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Teachers: A New Scapegoat This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Today, in a victimless world, teachers have become the hottest new scapegoat in society. Needless to say, people everywhere point fingers and scapegoats bear the blame day after day. It seems unfair to blame teachers when students score low marks and drugs overwhelm the once "safe, tranquil" school setting. Many teachers toil endlessly to ensure that we, the students of America, are prepared for the real world.

In Delaware, some districts are plagued by low scores compared to the state average. Who is to blame? Is it the students, the superintendent or his board of education? Nope. That is why there is a proposed plan that would allow the districts to fire an "incompetent" teacher who cannot raise test scores over a period of time. Rather than consider the idea that perhaps stringent laws are hampering the instructional value of the education in our classroom, even tougher standardized laws are controlling our curriculum. Therefore, if the student cannot produce on the tests, it is easy to blame the teachers because they failed to reinforce the material.

Certain misunderstandings between parents and teachers have also worsened this trend. What happens when a student is failing a class because he/she believes it is the teacher's fault? In earlier generations, parents and teachers had more mutual understanding and would work through the dilemma with some adjustments. Certainly, the norm is moving toward the belief that "students are trapped with teachers who don't motivate them" and teachers should take all the blame.

Worst of all, the teachers have lost most of their authoritative power in a generation where rising immortality and poor discipline have flourished as evidenced by problems with drugs, teen pregnancy, low test scores, and violence. Spanking used to be a typical and effective form of punishment that served as a deterrent. Parents, supportive of the discipline, would follow with their own at home. However civil rights laws have banned this and it is questioned as immoral. This lack of discipline has also resulted in new problems that are again blamed on the teachers.

Do you think this unfair treatment of teachers is justified? Is it all really "their" fault? We should all examine ourselves, and then be ready to accept our share of the blame. The next time you see problems arising in school, instead of blaming it on the teachers, try asking yourself: "What can I do to help?" ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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