What’s Really Wrong With American Education?

If you like the spoken word on this subject, catch my podcasts on paulabaack.substack.com.

So why is America 27th in the world (according to Business Insider) when it comes to educating our children? As a 46 year veteran teacher, allow me to count the ways:

  1. America’s universities are NOT providing real world teacher training.
  2. Chronically complaining parents, who seldom are condemned by those in authority, pride themselves in driving out teachers.
  3. Inept administrators, who find it challenging to navigate today’s issues, are unable or unwilling to support their staff.
  4. Teachers, who choose the profession for the wrong reasons, are taking the places of those who genuinely became educators to serve our children.
  5. Any political organization, with an agenda to change the fabric of a democracy through its vulnerable children, should cease and desist.
  6. School boards who act as a rubber stamp or don’t act at all are stifling school districts across the nation.
  7. Students, who whine and complain, usually supported by entitled parents, have more voice in decision-making than their teachers.
  8. A culture, who accepts low pay and poor conditions for teachers as the norm, cannot expect positive results in learning.
  9. A country where education is not first and foremost will eventually succumb to mediocrity from the labor force all the way to the executives.
  10. A plethora of people who could care, but don’t, will continue to tout a great success in education when there really is none.

I am one of those crazy teachers who firmly believes she can change the world! But it will take all walks of life to transform our downward spiraling educational system. Translation: if you are reading this and do nothing, you are a part of the problem! I will define, address and give solutions to the above 10 components. Stay tuned.

KIDS IN CRISIS: PROACTIVE RESPONSE NEEDED NOW

Student Suicides Drive

Las Vegas Schools to Reopen

Got your attention? Las Vegas schools, like most in the United States, closed to in person classes since March 2020. That’s almost one year out of a child’s learning, which not only encompasses academics but also physical, mental stimulation and social interaction. More importantly, teachers and others in the academic community possess no way to insure the mental health of “virtual” students. In my last blog, I pleaded that local schools would open to in person as soon as humanly possible. Yet the schools here are open with hybrid model, after complete remote learning from Thanksgiving to the second week in January. Interestingly many parochial and private schools never closed. If some did close, it was only for two to three weeks in the name of flattening that foreboding national curve.

So I plead again. Open the schools to full time, in person learning NOW! Southern Colorado, and in particular, local school districts (El Paso and Pueblo counties) experienced more than their share of children committing suicide. According to The Colorado Sun, from 2015 through 2017, 222 Colorado youths died by suicide. A new report by the United Health Foundation states Colorado has the highest increase in teen suicide rate in the U.S. since 2016. Do we need another suicide to justify remote learning is not working?

With remote or even hybrid learning platforms, teachers lost the ability to perceive students in trouble. Have you looked at a remote learning screen? It’s jammed with faces trying to stay afloat in a sea of transmitted information beaming across the frail bandwidths of our communities. I volunteered to help children navigate this new normal. The one thing I took away: no time is built in to check for understanding. The state’s complacency in banning common core during remote learning continues to place our children in dire need of person to person, in the same room, experiences.

I wore my mask, practiced social distancing, schools stayed closed and yet I got Covid 19. I am in a vulnerable age group so I can best say: stop trying to protect people in my age group! Schools must open within the next 30 days for the sake of our youths’ mental health. Parents, students, teachers and admin must be part of the solution and not a part of the problem. A proactive stance is desperately needed by our school districts. Science no longer supports lock downs or school closings. Kids are in crisis.

Paula Baack is a retired teacher of 46 years. Her book “Rescue the Teacher, Save the Child!” is the first place winner (Nonfiction/Occupational) in Topshelf’s 2020 Book Award. It is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Ms. Baack is available for parents and educators Zoom workshops. Contact: rescuetheteacher@yahoo.com.

I CONTRACTED COVID-19 IN SPITE OF REMOTE LEARNING AND LOCK DOWNS

Our city’s school districts used hybrid scheduling for the past four months, quarantining thousands of kids due to potential cases of this deadly virus. Covid tracked down my husband and me anyway. As of two weeks ago, our school districts decided on total remote learning. We still got sick. I haven’t seen my grandchildren but a handful of times in 10 months. It did not stop us from catching the virus. Corporate worship in church was removed. Yet this pandemic found its way into our home. I’ve eaten in a restaurant perhaps ten times in the past 10 months. Yes, you get it. We got sick.

The first question the health department asked me was where did I contract Covid-19? I have no idea. With so much of our population being asymptomatic, the spread of this virus is surging without the ability to trace the origins. Mask shaming, ineffectual contact tracing and shutting down schools IS NOT WORKING!

I not only survived this pandemic but was never hospitalized, which according to the fear mongering press, is nothing less than a miracle since I am in the high risk age category. Before the reader becomes distraught that I possess no understanding of how serious Covid is, I lived it for 14 days. I read about my ensuing death in the local print media. I heard about my agonizing final days on this earth from the non-stop coverage on national television. Every night of those two weeks, I slept alone and prayed for Jesus’ healing, truly believing I was living my final days. So why is it important that a retired teacher survived this virus? It isn’t. However this is:

In an August 23, 2020 blog, I wrote the following:

1. This virus is not going away by itself any time soon. Breakouts in the schools will happen.
2. If you close down to mitigate Covid, you will lesson the spread but the virus will still be present when you open back up. The cycle continues: close down, wait and see, open up and experience surges.
3. Virtual learning is destroying the lives of special needs children, non-traditional learners and children whose parents are unable to provide direction and stability.
4. Learning online has inadvertently created a “class system” of haves and have nots. Those families who are able to monitor their children, possess multiple devices and abundant bandwidth for Wi-Fi will survive. Those without will fail.
5. Waiting for a vaccine alludes to two misperceptions: the vaccine will have 100% success and the majority of people will opt to receive it.

“A child miseducated is a child lost.”—John F. Kennedy. The class system created by educating children online, even if inadvertent, is not only miseducating our children but will continue to have a negative impact on this generation for years to come.

Three days ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the esteemed infectious disease expert, stated clearly: Close the bars and keep schools open. Yet most schools in our state are completely online. Listen to the science? Yes, that would be my advice as a retired teacher who survived Covid-19. Open up the schools TOMORROW!

Paula Baack is a retired teacher of 46 years. Her book “Rescue the Teacher, Save the Child!” is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Ms. Baack is available for parents and educators Zoom workshops. Contact: rescuetheteacher@yahoo.com.

ADMINISTRATORS PROTECT YOUR STAFF!

Recently posted on social media by a teacher at her wit’s end: Simple request from a teacher to all parents: be kind. I have had my ass chewed more this week than in all my years of teaching combined. I didn’t plan the pandemic. I don’t make the rules. I am doing my best to keep up with more while having less (less (wo)manpower, less access to students, less time, etc.). I am neglecting MY children to help yours. I am never NOT thinking about how to be more…more effective, more communicative, more gentle. I am human…and I can only take so much. I am NOT your enemy. I am in your court. And I love your kids.

Isn’t there enough hardship with the pandemic, closed schools, loss of jobs, and riots? What parent truly believes now is the time to pile on their children’s teachers with petty complaints or worse, vitriol emails?

In my book Rescue the Teacher, Save the Child! I address parents and their lack of support for today’s teachers in Chapter 5 (Parental Assault, The Entitlement Factor, Watch Your Own Six). I honestly thought with online or hybrid schooling, parents would step back and allow for this incredibly difficult time to transpire without needless belligerence. It appears this is not the case. But it’s really not the parent’s fault. Parents are enabled by invertebrate administrators too afraid to stand up for their staff.

Until public school administrators realize America’s shortage of qualified teachers is frequently due to lack of admin support, teachers will always be vulnerable to baseless parental aggression. Such was my experience. As a performing arts instructor for over four decades, there were always a handful of parents who felt entitled to complain. My final year, one parent in particular made it his cause to attack me on every front. But never face to face, never in an email. Instead he circumvented me via my administrator and then the superintendent’s office. I was never able to confront my accuser or the central admin. Without due process, I was told if I returned to my school, I would be demoted in pay and in position. Be aware that’s the new way of firing tenured teachers. And it worked. Verbally admonished by my shouting principal, I retired. He just did not possess the intelligence nor the internal fortitude to protect me from complaints. And he is not alone. It is the common complaint heard from teachers leaving the profession.

What should administrators do when teachers are attacked? Zero tolerance. What does that mean? A parent’s claim against any teacher, when presented as an unjust verbal or email assault, will not be addressed by either the teacher or the administration. Period.

This does not preclude a parent having concerns about his child’s teacher. Those conversations should always be encouraged. I became a better teacher when a parent shared a concern with me in a kind and gentle way. This allowed me to contemplate the situation without insults and threats. With this positive environment, I could initiate a compromise both beneficial to me and the student.

America is losing one of her greatest assets: teachers. Students, parents, and administrators must come together and rectify this dangerous situation by creating an environment of positive collaboration. We all are on the same team.

Paula Baack is a retired teacher of 46 years. Her award winning book “Rescue the Teacher, Save the Child!” is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Ms. Baack is available for parents and educators Zoom workshops. Contact: rescuetheteacher@yahoo.com.

SORRY, WE’RE CLOSED

It’s the tale of two cities. Last weekend my husband and I escaped to Summit County, Colorado, which boasts the lovely ski areas of Breckenridge and Keystone. Although the Colorado wild fires attempted to dampen our spirits with poor air quality, we were not disappointed. Well, that’s not entirely true.

We stayed a couple miles from Breckenridge. The tiny town was crowded with locals as well as regional and international visitors. Main Street was officially closed in order to facilitate open air retail stores and restaurants. I never felt unsafe in the bustling atmosphere. People wore masks and practiced social distancing.

Keystone was a ghost town. The first sign, after walking across the bridge, stated it best: Sorry, we’re closed. I couldn’t comprehend this one sign represented the entire village. I explored the once vital and vibrant main street only to find four people drinking coffee at the only open coffee bar. Last year, Keystone was filled with running children, street musicians and activities designed for the entire family. This year, it was void of life. While Covid 19 was never mentioned, it was painfully obvious that the village of Keystone played it safe and hunkered down until a vaccination or the virus simply dies.

What is the analogy? The tale of two cities parallels the tale of two educational approaches to the virus: stay open, wear masks and practice social distancing (and thrive) or close the campus to in person learning with a sign at the front door stating “Sorry, We’re Closed”.

Keeping children at home, full time, presents insurmountable challenges for parents, students and teachers. Easy for me to say as a retired, stay-at-home former teacher? Since May 1, my voice studio opened for in person learning. I know it is not the same as a classroom full of 30 children. But with forehead thermometer scanning, hand washing, sanitizer and six feet of distancing, none of my students nor I became ill. One of my student’s parents did come down with Covid. Yet the disease did not transmit.

I do not fault either approaches practiced by our school systems due to this virus. Acting as an arm chair quarterback is just too easy and holds no value to the teachers, students and admin working in the trenches. But this much I am certain:

1. This virus is not going away by itself any time soon. Breakouts in the schools will happen.
2. If you close down to mitigate Covid, you will lesson the spread but the virus still remains when you open back up. The cycle will only elevate the fears: close down, wait and see, open up and experience break outs. Repeat.
3. Virtual learning is destroying the lives of special needs children, non-traditional learners and children whose parents are unable to provide direction and stability.
4. Learning online inadvertently creates a “class system” of Haves and Have Nots. Those families with multiple devices, with abundant bandwidth for Wi-Fi will survive. Those without will fail.
5. Waiting for a vaccine contains two misperceptions: the vaccine will have 100% success and the majority of people will opt to receive it.

“A child miseducated is a child lost.”—John F. Kennedy. The class system created by educating children online, even if inadvertent, is miseducating our children. Students who are loved at home come to school to learn, and students who aren’t, come to school to be loved. The computer screen is incapable of transmitting the authentic acceptance, needed by so many of our children, in order to learn.

Paula Baack is a retired teacher of 46 years. Her book “Rescue the Teacher, Save the Child!” is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Ms. Baack is available for parents and educators Zoom workshops. Contact: rescuetheteacher@yahoo.com.

WE HAVE TO MAKE THIS WORK!

Malala Yousafzai is my idol! In 2012, I taught at a high school with over 150 students in my choral program. When radicals attempted to snuff out the life of a 15 year old girl trying to get an education in Pakistan, I was shocked and ready to activate my students into Malala’s plight. I had 300 buttons made with the words “Ask Me About Malala!” Those students were tasked to wear and share with at least five people about the attempted murder of a Pakistani teenager who only sought to attend school. In about three days, all 1200 of our student body were made aware of Malala’s devotion to education, which almost caused her death.

At the age of 17, Malala Yousafzai went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She is the youngest to ever receive this international recognition. Why speak of her now? She allowed nothing to get in her way to receive an education. As students, parents, and educators prepare for this ominous school year of Covid, economic downfall and riots, a determination to educate our children must take precedence in our conversations. It is paramount to stop the “we can’t send kids to school” or “virtual learning is impossible” discourse which is occupying most American households and educational agendas.

What dialogue should take place between parents and educators? Perhaps borrowing from Malala: COVID CANNOT STOP US. WE WILL EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN, IF IT IS IN THE HOME, SCHOOL OR ANYPLACE. Simplistic? Utopian? Impractical?

No! This is America. But our country is mired in politics, fear mongering and a virus which continues to baffle. We put men on the moon, cured polio, fought for our freedom and the freedom of others in major wars. What happened to the “can do” spirit of this great republic? Let’s try this for a change:

  1. Speak in front of our children about the new frontier of receiving an education. If children are “in person” learning, approach the new sanitized classroom with creativity instead of dread. If virtual learning is the model, talk of teacher support and finding new ways of learning. If the hybrid version is in place, discuss how valuable in school and virtual learning can effect the safety and well-being of all.
  2. Stop the impulse to bury someone’s diverse opinions about our educational challenges with insults and thereby squelching what could be productive dialogues.
  3. Replace opining about the “impossible” situation of our children, teachers and educational platforms with positive language. I would challenge all parent and teachers to join together on a social media platform and share creative ideas to get through the next weeks and months.

Perhaps we need to make thousands of buttons with the statement, “Ask Me About Malala!!” to remind our nation about the importance of receiving an education. If Malala fought against tremendous odds, then we can make this work! It’s time our country decides, collectively, to achieve the best education possible for our children: at home, at school or anyplace!

Paula Baack is a retired teacher of 46 years. Her book “Rescue the Teacher, Save the Child!” is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Ms. Baack is available for Zoom workshops for parents and educators. Contact: rescuetheteacher@yahoo.com.

DIVERSE OPINIONS FORMULATE GOOD TEACHING PRACTICES

A wise man once said nothing because the cancel culture would insure his non-existence! When I began teaching in 1971, diverse opinions formulated good teaching practices. Now diverse opinions only garner an eyeful of disrespectful, pointless banter on social media. Just. Stop. We might come up with viable solutions if ALL opinions are valued.

For weeks I’ve tried to put my 46 years of teaching experience to work and present a viable solution for opening schools back up to in person learning. What does a retired teacher know about today’s online education? Plenty. When I went into the mid-March lock down, I switched my entire voice teaching studio to Skype, then FaceTime and finally opted for Zoom. I am happy to report success!

May 1, I moved most of my students back into the studio. For the past two and a half months we practiced social distancing, hand washing/sanitizing and plenty of ventilation. Not once have I felt ill and not once did any of my students get ill. However here is the interesting fact: about one third of my studio decided to stay online and have done so since March. One of my online students prepared for a international vocal competition entirely at home, including the video entry to the competition. She placed second and will perform at Carnegie Hall March of 2021.

What can be learned from this? In person and online learning can be equally successful but virtual instruction requires two important components: the teacher must be willing to research and produce measurable, creative learning techniques and the students (with their parents) must approach learning with dedication and a positive mind set. There are variables of online instruction which I did not encounter: a classroom teacher has at least 90-100 students; many students do not have parents who are willing or able to support the independent learning process; students who cannot afford computers or parents who cannot provide WiFi will NOT be successful with online learning; special education students have lost and will continue to lose growth in both intellectual, emotional and social capacity; parents who are teachers cannot wear both hats without complete mental duress.

So what is the answer? THERE IS NOT ONE SOLUTION WHICH FITS ALL SITUATIONS. But here are some ideas I would contemplate if I were a parent-teacher (which I was for over four decades):

1. If I were to chose online education, I would only use the school district’s online school IF it demonstrated success for at least 10 years. In my studio I often encountered home schooled children. They loved it! But many used professional home school platforms which are tuition free instead of make-shift school district platforms which were implemented during the March shut down.

2. If in person classes were offered and I investigated to see if CDC protocols were practiced, I would commit to it until the first breakout. At that point, I would finish the remainder of the school year with online instruction using a viable home school platform.

3. A hybrid approach could be the answer for this fall since Covid has not succumbed to the summer temperatures. That way if a breakout incurred at my school, my children already had virtual classroom experience. Schools could see less students during the day where social distancing could actually be practiced. This gradual approach would provide the best of both the real and virtual world of educating our children.

4. I believe, where possible, superintendents and school boards should only make in person/virtual classroom decisions monthly and NOT by the semester. Yes, in the perfect world, knowing where the entire semester is headed is ideal. But this virus has created, to say the least, a very imperfect world. Moving month by month (or perhaps week by week in the early fall) is far better then telling parents and students that a decision has been made for the next 18 weeks with no possibility of review.

5. If I were a teacher with a suppressed immune system, I would opt to tutor a small group of children in my home, practicing CDC guidelines. I would independently contract with 9-10 students with the goal of earning $500 per day (10 students @ $50 PER DAY). I would use the school district’s calendar (plus a home school platform) and teach approximate 180 days for a salary of +/- $90,000. Yes, I would need my own health insurance and I must put aside retirement savings. But the reduction of stress, contradictions of so called experts and the colleague/admin lack of support would make it worth a try.

Two intrinsic human conditions must be guarded for the future of our children: hope and purpose. Whatever you chose as a parent, teacher or administrator, keep your focus on those two required elements of successful human behavior. Our children are the future and losing one semester or one year of hope or purpose could set the course of our country on a downward spiral for years to come.

RESCUE THE TEACHER, SAVE THE CHILD! available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

JUST US!

Teachers: sometimes it’s “just us” as child advocates. I was a career teacher for 46 years. A local reporter contacted me regarding my decades of reporting child abuse, which this pandemic is creating. I just completed the interview and learned this staggering fact: Child abuse reports to my county’s DHS during the first part of April 2019, compared to the same period of time in 2020, have dropped from more than 950 to under 400. So that’s good news, yes? Certainly not!

A headline from the April 7, 2020 New York Times: THE CORONAVIRUS COULD CAUSE A CHILD ABUSE EPIDEMIC. The article, written by Dr. Agrawal, a child abuse pediatrician, states: The Covid-19 pandemic has created the conditions for a rise in child abuse that could go unchecked.

But not in the county I live, right? Wrong.

The frontline reporters of child abuse are America’s teachers and counselors. Their advocacy role is completely diminished through eLearning and lock downs. Our children are sheltered in place with parents who lost jobs, lost savings or both. Our educators were literally given hours to swing 180º and mount online presentations. Their multiple classes, full of children who never experienced this non-contact educational system, have encountered the lack of WiFi, working computers, frustrated parents and politicians who hypothesize school starting in January of 2021. Child abuse is on the rise but there is no one to report it. Stop this madness now!

SOLUTIONS:

  1. Form national, state and local coalitions TODAY and address opening schools sooner than later. These coalitions, comprised of high school students, parents, teachers and administrators, hold the future in educational reform. Legislators and government officials must listen to these coalitions and implement their findings.
  2. Brainstorm with the philosophy of “no idea is wrong.” Conceptualize social distancing, sanitizing, contact tracing, class size, local medical preparedness and the use of tandem online/ in school resources .
  3. Curb the constant drone of gloom and doom from politicians, scientists and the medical community. When you take away hope and purpose from America and her children, the end results will highlight a more gruesome post pandemic tragedy than ever imagined.
  4. Embrace the “we won’t know until we try” mindset, which defined this country since her inception.

Let’s not waste another day on data, hypothesis or painting pictures of pessimism. None of those elements serve our children well. Preach forward thinking solutions. Practice proactive approaches. Persevere to open our schools no later than the fall of 2020.

This Sequestered Semester: The Loss of Hope and Purpose

Malala Yousafzai is my idol. As a teacher, I promoted her throughout our school by purchasing 300 “Ask Me About Malala” buttons. Each of the 300 students were tasked with sharing information with the school body about this heroic young woman. Malala almost gave her life in order for the young women of her country to receive an education. Her quote reflects the power of education during this Covid 19 sequestered semester.

As a retired teacher and a current vocal coach, I am privy to the viewpoints of parents, educators and students in this difficult time. What have I learned?

  1. Students, parents, and teachers are stressed beyond measure in the abyss of online education, class requirements, homework expectations and the unknown of future schooling.
  2. Hope and purpose are lost for both our educators and students every time a “professional” bloviates on television regarding the extension of stay-at-home orders.
  3. Federal and state legislators, who previously inserted their upturned noses into American education, are incredibly silent, shedding no light on this jagged path of educating our children via eLearning.
  4. Parents are in tears, teenagers depressed and teachers’ hearts are broken. Our college and high school seniors are devastated. Will colleges be closed? Are there jobs post graduation in this economy? Will mental health facilities be equipped to handle the next wave of illness?

Let’s contemplate some viable solutions:

  1. Do NOT cancel schools for the remainder of the year. Keep all options open: restarting schools with formal graduations taking place at a later date; schools opening with staggered schedules, allowing for social distancing; admin and faculty stepping up and creating ways to give their students encouragement.
  2. All classes, for this semester, should be pass/fail.
  3. Assignments must be creative and yes, fun. Stop all testing! Check for understanding in a less confrontational way.
  4. This semester is about surviving, not exponential learning. Obtaining any new knowledge under these conditions is short termed at best. Accept that as a given.
  5. Find ways to encourage and lessen the fear. The community, legislators and the federal government need to understand that job loss and illness are not the only caveats facing homes across the nation. The future of this nation, her children, are paralyzed in limbo, not knowing what destiny holds.

At present, the only light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train! Everyone involved with education needs to press pause, step back and reassess how to better support our children and their teachers. Hope and purpose are dying faster than the virus kills.

“RESCUE THE TEACHER, SAVE THE CHILD!” raises issues and identifies solutions for students, parents, teachers and administrators. Available at Amazon/Barnes & Noble.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH AMERICAN EDUCATION?

Sixth and Final in a Series

(Please read the previous five blogs!)

Over the past weeks, I addressed issues where America falls short in preparing her young people for the real world. My previous blogs handed out a failing grade to:
America’s universities (teacher education)
Chronically complaining parents
Inept administrators
Teachers who chose the profession for the wrong reasons
School boards who act as a rubber stamp

How does our culture return to the era where teaching holds a revered place in society and teachers receive the utmost respect? School boards, superintendents and administrators must foster an environment where teachers do not feel afraid to come to work. Here is another reason our educational system is failing:

STUDENTS:

With my teacher sense of humor, I’ve often stated “they don’t make kids like they use to!”. But with all humor, there is some truth. Do you students (or parents) recognize any of these as your own character flaw:
1. Always comparing yourself to siblings and friends with a victim mentality (I never got the breaks my brother received).
2. Questioning authority with the same victim mindset (it’s not fair I have to have this project done by the end of the week).
3. Believing teachers really do operate in a sphere of giving better grades to the popular kids.
4. Asking a coach to excuse you because something came up which is much more fun.
5. Crying or whining when things don’t go your way. Demanding no need to follow the rules because you are (fill in the blank).

As seen with the response to the corona virus, our young people feel entitled to operate above the rules. Before the demand for all bars to close, college students populated them with overcrowding and defiant behavior. Why should they have to stay isolated when contracting the virus would not be as devastating? Did they consider how this mindset could lead to mass numbers of illness in older adults? Did they adhere to a proactive stance of stopping the spread? No, they celebrated openly, throwing caution to the wind. Students’ attitude of entitlement did not just manifest itself in their collegiate years. This “everyone for themselves” viewpoint began in their formative years when parents and even teachers allowed them to look at the world from a “me” point of view.

SOLUTION:

PARENTS: The time is NOW to effect change. Encourage your children to do volunteer work. Help them understand their role in society by enforcing the Golden Rule. Allow them to make mistakes, followed by immediate accountability. Bring back reasonable consequences for poor behavior. Stop placating your children with best friend status. Instead, parent your children as if our world depends on it, for it does.

TEACHERS: Until parents identify their children’s poor behavior as unacceptable, your jobs will increasingly become more difficult. The only way to survive is to put forth fair, consistent rules and consequences. Do not allow a parent or administrator to talk you out of the unearned grade or consequences for a verbal assault. That is not an easy task and often the reason teachers are leaving the profession in such great numbers.

ADMINISTRATORS: In 46 years as an educator, it was only my last year where a handful of parents and two administrators ended my career. Would earlier retirement bring about a better solution? Not for me. Their behavior only solidified my belief that this nation lost her respect for our teachers. Unfortunately what happened to me continues as the “actions du jour” of our school systems’ admin. For the love of our dedicated teacher work force, stand up and scream, “I’m mad as hell that teachers are leaving their jobs and I won’t let that happen under my watch!”

“RESCUE THE TEACHER, SAVE THE CHILD!” raises issues and identifies solutions for students, parents, teachers and administrators. Available at Amazon/Barnes & Noble.