Who is Teaching Our Children?
Updated: May 26
The children are the future. Are we in big trouble?
An anonymous 10th grade student wrote the following statement on a standardized test. The question asked students to characterize Abraham Lincoln based on two readings about his personal life and politics.
"Abraham Lincoln was the second best white man to live after JFK."
Thankfully, this student could recall the names of two good white men, given the current elevation of racial tensions in American society. Sure, the statement is chronologically incorrect, but pseudo-intellectuals will miss the point and argue that the student is simply ranking the men with JFK as first best and Lincoln as second best. That's overthinking it. The sentence literally states that Lincoln lived after JFK.
But, I digress. After reading this response, I began to wonder four things after reading this sentence.
Where are the history teachers?What exactly are kids learning in school these days?Why doesn't a 10th grader understand that Abe Lincoln lived long before John F. Kennedy?Why couldn't this student write more than one misguided sentence on the writing assessment?
As a displaced college English instructor, I have to wonder...who is teaching our children?
The answer is that we all should be teaching children we interact with at home, school, church, community centers, etc. You do not need certification to share your knowledge with young people.
We can no longer place the onus of education upon public school teachers. The good ones are stressed and leaving in droves. Trust me. I know.
The ethnicity of this student is unknown, but pretend he or she was Black or another minority. Is this statement indicative of the quality of education that these students are receiving?
If so, is this not a scary and sad proposition?
Ashan R. Hampton has worked as an English instructor in higher education for over 20 years. She is a proud graduate of the Donaghey Scholars Program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock under the direction of Dr. C. Earl Ramsey, Emeritus. With her doctoral studies on hold, Ashan has found success in online education. She is also a published author of 14 nonfiction books on grammar, writing and inspiration for women. Get ordering information and view samples of her work at: www.arhampton.com.
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