Letters to the Editor

Praise for teachers

April 19, 2011


To the editor:

I must respond to the letter written by Barbara Paris regarding teachers (Public Forum, April 16). Ms. Paris bashed teachers as overpaid, poorly dressed, lacking in skills and education, and “not deserving of respect.” Well.

I am not a teacher but freely proclaim that I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those stalwart individuals who saw beyond the brash young man and nurtured an intellect to maturity. Mr. Elliot, my fourth-grade teacher at Wyandanch Elementary, I salute you. You taught me that the space between my ears was more than a hat rack.

Mr. Sweetland, my physics teacher at Chaffey High School, I survived you. Seriously, five classes of students could only merit two A grades? I worked my rear off for one of them, and learned much as a result. Kudos to you. Roger, my college degree counselor at Antioch, thanks for teaching me to just say thanks to praise and not hide my intellect behind a facade of coolness.

Teachers are among the lowest-paid professions in their educational category. They labor for love and commitment. They nurture and prepare our children to inherit the future. They are owed our respect and have earned our gratitude.

Ms. Paris, I suggest you consider those teachers that furthered your education and submit that without those teachers you would not have been able to demonstrate your deplorable ignorance with such clarity and persuasiveness.


Kasha 3 years ago

Interesting comments -- many proving the point that, as Ms. Paris states, the authors were obviously not taught writing skills. And Mr Burger mentions four teachers from his sixteen years of "education" that he remembers. That leaves a clear majority of teachers that, one would assume, did NOT leave a memorable impression. In this economic crisis, raising teacher salaries "just because" makes no sense. Let parents drop in unexpectedly to any classroom at any time and observe personally what goes on in the name of teaching AND learning. They may be enlightened. Negatively.


uhadmeatsmellthis 3 years ago

at least ms. paris didn't mention the problem of teachers wanting to have sex with their underage students which is very common these days.


ferrislives 3 years ago

In all honesty, my children have had wonderful teachers, but they've also had bad teachers. It all ended up being a crap-shoot each year on which kind of teachers we were going to get. Using my oldest as an example, while he attended elementary here in Lawrence, he had 3 stupendous teachers, 1 ok teacher, and 3 bad ones. I won't go into details, but there were some scarring moments for him with some of his teachers, and he doesn't trust teachers much anymore because of it.

So to the great teachers, I say KUDOS. Job well done; I wish there were more like you! Keep up the good work, and I'll keep working hard to help you in educating my children. That's my job, and I've been grateful to have you as partners!

And to the bad teachers, I say you should really look within yourselves to see how you are negatively affecting our children. You don't realize the damage that you can do!


barlowtl 3 years ago

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those teachers who had a part in educating my children and my grandchildren. You have sacrificed much to pursue your love of children and teaching and we have all been blessed. It is a shame that in this day and age politics decree that it is your turn to be vilified in order that others may extend and solidify their power. I am so sorry that I do not have the power to help stop all this but at least I can say Thank You and God bless you! .


ferrislives 3 years ago

Bozo says "There is no such thing as "teacher tenure." What there is is a requirement of due process. In other words, there needs to be a proven basis for firing teachers, not just the whim of an administrator, or a school board member, or a disgruntled parent."

Merriam-Webster Definition of TENURE: the act, right, manner, or term of holding something (as a landed property, a position, or an office); especially : a status granted after a trial period to a teacher that gives protection from summary dismissal

WikiPedia Definition of TENURE: Tenure commonly refers to life tenure in a job and specifically to a senior academic's contractual right not to have his or her position terminated without just cause.

How are any of these different from what you stated Bozo? Tenure and "due process" are the same thing. Talk about a strawman argument....


Richard Heckler 3 years ago

There are quite a few admin people drawing $100,000 salaries.

Teachers in Lawrence are not recognized as hard working individuals dealing with the children of this community. Unfortunately their pay is a slap in the face with few exceptions.

Thank you Doug Burger for the straight talk.

Sell the admin building ASAP. Bring the admin back into the community. Keep the schools open.

Lawrence taxpayers were will to pay a sales tax that would supplement TEACHER salaries:

Would you favor a sales tax increase to provide more money for Lawrence teacher salaries?

80% of 5,198 participants said yes


jonas_opines 3 years ago

I love these response LTEs. A whole new column of the same posters saying the same thing as yesterday.


Liberty_One 3 years ago

"there needs to be a proven basis for firing teachers, not just the whim of an administrator, or a school board member, or a disgruntled parent."

So teachers don't have to please their bosses or their customers. And people wonder why socialism failed.


nativeson 3 years ago

I agree with Mr. Burger regarding the gift of great teachers. I think most every person has a story about a teacher that made a difference in their life. There is no doubt that the two unions in the US representing teachers are not helping to solve the problem of incompetant teachers that need to be removed from the classroom. It is too difficult to rid school systems of a few bad apples. The structure is now set up to protect all teachers regardless of performance, thus it does not reward those who excel. The structure will need to change to make true progress.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

The rich say we're broke, so we must blame the teachers.


friendlyjhawk 3 years ago

Recent study found that Kansas teachers are 47th in low salaries. Sure looks like they aren't too overpaid to me. Is Kansas 47th in what doctors, lawyers, mechanics, all kinds of business men and woman are paid? And let's remember too that these are the parents of the children to go to school to these teachers. Bet they all scream loudly when their pay is threatened. Teachers are easy targets for the anonymous writers to this forum. It is never wrong to expect good compensation for any work you are doing/ What do you pay to have your lawn taken care? Your car serviced? Your plumbing fixed? Your home roofed? Your nails done? Your hair cut and colored? The list is endless.


commuter 3 years ago

As much as I agree with some of the posts, teachers should not get a raise until the pay cuts the people at the admin building had to take last year are restored. While teachers gross pay stayed the same, these people had to take a salary cut to get the budget to work.


Number_1_Grandma 3 years ago

'Poor tenured' teachers are the problem and the teachers unions continue to protect them. Until the unions are willing to give up "poor" teachers regardless of being tenured or not, the erosion of support will continue. Good quality teachers should be well paid and praised, regardless of there length of employment. Poor teachers who are tenured or not, need to find another job! These are the ones who don't teach for the "love of teaching" and only hurt kids. They come to teaching because there is nothing else for them to do and always asking for more money and less time in the classroom. When teachers start giving up these worthless teachers and support those who are truly good quality teachers, then and only then, will they start to gain parents and the public support again!


Liberty_One 3 years ago

If they labor for love then they won't mind a few salary cuts.


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