You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
September 5, 2013 at 6:36 PM
Michael Lundin briefly referred to the great obstacles that keep education in the U.S. dead centered: race and poverty. [“Guest column: How to train great teachers,” Opinion, Sept. 5.]
They are really the same problem. We use race to justify the poverty we see in the inner cities.
The question that rushes to mind is, why can’t we solve this? It seems the richest nation in the world lacks the capacity to provide everyone with the education they need.
Top on the list for attention is a raise in the minimum wage. As finance writer James Surowiecki says in a recent New Yorker, wages have come down, and “the pay is too damn low.”
Studies have shown that a dollar increase in the hourly wage of a parent results in their children having a greater readiness for school and higher grades in it.
Is anyone paying attention?
William DuBay, Poulsbo
Character education and understanding teachers
Michael Lundin is obviously gifted at learning, teaching and writing.
I do disagree with one point, and would want to add one or two other points.
Most college graduates and a lot of high-school graduates would be capable of teaching math well, even if they weren’t in the top third of their college classes. They would need adequate training. What is missing is adequate training and a school curriculum that is set up to improve the areas that students are falling flat in.
Students also need to be schooled in character education to understand that honesty and persistence will pay off.
It is true that an inspired teacher can do all that and inspire a love of the subject, but a school system that develops an educational system and curriculum that includes these values will succeed, even if they can’t hire someone from the top third of their class to inspire them.
Sometimes, it’s a teacher who once had trouble in math that will understand why a student is not understanding a concept.
Keith Wellman, Freeland, Island County
September 5, 2013 at 7:01 AM
Living in fear
I work in a clinic, and frequently answer phone calls from frightened and panicked mothers. [“Editorial: The heavy cost of vaccination free-riders,” Opinion, Sept. 1.]
These mothers are beside themselves, because their unvaccinated child just was cut deeply while on vacation yet they never got a tetanus shot, or they’ve been exposed to pertussis in school and they hadn’t received the DTaP vaccine, or there is a threat of measles going around and they opted out of the MMR immunization for their child.
I just listen patiently, but I want to say, “You chose not to vaccinate out of fear that something bad might happen and now you are living in fear because something bad is actually happening.”
You can’t have it both ways. Either trust that vaccines will protect your child as they are designed to do, or live in fear, but be prepared when your unvaccinated children are exposed to things out of your control.
It’s your choice.
Sapphire Sun Hort, Seattle
September 3, 2013 at 6:58 PM
A second to Sara Mosle’s guest column, from a retired public schoolteacher. [“Why parents make better teachers,” Opinion, Sept. 1.]
My success derived from two sources. I had been a lousy student in high school, after my dad died when I was 14. My wife and I raised five children together. Both of these “learning experiences” allowed me to work effectively with all children and understand how to support them by supporting their parents.
Many young teachers have great energy and fervent belief, but schools with a majority of parent-teachers bring irreplaceable depth to the task of loving and teaching every student.
Dale Rector, Seattle
July 24, 2013 at 7:06 AM
Parents play a part
In her guest column, Liv Finne concludes by saying that “reforms that give most Washington parents a greater voice in their children’s education will have to wait for another day.” [“WEA blocked education reforms,” Opinion, July 16.]
Do parents realize the great voice they already have in their children’s education … at home?
Going to the library, daily reading, conversation, taking “field trips” around the city, participating in PTA activities, playing games or sports as a family, limiting TV, and using technology appropriately all promote learning.
Attitudes are learned at home, and motivated students will learn anywhere and anytime. Involved parents are key!
Theresa Anderson, Edmonds
June 21, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Bad manners abound
To answer Lynne Varner’s question “Are we teaching kids manners these days?,” the answer in many cases is, sadly, no. [“Blog: Wanted: kids with manners,” Opinion, June 20.]
A recent McDonald’s commercial shows a boy bonding with his dad by blowing bubbles in his drink in public, much to the toothy-grinned delight of his dad. Worse, have you ever been treated to a free back massage by a kid pounding on the back of your seat in a restaurant or aboard a plane, or had your eardrums pierced by a kid yelling at the top of his or her voice while playing tag in a store aisle, all while a parent is nearby but “busy” doing other things?
As a teacher, I remember being in a parent-teacher conference a few years ago about a minor offense the child had committed. I was treated to a tirade by a fuming, yelling parent, who within a few seconds berated the teachers, principal and school for daring to discipline her child. The principal promptly told us to go back to class, and the meeting was over.
Many kids today get their manners from television, the baby-sitter of choice in many American households. Have you ever been to a youth sporting event and seen parents acting like unbridled children? Rudeness is alive and well in our country. Miss Manners, where are you?
Ronald Bowman, Burien
Trending with readers