NORMAN — Q: I have been an educator and coach for many years. I am noticing there are more and more opportunities for students to get their education without ever setting foot in a school building. What are your thoughts on the future of teaching? Will there be teaching positions in the future, or will most students get their educations online?
— Robert, Oklahoma City
We know exactly what you’re talking about. Home schooling, district internet schools, independent internet schools, etc., that are now available have made us wonder the same thing.
As an educator, you know as well as we do that the entire educational experience is provided in the classroom. Students not only gain academic knowledge, but they also learn socialization skills, patience, tolerance, humor and empathy for others. For the most part, they will have memories that will last a lifetime.
Although these other types of education are not for everyone, they definitely serve a purpose. There are students who are chronically ill, for example, who are not able to come to a building, but they can still earn their high school diploma through internet classes. We’ve all seen extremely intelligent kids who have been home schooled enter the public classroom, and if they have been taught socialization skills and patience, they are quite successful.
We also know of many parents who say they are home schooling their kids when in reality, they aren’t following a certified plan, nor do they have the knowledge or skills to help their children become successful. We feel this is such a dis-service to those children and sets them up for failure.
Although education is in constant change, we have every confidence that the “powers that be” not only realize the importance of public education but also the many people who dedicate their lives to helping kids.
Thanks for doing what you do.
When we arrived at school the other morning, we had an interesting incident which we feel needs addressing.
First of all, if we haven’t stated previously that teachers and administrators are not babysitters, let us state it strongly here. If we could get babysitter rates for each student, we’d all be independently wealthy.
But we digress … here’s the situation: We had an angry parent who wanted school personnel to deal with a Facebook message that was sent to her daughter at 8 the previous evening. This parent assumed since both students attended the same school, the school should deal with the problem.
Parents,please understand … we love your kids, we love our jobs, but we are not your children’s parents. We cannot monitor their computers or cell phones. We know all parents don’t ask this of us, but we are continually amazed at the number of parents who want us to do their jobs.
Please realize school personnel are here to deal with school-related issues. What happens during non-school hours cannot interfere with the tasks we as educators must fulfill.
Please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sally and Jeannie are certified school counselors with 49 years combined educational experience. Jeannie has two children, Sally three. The responses presented don’t necessarily reflect the views of any certain school district.