teachers really stupid? Why are they stupid? If teachers are stupid, does that mean the PHd professors that taught them are stupid? Is stupid relative? If a teacher doesn't own a computer, are they stupid or poor?

Is it stupid to use resources at the public library? Shouldn't teachers advocate public libraries? It's unfortunate that such strong sentiment regarding teachers exists, and most importantly, isn't it pitiful (unfortunate, a damn shame) that adults are still name-calling? Didn't we get past that in elementary school? It is very admirable to lend a hand in unfathomable situations. Offering workshops was a great idea. Getting frustrated and then talking shit may help release some steam, but is it constructive? Does it help to belittle or mock an unskilled individual? Nope. Unskilled individuals exist in all areas of our life. I can't play the guitar or rollerblade, does that make me stupid? Can I learn, sure, if I want to, if I feel ready to do so. Same with our students and anyone else, when we want to learn or change, we will. The public school system is set up to intentionally fail kids in specific schools and area codes. It's as simple as that. The factory model of education, which was developed way back when this country was industrializing, is pretty obsolete. Employers preferred laborers who could work quietly and independently doing repetitive tasks. But when it comes to contemporary times, this model of standardized education gives the smarter kids a mediocre learning experience and gives the more challenged kids no chance at all. When there is an endemic problem facing us as adults and workers it is helpful to take a step outside the box, think of questions, seek answers, and most importantly be patient. Teaching is a distressing profession, such as being a doctor, nurse, union organizer, what have you. One is faced with paper work, endless cutbacks, few resources for some, long hours, little to no guidance, hierarchical pressure, deadlines and on and on. I've never had a "stupid" teacher and I've never had a "stupid" student. And the more I talk with people and learn about their lives, the less use I have for the word "stupid." Lets enhance our vocabulary and try to be a bit more civil.