Hissy Fit - June 2023 - We Don’t Need No Education: Unless We Want to Survive
...because everyone needs one every once in awhile
June 2023 Issue
by Elizabeth Skenes Millen
Here’s a conundrum: We have a teacher shortage, and it’s only getting worse. Not only are college graduates choosing education as their major in record low numbers, but college graduates who majored in education are also leaving the teaching profession in droves within the first three years of teaching.
What does the world’s most powerful country do when none of its adults want to teach our youth?
In speaking with a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of South Carolina, I learned only 149 students graduated with an education/teaching degree this past May. This amount of new teachers barely covers the needs of one or two school districts.
While many site subpar salaries as the main reason people do not want to teach anymore, I believe the problems go much deeper than something that could easily be solved like pay. Teachers have always gone into the profession knowing the pay scale and still chose to do it. There are people who feel a calling to teach and do a tremendous job educating and making lifelong impressions on their students.
Of course, the way our broken system works now is no reaction until we are facing severe crisis. Well, we are here. What more has to occur before school boards, state leaders and national congresspersons wake up? And, of course, they will have a Democrat extreme side and a Republican extreme side in which neither are on the children’s side for true quality education. Have you pondered what sad shape our country will be in if our children—the country’s future—can’t receive an education? You can’t learn without teachers!
There are numerous people, administrations, boards and governmental organizations to point the finger at as to how we got here, but first and foremost the most serious offenders are today’s parents. Of course, there are good parents out there, but too many parents are more worried about being their children’s friends and protecting them from any inkling of failure. They are stealing their children’s opportunities to truly achieve and become well-adjusted adults. Many parents teacher-bash in front of their children, confirming the teacher isn’t fair, she shouldn’t expect so much, he gives too much homework, etcetera... By high school, rarely does a student show up with enthusiasm for learning.
The majority of Americans have a real mentality problem; they want doing the minimum to barely get by, to be enough for success. Putting effort into projects, homework assignments, and respectful behavior, seem to be coming things of the past. Students aren’t required to rise to the teacher’s expectations, teachers are expected to lower themselves to the lack of discipline and dedication students have toward their education. After all, they don’t need to be smart—because their cell phones are. What a marketing ploy we have all fallen prey to.
I was talking with an administrator of a Columbia, S.C., high school. She says students smoke marijuana in the bathrooms all day, every day. In addition, the worse curse words fathomable are shouted down the halls with no consciousness of wrongdoing. Who—or should I say what—are we raising? Lack of discipline in the home is ruining society.
The other factor affecting teachers daily is the ungodly amount of school shootings that occur in our country. Teachers are scared to work. People say it’s the guns, but when you have to keep your public school basically on lock down every day, have on-campus police officers and metal detectors at main entrances, something has gone awry with the character of our citizens. If you want to be “woke”, we all need to wake up to this grave fact: The lenient, no boundaries, child-centric parenting model is NOT working. Children have more emotional problems now than ever before. Mental issues such as extreme stress, anxiety, panic, and defiance disorder are at epidemic levels, as is suicide. Our youth is troubled and it shows!
In my day of being raised, every one of us had “mean” parents according to today’s standards. “Mean” meant our parents held us to higher standards, they expected us to do right and be a good person. They didn’t tell us everything we did was wonderful. I can’t tell you how many times my mother made me do something over because I had not done a good job. The truth is the truth. Kids don’t need people blowing up their egos with falsities. My friends and I were also punished when we did wrong or disobeyed. There were consequences which are completely lacking today.
I have a friend who is an executive in a healthcare legal firm. She interviewed a college graduate who cried when he found out he had to be at work at 8:30 A.M.; he whined that he just couldn’t do that. It was too early for him to wake up, get ready, play a video game, and go to Starbucks. He literally requested to come in at 10:30. She didn’t hire him. If you’re not shaking your head yet to these real-life examples, please know these type of scenarios are common place both right here in our county and across the country. It is indeed a conundrum with no short-term solution.
Our only hope is there are still some good seeds out there who want to excel, who take pride in their work and who treasure the educational opportunities offered in America. Parents, we need you to engage! We need you to see the problem, not be the problem! With your buy-in, It’s not too late to right this sinking ship.
With your buy-in, It’s not too late to right this sinking ship.