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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Teachers don't have time to be therapists, cops, nurses and social workers

“Students who are habitually ungovernable should be removed from teachers’ classrooms so teachers can actually teach and students can actually learn," Louisiana Superintendent Cade Brumley told the Independent Women's Forum.


Photo: Max Fischer/Pexels

Educators who want more effective (and sane) teachers and higher student achievement, will study the common-sense recommendations in Louisiana's Let Teachers Teach report, writes Robert Pondiscio of the American Enterprise Institute.


Kylie Altier, the state's Teacher of the Year, led a group of teachers in developing the recommendations, which deal with student behavior and discipline, teacher training, curriculum and instruction and "taking non-academic responsibilities off teachers' plates" (or paying extra for extra work), writes Pondiscio.


Administrators leave disruptive students in class because suspensions lower a school's performance rating, the teachers said. They called for decoupling student behavior from school accountability.


"That feedback was critical to recent passage of a state law," said Brumley. After three suspensions, disruptive students are sent to “alternative sites where they can get the support that they need — academically, behaviorally, socially, mentally — to eventually return to the general school setting and function among their peers.”


Brumley presented the recommendations to 7,000 teachers at the state’s annual teacher summit in New Orleans a few weeks ago, he said. “After sharing the first recommendation, I struggled getting to the next recommendation due to teacher applause.”


Stop forcing teachers to be therapists, the report says. Students should have access to mental health professionals, with the approval of their families.


Let Teachers Teach also calls for abolishing "antiquated," time-consuming lesson plan requirements, banning cell phones and paying teachers for additional, non-academic work.


Teachers complain they're asked to take on an array of extra work without extra pay, reports Madeline Will in Education Week. That includes finding their own substitutes, mentoring new teachers, analyzing data, updating parents about their child's health and attendance, participating in community events and fundraisers, cleaning classrooms and serving as hall, lunchroom and bathroom monitors.

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15 Comments


rightactions
Jul 02

"Utopia is not an option."--David Bergland


There are no easy, cost-free, morally simple options. The happy fiction that there is a right to a free public education cannot be sustained.

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humphrey
Jul 03
Replying to

I believe it's labeled free and APPROPRIATE public education, and we seem to keep forgetting about the "appropriate" part of the label.

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Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
Jul 02

Municipalities and teachers' unions should partner in supporting the well-being of all involved, including especially the children for whom schools are established; the other suggestions I find being made here won't work, since they'll prove unrealistically expensive to the taxpayers growing weary of the spiralling increases in the costs of schooling, or unpleasantly harsh, which will just increase the drop-out rate, with the uneducated teens now wandering your neighbourhoods during school hours, inviting more expensive, unpleasant enforcement from local police, juvenile halls, and prisons.

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superdestroyer
Jul 01

If the teachers are just going to be academic instructors, then can class size go back up to create more payroll for all of the specialist that will need to be hired.

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rob
Jul 01

Hell, just the threat of taking away their phones (on school grounds) for some period might be enough. 🤨

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PikeBishop65
PikeBishop65
Jul 02
Replying to

My district is going ONE to ONE this year, where the kids are issued a personal Chromebook device and that is all they need for everything in school. No phones at all! Let's see how that works!

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Richard Rider
Richard Rider
Jul 01

Extra duties have ALWAYS been part of teachers' jobs. I see no problem with that continuing (within reason). Being human beings, teachers are always trying to lessen their workload, which is understandable. But when it comes to disruptive kids, GET THEM OUT OF THE CLASSROOM! FAST! They are hindering the education of everyone in the class. Establish unpleasant "rubber rooms" for such kids. There these unruly waifs can impede the education of THEMSELVES, but not others. Corporal punishment is out, but unpleasant music would be one option. All electronic devices must be confiscated. And no social promotion at the end of the year. If they want to stay in the 4th grade for years, so be it.

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Richard Rider
Richard Rider
Jul 04
Replying to

BINGO! Anyone who has spent time in a classroom know that this is true.

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