Growing up I often saw bumper stickers that read “Won’t it be great when schools have all the mony they need, and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a stealth bomber?” As a child, I laughed it off, even if I understood how true it was.
As an adult, I find myself not laughing.
Recently, I found “America believes in education: the average professor earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole week.”, attributed to Evan Esar, and just found it sticking in my throat. Granted, I’m only a tutor (and quite happy with my job), but I’m seeing the products of this odd economic situation every single day.
Becasue schools are hurting for funding, I have seen children taught math by someone with only an English certification. I’ve run into odd math programs created because there just weren’t enough teachers to cover the subjects in a rational manner. It’s painful.
How can we expect to prepare our students for an increasingly-challenging world when our resources keep dwindling? What kind of message are we sending students when certain industries are allowed to strike over salaries that teachers could never even hope to achieve?
I don’t really expect an answer to my questions. They’re not original by any stretch of the imagination, but I do often worry about my students and the service we as teahcers are doing, knowing that we as a profession are doing everything in our power to help prepare these students for life outside of academia.
Time will tell, I suppose…