Tonawanda News

Columns

February 23, 2013

TUCKER: Let's hear it for the 'lost' horse

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — “After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said: ‘Let me see if I’ve got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning. You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride. You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job. You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior and make sure that they all pass the final exams. You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card. You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps. You want me to do all this, and then you tell me: I CAN’T PRAY?”

•••

Ron Peters emailed regarding our son teaching in Lockport. 

“I did duty there as well, in the 1959-60 school year at Emmet Belknap Jr. High teaching eighth and ninth-grade social studies. ... Thanks for your recent shout out on teacher salaries. If we value our schools and our children’s education then we should be willing to pay for it. There’s no such thing as a bargain basement decent education. Are teacher salaries too high? Compared with other occupations where a four year degree is an absolute entry requirement, teacher salaries are quite low. When compared to a career span of say 35 years, teachers come up considerably short than their counterparts elsewhere. Teachers and other public employees do not have things like stock options, profit sharing, performance incentives, bonuses, and other wealth building schemes offered in the corporate world. In exchange for dedicated service teachers are offered a guaranteed pension, adjusted for inflation, so they might enjoy a dignified and secured retirement. There seems to be current discussions that somehow teachers are not deserving of such things and should rely on their own personal savings if they want a decent retirement. Such thinking is wrongheaded if indeed we want teachers who invest their life energies into meeting the needs of students, we have to make the investment in them as they help mold our nation’s future through preparing the next generations with the necessary skills and insights to be effective in a changing world. (I know this is a run-on sentence, but it’s a complex thought. I hope Mrs. Martin my NTHS senior English teacher will forgive me, where ever she is.)”

•••

How about this church sign: Honk if you love Jesus, text while driving  if you want to meet Him.

Contact community editor Barbara Tucker at 693-1000, ext. 4110 or email barbara.tucker@tonawanda-news.com

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Columns
  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014