With the likelihood that schools will not reopen until the fall at the earliest, parents are learning firsthand just how hard it is to teach children (“California classrooms will not reopen this school year due to the coronavirus, superintendent says,” San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 31). That’s a lesson way long overdue in the wake of charges by reformers that teachers have it easy.
I’m reminded of the series of op-eds by Jason Richwine and Andrew G. Biggs in several newspapers claiming that teachers are not underpaid. Even though teachers are walking away from the profession at the highest rate on record, Richwine and Biggs join other critics in arguing that the number of hours in front of a class, coupled with the summers off, make teaching a plum.
I say tell that to parents who are trying to teach their own children. The energy needed to keep children on task is enormous. If they think it’s hard to teach their own children, can they possibly imagine how hard it is to teach a roomful of children from diverse backgrounds?
If there is one good thing to come out of the present pandemic, it’s that it will give parents and others a realistic sense of the difficulty of educating the young.
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