Teaching is taking a hit everywhere. I'm not sure when teachers turned into the scapegoat for the economy, but it has been a rude and violent shock for those of us in the teaching profession. A lot of our day is thankless, as students feel that their education is some form of punishment and rarely, if ever, thank us for a job well done. It used to be that being a teacher was prestigious and respected. It's not so, anymore.
In a move that should shock everyone, yet surprise no one, Indiana's Floyd County has let thirty eight teachers go. The movie effectively removes art, music and physical education from elementary schools. What was your favorite class in elementary school? Odds are, it's gone now if you're in Floyd County. As a teacher, this is more than upsetting. As a parent, this is down right chilling.
School is not about passing tests. School is about creating functional, well rounded individuals. Students who may have had outstanding talents may never nourish them with the removal of art and music education. Those who have the funds may be able to send their children to private lessons, but that is certainly not everyone. And what about physical education? Obesity is already nearly an epidemic in this country. The one part of the week where students will have to move has been removed. Not every kid spends recess running their energy off.
We really need to think about the world and future we are creating by second-rating education, especially those parts of education that appear to be not important. Reading and writing, as well as arithmetic, appear to be the most important parts of education purely because of testing. However, to quote Mr. Holland's Opus, "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want, Gene. Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about."