My experience with public school teachers was decidedly mixed.
I had some good ones. A few were inspirational. I had a tough-as-hell advanced math teacher (one of the mistakes of testing; I had zero aptitude for math, and less interest) who coaxed a B- out of me. Ms. Summers kicked ass.
Regrettably, a sizable minority of my teachers sucked. One told me, in front of my mother, that she didn’t think I should become a writer. Wouldn’t say why, she just didn’t think I should pursue my dream. Seems she never forgave my critique of the new Baptist-only health club, the one where they’d kick out the little brown kids playing ping-pong because the minister was concerned they’d mess up the carpeting.
My mother was heroic that day.
Another teacher regularly mixed bourbon in her coffee before class. At 9 a.m. One of my high school counselors told a good friend she shouldn’t attend Berkeley because her parents couldn’t afford it. The university whose president just happened to be the counselor’s husband was a better option, my friend was told.
My sisters, who studied only to keep from flunking out, were on track to become teachers. Those who can’t … Fortunately, marriage prevented them from sharing their lack of intellectual curiosity with malleable minds.
Of course I have great respect for committed instructors. It’s a tough job, though not thankless. But we should accept the fact that many of our teachers are below par.
Now what are we going to do about it? More rationalizing?