No one can be surprised that over 6,000 teachers didn’t return for the school year, or that fewer than 2,000 are in the pipeline to replace them.

Ask around and you’ll find that we are subjected to a barrage of meetings and new programs to implement, often by people either unrelated to our profession or with minimal experience in it.

We are burdened with documenting every meeting and encounter to demonstrate that we’re actually professional enough to do our jobs. New teachers are treated as if they didn’t just get a degree.

It all comes down to one thing: we’re not treated as professionals. Decisions are made for us to implement because our jobs have been politicized and downgraded by policymakers who concoct easier ways to bypass normal avenues into the profession.

We do whatever people addicted to the “newest” fix on the market dictate. If it’s technological we’re supposed to be wowed by it and run off to implement it immediately because, well, it’s computer-based and 21st century and all the other typical buzzwords associated with a long line of hucksters and billionaire philanthropists and their subsidiaries, all selling a misinformed public on something new and exciting and bogus.

The public is often informed of fallacious statistics and not on how much money is wasted training the already trained to do what they already know how to do in the first place. We just have to take it. Those unaccountable, low-wage teachers and their state-budget busting pension plan need reforming anyway. Right?

The public should demand that we be allowed to teach kids instead of dealing with the latest in test-prep, computer-driven, buzzword junk on the market. It’s time to let us teach and start holding those who buy into every new, costly program accountable. Maybe then, with that respect afforded to us, kids will want to be teachers again in this state.

Unless you want the gap in the pipeline to get bigger, and your children and grandchildren to learn nothing in school but how to Google their way into a cheap certificate at the end of four years, the public needs to pressure policymakers to unburden the professionals entrusted with their kids before they begin dealing with a crisis bigger than a nuclear plant failing. (By the way, the lesson there is that they’ll act when it’s too late.)

Willie Dasinger

Trevor Street

North Charleston

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