Source: Sherman Publications

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Letter to the editor
50ís school different, teacher says

March 23, 2011

Dear Editor,

I just had to respond to Mr. Klemmer's letter and photo from his class of 51 at St. David School in the 1950s. I would argue that today's conditions in schools cannot begin to compare to conditions in the 1950's. I attended elementary school in a Catholic setting in the late 1960s and I remember many things from that experience:

1. Teachers had control over the students because parents backed the teachers in every situation. Today, this is not always true and student behavior can be much more difficult to control.

2. A student has one focus: school! There were very few extra-curricular activities to divert student attention. Homework and school came first.

3. Teachers did not have to put up with short attention spans due to the presence of too much tv, video games, and every other electronic device.

4. I would also argue that the presence of fast food, unhealthy snacks, and general ill health makes teaching much more difficult today.

5. I don't recall having to prep for a standardized test as a third grader and having my school and teacher evaluated on my test scores. The earliest I remember taking such a test is high school.

6. State and federal curriculum is much more specific and and the amount of material and the age level it is taught to is not always developmentally correct.

7. The family situations are much more complex today with both parents often working, children in before and after care, and broken homes with children being shuttled between them.

I LOVE teaching in Clarkston and will continue to work diligently to educate all my students, regardless of class size. But please don't believe that teaching is the same now as in the 1950s.

Respectfully,

Kathy Noble, first grade teacher

Bailey Lake Elementary