Reflects on how to reintroduce kids to school
To the Editor:
I attended the New Milford Town Council meeting on the budget, and the thought of cutting back funds to education by $1 million would be unwise where our children are concerned.
Let me begin that I was an educator for 35 year teaching at the elementary, middle and high school levels. In 1979, I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach in England. I came back to the states in the summer of 1980 and started the new year.
I noticed something very strange in the textbook I was using. They were void of dates and the names of the people who made history. The biggest change is that class size changed they were getting bigger (20 > 24 >35), and more responsibility fell on the teacher to cope with.
I began to take notice that business was getting involved slowly, but surely, into the education field, to the point we were becoming factories who produced children who began to have mental anxiety.
The competition to be top dog was ever so strong, and those who could, were evaluated, tested, and separated from the class.
Taking students out voided their input to the rest of the class. Competition was growing in leaps and bounds as parents became aware of what was happening and they pushed to have their child treated specially away from the “others.”
This is going to require a budget which takes into consideration the mental anxiety the children will be facing after months of no school. We are going to need more counselors to deal with the needs of these children.
A division in the education field began: home schooling, private schools, charter schools, to now virtual schools. This sounds all well and good but I worry about the children left behind - how are they being treated?
Some of the students not getting enough, do not have technology in their home, or their parents are both working to make ends meet.
The Board of Education should be thinking about fewer students in a classroom to have a manageable size, and promote social distance. How will this happen?
Do we need more teachers? Extend the school calendar? Have two week breaks in the school calendar so that we, all of society, get time to be with family, relax and we go with only one month off in the summer?
The thing we have to take into consideration is how we keep children safe, in numbers, going back to schools which takes a national commitment.
We also have to think of teachers, staff and workers who are very important and need protection. This will be a daily basis as we go in flu season to hire more people to keep our future generation safe.
Transportation to and from school will be another issue we have look at as we must keep a social distance on school buses. We will need more bus drivers, and buses.
Don’t forget we need extra teachers. We need the best for our future generation, as well as creative thinkers for our children which means spend more to hire the best.
Keep the teachers, and don’t lose them to other towns who pay more because New Milford has very fine teachers who deserve to be treated with more respect and understanding, when decisions are made about education - include them because they are in the trenches every day.