Becoming an educator is one of those professions long held in high esteem for its importance to societal development and achievement. It was once a profession that enjoyed nearly universal respect.
Not so much in recent times. Year after year, we hear reports of teachers leaving the education profession, with most complaints focused on inadequate salaries and classroom resources. The Columbine shooting in 1999 ushered in a new obstacle for educators: fear of active shooters.
Fast forward to the present, and teachers have more challenges than ever. Still, one challenge in particular is the most problematic.
Teachers now have to worry about their safety from their own students.
Florida teacher savagely beaten unconscious by 270lb autistic student after she told him to stop playing his Nintendo Switch REFUSES to back lighter sentence as he faces up to 30 years in prison pic.twitter.com/W1lA4OMF5q
— SHO’NUFF (@IAMSHO_NUFF) October 14, 2023
Are you ready for this?
Living in the age of social media, it’s easy to find everyday people chronicling their daily struggles on their platform of choice. Thankfully, one of the few silver linings of the social media boom is the ability to hear real-life stories from real-life people, which, more often than not, tends to be outside the accepted narrative pushed by special interest groups and the mainstream media.
This year, there has been a flourish of videos like the one below from young teachers explaining why they’ve decided to leave their jobs as educators. In the video below, this teacher explains how she was ready for all the typical struggles of a public school teacher.
The way I could go on and onnnn #teachersoftiktok #teacherquittok #teachersleavingteaching #teachersleavingeducation #publicschool #teachersontiktok #teacherquittok2023 #teacherexperiences #teacherproblems #everydaymakeup
She lists examples such as long hours without extra pay, using her small paycheck to purchase supplies for her classroom, and even a willingness to use her body as a human shield to protect her students from active shooters. What she wasn’t ready for resonates with young teachers from coast to coast.
The young woman explains how she was not prepared to be hit by her students, have the materials she purchased thrown at her by her students, and have to evacuate her classroom not because of an active shooter – but because of an unruly child. She was unprepared to deal with a child in her classroom terrorizing another child relentlessly, so much so that the same student felt unsafe to come to school.
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Finally, she was not ready for the preponderance of disruptive and unsafe students and disruptive and unsafe parents. All while, as she explains, not receiving any help or assistance.
A common theme
The Gwinnett County, Georgia 2022 Teacher of the Year, Lee Allen, went viral for his speech explaining why he was stepping away from a job he wasn’t just exceptional at, but loved. His speech broke down three recurring issues that public school teachers struggle with in just about every district in America.
“First issue at hand is student apathy and disrespect for school rules and norms.”
There are countless reports of students caring little about turning in assignments, let alone following school rules. Case in point: a teacher’s aide in Florida was beaten unconscious by a 17-year-old because his Nintendo Switch was taken away from him in class.
Mr. Allen continues with the second issue, which unsurprisingly is cell phones:
“Phones allow constant communication, often being a spark that fuels fights, drug use, and other inappropriate meetups throughout the day.”
Many schools don’t have cellphone policies, forcing teachers to create their own classroom policies and manage usage independently. This often leads to unfortunate consequences for the teacher.
Such as the Georgia teacher who was beaten so severely by a 15-year-old that three months later, she still could not return to work and was reliant on crutches to get around, all because she attempted to confiscate a student’s cell phone during class.
So, what are school administrators doing about these challenges?
A whole lot of nothing.
Mr. Allen finishes his masterclass on why the United States is struggling to keep good teachers with this:
“Lastly, there is a huge disconnect between administrators and teachers. … Most administrators have not been in the classroom full time in years or even decades.”
Gone are the days of detention, suspension, or even expulsion. Administrators have been wooed by union-funded consulting firms who have convinced them that the true path towards redeeming troubled youth is through what is dubbed ‘restorative justice.’
This concept hangs its hat on the idea that the best way to ensure even the most disruptive student receives a quality educational experience is through ‘building a relationship’ with the student instead of imposing any real consequences. However, restorative justice hasn’t done much to protect the teachers who have to face violent juveniles day in and day out.
In Texas, an assistant principal received traumatic head injuries when high schoolers pummeled him. A Tennessee teen pepper sprayed her teacher, who took away the cellphone she used to cheat with, not just once but twice.
Other teachers won’t return to the classroom not because they’ve quit, but because they’re dead. Like the Iowa Spanish teacher who was beaten to death by two teens over their poor grades. In short, the kids aren’t alright, and while administrators aren’t helping the problem – they are not the source of the problem.
A high-school teacher was left with a broken arm after being chased down and beaten up by a group of middle-school students.
Four students from Langham Creek High School in Houston, Texas are currently in custody after disturbing footage of the attack surfaced on social media. pic.twitter.com/ilQgOoolkT
— RT (@RT_com) February 17, 2022
It’s not enough to lament the ideologies being fed to America’s children through, at times, willing “educators.” The time has come for American parents to ask themselves how their role has shaped their child into a responsible and well-informed citizen.
Children are not learning literacy, mathematics, science, and history – and their moral compasses are spinning out of control. Chicago witnessed the mayhem of the new teen fad “Teen Takeover.”
A Las Vegas man riding his bicycle was run down by two teens who videotaped the event, memorializing his public execution. And now, college students nationwide are showing up in large groups to voice their support and celebrate the horrific slaughter of Israeli civilians by the terrorist group Hamas.
— Viral News NYC (@ViralNewsNYC) October 12, 2023
No longer can the role of shaping the next generation of responsible citizenry be placed solely on the shoulders of teachers. When the minds they are trusted to mold are the same who they are now forced to fear we have an untenable situation and it’s time for something to change.
Those changes must start in the home before anyone can expect them to happen in the classroom.
Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
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