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On Thu, 8 Jan 1998, Lonna Smith wrote:

> Thanks for your comment Gary: "When you are a high school English
> teacher with 30+ students in five or six sections, how can you ever read
> what they write?"
>
> It always bothers me when I read sweeping statements about the poor
> quality of teaching in any particular level.  Of course there are many
> lousy high school teachers, just as there are many lousy college
> professors, just as there are many wonderful high school teachers, and
> just as there are many wonderful college professors.
>
> Many students come to college underprepared but it is not always the
> high school teachers' fault!  In fact, I bet that if you truly analyzed
> each individual student, you would find a plethora of reasons - and they
> would be different for each student.
>
> I think high school teachers are dumped on too many times.  How many of
> us would volunteer to be high school teachers (or elementary school
> teachers for that matter) today?  How many of us used to be K-12
> teachers and left for the more satisfying, less stiltifying, and (yes)
> easier life in higher ed?
>
> Lonna Smith
> former elementary/middle school teacher
> now happily (most of the time!) at San Jose State University
>

Bravo, Lorna!!  As I look at our department faculty, out of the 25
faculty, 15 of us have worked in the K-12 system.  All of us left the
other system because it was less satisfying, more stultifying and
definitely tougher than what we do now.  I say, "hats off" to those
teachers who have stuck it out in the other system and who do a "good" job
despite the conditions. Yes, just as each learner has individual needs,
there are individual reasons why they didn't learn the first time around,
and it certainly wasn't always the fault of the teacher.

Bev Krieger
Former high school and elementary teacher

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