The following letter was published on the editorial page of the West Chester, PA. Daily Local News, Monday, April 4, 2011, page A8, by Ross Kershey, a retired teacher in Coatesville’s (PA) CASH High School. He was also a very successful basketball coach.
The title of Mr. Kershey’s letter is “Think Teaching is Easy? Just Try it.”
“This is an idea for the next ‘Survivor’ series on television. Three businessmen and three businesswomen will be dropped into an elementary school classroom for one school year. Each business person will be provided with a copy of his/her school district’s curriculum and a class of 20 to 25 students. Each class will have a minimum of five learning-disabled children, three with attention deficit disorder, one gifted child, and two who speak limited English. Three students will be labeled with severe behavior problems.
“Each business person must complete lesson plans at least three days in advance with annotations for curriculum objects and modify, organize, or create their materials accordingly. They will be required to teach students, handle misconduct, implement technology, document attendance, write referrals, correct homework, make bulletin boards, compute grades, complete report cards, document benchmarks, communicate with parents and arrange parent conferences.
“They must also stand in their doorway between class changes to monitor the hallways. In addition, they will complete fire drills, tornado drills and Code Red drills for shooting attacks each month.
“They attend workshops, faculty meetings and must also tutor students who are behind and strive to get their two non-English-speaking children qualified to take the test in English Language Proficiency. Each day they must incorporate reading, writing, math, social studies [and science] into the program.
“They must maintain discipline and provide an educationally stimulating environment to motivate students at all times. If all students do not wish to cooperate, work, or learn, the teacher will be held responsible.
“The business people will only have access to the public golf course on the weekends, but with their new salary, they will not be able to afford it. There will be no access to vendors who want to take them out to lunch and lunch will be limited to 30 minutes, which is not counted as part of their work day. The business people will be permitted to use a student restroom, as long as another faculty member can supervise their class.
“If the copier is operable, they may make copies of necessary materials before or after school. However, they cannot surpass their monthly limit of copies. The business people must continually advance their education at their expense and on their time. The winner of this season of ‘Survivor’ will be allowed to return to his/her job.
“This is for everyone who thinks teaching is easy and those who know it isn’t.”
Ross Kershey. (Former teacher at CASH)
Comment: I must admit that I did not ask Mr. Kershey’s permission to reprint this letter. I apologize. But, because he is a former teacher, I know he will not care. He, like most teachers, is used to sharing successful ideas with his colleagues. RayS.