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21st CENTURY TEACHER [applicant addressing the school administration]

Let me see if I've got this right. You want
me to go into that room with
all those kids and fill their every waking
moment with a love for
learning. Not only that, I'm suppose to
instill a sense of pride in
their ethnicity, behaviorally modify
disruptive behavior, observe them
for signs of abuse and T-shirt messages. I
am to fight the war on drugs
and sexually transmitted diseases, check
their backpacks for guns and
raise their self-esteem. I'm to teach them
patriotism, good citizenship,
sportsmanship and fair play, how and where
to register to vote, how to
balance a checkbook and how to apply for a
job. I am to check their
heads occasionally for lice, maintain a safe
environment, recognize
signs of potential antisocial behavior,
offer advice, write letters of
recommendation for student employment and
scholarships, encourage
respect for the cultural diversity of
others, and, oh yeah, always make
sure that I give the girls in my class 50
percent of my attention. I'm
required by my contract to be working on my
own time summer and evenings
at my own expense toward advance
certification and a master's
degree; and after school, I am to attend
committee and faculty meetings
and participate in staff development
training to maintain my employment
status. I am to be a paragon of virtue
larger than life, such that my
very presence will awe my students into
being obedient and respectful of
authority. I am to pledge allegiance to
supporting family values,
a return to the basics, and to my current
administration. I am to
incorporate technology into the learning,
and monitor all Web sites while
providing a personal relationship with each
student. I am to decidewho
might be potentially dangerous and/or liable
to commit crimes in school
or who is possibly being abused, and I can
be sent to jail for not
mentioning these suspicions.
I am to make sure all students pass the
state and federally mandated
testing and all classes, whether or not they
attend school on a regular
basis or complete any of the work assigned.
Plus, I am expected to make
sure that all of the students with handicaps
are guaranteed a free and
equal education, regardless of their mental
or physical handicap.


I am to communicate frequently with each
student's parent by letter,
phone, newsletter and grade card. I'm to do
all of this with just a piece
of chalk, a computer, a few books, a
bulletin board, a 45 minute
more-or-less plan time and a big smile, all
on a starting salary that
qualifies my family for food stamps in many
states. Is that all?


And you want me to do all of this and expect
me NOT TO PRAY?