Are We BabySitters or Educators?


In the past, I have had the extreme displeasure of being employed by the school board for the county in which I live. I say “displeasure” because I never knew that my role as an Educator would turn into that of a babysitter and that my expectations for proper behavior would eventually be considered an “impediment”.

I was told on more than one occasion that my referrals were causing some children to be denied their “right” to a public education.  My response was to remind the powers that be that there were thirty other children whose rights were being blatantly ignored by the child whose name appeared on the referral.

To my surprise, this point of view turned out to be very unpopular, even among my fellow employees who were working under the same conditions.  Since when is it the school’s responsibility to ensure that children know how to behave in the classroom?  Isn’t that a parental responsibility?

Parents of these children do not want to be bothered by the school when their children are out of control.  Many acted as though we were intruding on their lives and that they didn’t have “the time”. Yet, they have three other children at home who will soon be of school age; what about them? If your children are bothersome to you then why have them? (This is another topic altogether.)

Anyway, so the school board starts to put language in all of its literature about school policies etc., which puts the responsibility for the child’s life on those who work for the school board. Say what? Yes, you heard correctly, the school board in their extremely finite wisdom decided that all responsibility for raising the county’s children should be born by those whose original job description was educator.  The worst part is the educators, for the most part, went along with the board.

Instead of spending 45 minutes a day teaching their subject, most teachers find themselves in a battle for control of the students attention.  The mystery as to why the US has fallen so far and so fast compared to the rest of the world, is no mystery at all to me.  These practices have to stop. 

I agree that Corporal Punishment should be off the table. (I know I’d be very upset if a teacher paddled or slapped one of my children). However, if a child is disrupting the class to such an extent that the other children suffer, then that child needs to be removed. 

If the child’s family refuses to get involved and repeated  suspensions do not work then send the child to a program better equipped to deal with difficult children. If the child is expelled from that program then it should be for the remainder of the school year. The following year allow them to re-enroll but on a very tight leash.

No one can live another person’s life, and believing that an already overwhelmed educational system can raise the children of this country is ludicrous.  If a single child is going to destroy the chance for others to learn then good riddance to bad trash! (The world still needs ditch diggers and infantry men). I know that sounds harsh, but things are getting out of control and we can’t save everyone, no matter how much we want to, we just can’t. And this problem extends beyond the behavior of the students.

The new wave of grading categories is preposterous!  Twenty years ago people were up in arms because it was made known that certain college athletes were being given diplomas without being able to demonstrate the least ability in their chosen field. 

Today, elementary school children are passed onto the next grade with course grades such as “PH”.  Do you know what PH stands for?  “Passes with Help”. In other words, they can pass if they are given the answers.

Bologna! I say American children are never going to be able to compete in a global economy because the Japanese, Chinese etc are not going to provide the “H”. Our overly sensitive “I’m special too”mentality is creating a generation of sissies who can’t stand on their own two feet.

Wake up, it’s a cold and hard outside the ‘space ship America’ and the rest of the world is closing in on our comfortable way of life.  Have you ever seen images from “third world” countries that made you fearful for the people in those images?  If we do not act, and act quickly, the people in those images will be our descendants!



~ by DimStar on May 22, 2007.

7 Responses to “Are We BabySitters or Educators?”

  1. Did you use the word “bologna”? Man you better cool it with that filth. This isn’t fucking Boot camp.

    Actually I think this issue, like most, is extremely complicated. I can see both sides of the debate.

    Do we allow one student to take away from the rest of the class, regardless of why he/she is acting out? Obviously that is not very fair. And as you said, “we can’t save everyone”.

    To quote Perry Ferrell, and don’t ask why I suddenly remembered “Jane’s Addiction”, anway he said, “Some people should die.” Harsh.

    On the other hand, many of these students are acting out because of life at home, and we’d be punishing them for their parent’s mistakes. That is not fair either.

    Maybe the Republicans are onto something. Let’s just do away with Education for everyone except the children of millionaires. That would end the problem altogether.

  2. I live on the other side of the Atlantic and what you wrote about educators or babysitters struck so many chords it is unbeleivable. As if you were describing the state of education in my area. And this is Glasgow. Well, there is only one thing I can say, it looks as if it happens everywhere. So cheer up, it’s not only America that is going down. Other countries would follow too.

  3. If left to “sink or swim” most people find out that they can at least doggy paddle their way to safety.
    We solve nothing by becoming a nation of enablers and facilitators.

  4. Savvis,
    It is nice to know that there are other’s out there feeling my pain. Perhaps persistance and not results will win this fight.

    I have no problem educating the homeless if they are able to behave themselves like rational people are apt to do. Besides the children of the Elite are born into a world of gated communities and prep schools, they do not require the services of commoners.

  5. Sorry for the misprint, Savvas.
    I’ve written it five times, hopefully that is penance enough. Thanks for reading and then responding to my rant.

  6. “If a single child is going to destroy the chance for others to learn then good riddance to bad trash! (The world still needs ditch diggers and infantry men).”


  7. What is the solution? Anyone who’s ever worked in a classroom knows what I’m saying. It’s wrong to focus so much attention on one child at the expense of 29 other children.

    I was just taking an extremist’s stance on resolving the situation.

    The point of the post is I really don’t know what we need to do to fix this problem. But it needs fixing because it’s becoming pervasive.

    And the reality is, whether we like it or not, and I’m not saying I do, is the world is “Dog eat Dog”.

    If you have a solution for that I’m all ears.

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