Originally published Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 06:00a.m.
In response to the article about schools looking to build housing for teachers, whoever is promoting this – especially school administrators – are perpetuating an environment that is counter-productive to excellent teaching, NOT facilitating it. The environment that this proposal encourages or establishes a base for is exactly what administrators want – either by habit or direct intent.
I feel that I have a bead on this, for I was in the teaching field for about 44 years. I was a site and district leader for teachers in California for years. I battled the administration for years about student discipline, positive teaching and school atmosphere, class size, as well as many other issues and circumstances that students and teachers had to endure, put up with, swallow their pride by, and basically turn that “sows ear into the silk purse.”
Female teachers were the target and an easy ploy for administrators time and time again. It’s easy to understand – they are the easiest to brow beat, control, and acquiesce on just about any controversial subject. They love kids and have that mothering instinct that administrators love to take advantage of. Things have changed some and there are always strong female and male teachers, but basically they all do what they are told to do without much question – they’d rather teach children. In the state of Arizona, this right-to-fire, right-to-hire atmosphere has teachers as pawns, male and female. The economic plight of their profession here certainly does not help.
Subsidizing housing for teachers is nothing more than another chance to control teachers, keep teachers in a subservient position, and of course, keep their salaries down. What a devious ploy – political all the way through. Sounds like some welfare plan. Why not take the money used to do this so-called “housing” and give it to the teachers in lower class sizes, more classrooms, and hiring more dedicated teachers? These people want excellent teachers? Give the teachers’ salaries that offer them the opportunity to excel without aid, and to live independently. Give them true pride. Let them have time to teach and be individualistic to students! Today, in a classroom where the ratio of time to student in just a 30-student class is less than 2 minutes per student. There are plenty of studies to back lower class size. No wonder many quality, intelligent, and creative want-to-be teachers say, “I’ll get paid for my skills doing something else!” No wonder private schools and home-schooling are more popular! Give me a break! Who’s is kidding who? The same old story, same old excuses, same old demeaning budget junk. Teachers need to fight to stop this mania. To actualize as a teacher, the environment has to change.
I loved teaching, but in truth my skills were not able to be used well by the school system, as well as by the administrators. I fought administration, many times to my disadvantage. I survived continually, however, mainly because I stuck up for myself and created a following, particularly by the very people I had to deal with daily – the parents, teachers, and students.
Defending yourself continuously, however, is not good for creativity or actualizing ones skills. This housing proposal is a part of the same. This “housing” project is a part of a greater plan to have low-paid personnel, some of which in Arizona (and other states) are allowed temporary provisional credentials to teach. They are not fully credentialed yet – why? Get the word out and really take a look at the details of the budget here and the philosophy beside it.
Daryl J. Lassen worked in the teaching field for 44 years in California. He has lived in Prescott for 11 years.