With budget cuts on the rise, the state of education has reached disastrous proportions. Teachers within the educational environment are finding themselves crippled by the lack of funding provided by their individual states. With the economy in a constant state of flux, educators are concerned about their positions within the school system, and new teachers are facing a freeze on hiring. Because school supplies are severely limited, teachers are forced to drastically change their lesson plans to accommodate a lack of teaching materials. Programs like Exceptional Student Education, Art, Music and Physical Education are being cut to accommodate the budget cuts to our schools. Why is it that when the economy is bad, schools and the educational system as a whole are the first to suffer?
Traditionally, teaching is a profession that lacks the respect attained by other professions that require the same level of education for that specific degree. A teacher with a Masters in Education is not given the same prestige as a lawyer or a doctor, but has met the same educational and testing requirements of these professions. Maybe it is because teachers must meet students and parents halfway. They cannot make themselves unattainable by appearing in any way superior or above those that they serve. Teachers are servants, although highly educated and they serve the needs of the student and parent populations while increasing the functioning of our nation at every level due to their service.
However, teachers are incredibly undervalued. They are constantly blamed for the state of the schools and lack of educational achievement amongst the student population. Although teachers are not perfect, most make every attempt to meet and exceed education requirements on a continuing basis to support their student needs. They must adapt to personalities, educational levels, learning disabilities and behavioral problems endlessly. They know this is a part of their profession however, and constantly strive to help every student with the belief that they all have the ability to achieve.
It is a shame when teachers, and teaching itself is treated as a second-class profession. The average educator stays in the classroom for a period of two years and then moves on. There was a time when a teacher would stay in a school or classroom for a lifetime. Because of the changes in budgets that affect teacher pay, and supplies, most leave the school systems now before they ever really begin. The training within the schools is insufficient to meet the incoming teachers needs and expectations with testing requirements are too high to meet with the budget restrictions. How can an individual succeed in a profession without the right tools? Teaching is the only profession where employees are expected to “create” their tools out of scratch. Many components that make up the classroom are a creation of the teacher to accommodate student needs. When they do not have the money to buy what they need, they make it. These are the most committed of the educators in the field.
However, this dedication is not always enough. Sometimes the budget cuts are so deep teachers must just “make do” with what they have. In the end, it is the students who suffer. Why is it that when states cut the budget, the first thing they look at is education? Without the educational system our country would not b e in the position it is today. The public school system was implemented in order to make our young people competitive in the world markets. The country has grown in every area of technology, medicine, engineering and science due to the dedication the teachers and staff that make up our school system. Without these focused and determined professionals, we would not be the advanced society that we are today.
States should take a very good look at what they are doing before performing the cuts that they do to their school systems. They do not seem to understand the repercussions that these changes could have on our educational system and society as a whole. By allowing these budget cuts to continually slice into the school system, they are effectively cutting the throat of our country as a whole. We may not understand for decades how these negative changes will have altered our future as a people and as a country.