A bad rap

To the editor:

Shakespeare once wrote, “Something’s rotten in Denmark.”

Maybe something’s rotten in Lawrence. This letter is in reference to the article “Teachers miss 10,000 days of class a year” printed in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal-World. I’ve taught school for 20 years, and I want you to know that it is generally harder to get ready for a substitute teacher than it is to teach school for the day. I recently moved to Lawrence and taught at Southwest Junior High. I was one of the 65 educators laid off, so this year I’m substituting. Since I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum, I thought I would share a few thoughts on the subject.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve taught for teachers who were going to the doctor for cancer treatments, staying home with sick children, and attending district-mandated teacher training. Teachers are getting a bad rap — again. They make a third of what the corporate employees with their educational background make. They are continually pressured by the “No Child Left Behind” legislation and all kinds of standardized testing for their students. A teacher has to be on top of all kinds of situations. They are very dedicated individuals who work for a pittance.

Most of them bring home a couple of hours worth of grading and preparation after a full day of school. Before any more negativity is expressed toward teachers, please trade places with one for just one day.

Pat Hays,