America has to change its education system, and it has to change it fast. It cannot be turned over to committees to debate how and why it should change, and what is the exact meaning of change. Educators are intellectuals, and intellectuals are notoriously famous for hot air and no results. This is not a time for intellectual discourse, this is an emergency. This is a time for red hot mental and physical energies focused on a solution, and we need one yesterday. Taking a page again from the Black Church, they identified the problem, and put solutions in place. They did not discuss the right or wrongness of the problem, they put together the solutions to deal with the problem.

Teachers are leaving the education system because of class-ism and social injustice. Teachers come into the system, stay a while, do not like what they see, and feel powerless to do any thing about the situation. Teachers did not go to school to study to become part of a system that commits injustice to thousands of its citizens every day. Some stay in and fight as long as they can, and leave. Some reluctantly go to other education systems serving the rich and privileged. This makes them part of the problem and not the solution. America cannot keep good teachers in the system, because America does not want or appreciate smart teachers in its public school system. If America is a class society separated by economics and education, then she cannot afford to have some bright eager beaver coming in and ruining the system. Smart teachers educate students and turn them into thinkers, and America does not want thinking men and women running around the country. So we blame the students and we blame the parents. We even blame the teachers, but no one blames a system, which forces out the best and the brightest. If teachers are going to use the church to help them to have the strength to stay the course, then they are going to need more than a prayer book. They are going to need real skills, courage and strength. This project has spent a considerable amount of time talking to teachers, and listening to what they say and what they do not say. Careful attention was paid to a review of the literature on reason given for why so many teachers are leaving the system, and so many more are waiting until they have enough time to retire.

What is it about an education system which attracts so many bright young men and women who are eager to work with young people, and what causes some of these same young people to leave the same system is despair and frustration? This project included information from teachers who elected to stay in the system, and discovered methods for handling stress and challenges. This project also discovered that those teachers who elected to remain in the system had specific reasons for remaining. These reasons were not always financial. Some of these reason related to what some teachers found in the system. Some teachers found challenges for which they were unprepared. Some found energy in the challenges and accepted teaching as a great opportunity to make a difference in the lives of so many young people. Some found an opportunity to make right some of the many wrongs, which they considered in the society. Those who stayed were knowingly or unknowingly touched by the hand of God, and called into His service. The call was to change and save America, and to be part of the solution rather than stand by and complain about the problem. New teachers discovered that they were told a big “lie.” This big “lie” was that students did not want to learn, and that parents were not interested in their children’s education. When many of the new teachers find out that this is not usually the case, and they are left with high energetic young people demanding a different kind of education, many teachers become frustrated. Where do these teachers turn for support to help them to do the job the want to do? What can new teachers say when the language to discuss problems and issues has not been invented in the general population? Teachers who have long records of continued service reported that they turned to their churches to hear the language of how to handle unspoken problems. In some churches there is the theme of Liberation Theology. This theology can help some teachers identify issues in society, and give them a chance to develop strategies for handling challenges faced by teachers entering into the American education system.

 

America has to change its education system, and it has to change it fast. It cannot be turned over to committees to debate how and why it should change, and what is the exact meaning of change. Educators are intellectuals, and intellectuals are notoriously famous for hot air and no results. This is not a time for intellectual discourse, this is an emergency. This is a time for red hot mental and physical energies focused on a solution, and we need one yesterday.

Segments of the American society can take a page from the Historical Black Churches, which were present at the beginning of the Republic, sometimes in secret, and other time with courage, in the open. The Black Church identified the problem, and put solutions in place. They did not discuss the right or wrongness of the problem, they put together the solutions to deal with the problem. During the growth of the Republic, Black Americans were not being permitted in the job market, the church created jobs and opportunities for its people. Where schools were not providing values for the children, the church became the moral and value center through its operation of programs and activities. It is not the role of the colleges to provide teachers with the spiritual tools needed to survive in their chosen careers, the church must began an intervention in the lives of these teachers, and give them the support and nurturing they need to continue to answer the call. Students in inner city schools are often training grounds for new teachers, and as soon as some teachers discover this they make decision with regards to what part they want to play in the game of using innocent children to advance their own careers.

New teacher spend their first three years working in minority environment, and when they have the experience and the teaching skills necessary to be accepted in different neighborhoods, they transfer out, only to be replace by another novice teacher who must do his or her” hard time on the rocks” before they have proven their ability to survive and teach. Individuals who elect to go into the teaching field are usually idealistic, and many want to sincerely help students. Most are not prepared. They may be prepared academically to impart knowledge; many however, are not prepared to handle the politics and the policies of the environment.

The church can help in not only validating the role of the teacher, but provide the spiritual strength to make meaningful changes in the system.   Bright students will act up and act out in class. Some may even evaluate the teaching abilities of the teacher before the class. What may be considered rude and disrespectful is often anger and frustration over the lack of respect the system has for the students. Young students cannot burnout of the system, but they often demonstrate the same behaviors and concerns described by some researchers identifying factors of burnout. Some students feel disrespected when they discover they do not have a teacher who is able to manage the class. The system throws the teacher to the wolves of frustration, and the system chews her up.

Today the need is for an improved educational environment for our children and our teachers. Instead of investigating what is in the heads of the students, they put in metal detectors to find out what is in the backpack of the student. Instead of using advance technology to teach the students, they put cameras and listening devices all over the school ground. This is how you treat an occupied people, not citizens.

The brightest students, like the brightest teachers, eventually drop out, and seek other pathways of fulfillment and directions. Teachers may return to school and select other career choices in business, finance, or use their talents in corporate America. Students, who are not matured enough to make alternative careers or educational selections, are usually picked up by the organized crime workers market, a Multibillion dollar industry, which needs compliant minds, and young bodies ready to be sacrificed in the violent market place. America loses some of it best and brightest young people who are pushed out of the nest of the schoolhouse into the street some still dragging umbilical cords attached to nothing. Many end up in prison, where, by some miracle find a supportive violent environment, which forces them to be men. The prison system, with the same captive population once housed in a school building, teach the so called un teachable to conform to the rules of society. The prisons are setting up schools, universities, churches, libraries and counselors, send in armies of teachers, professors, clergy, doctors, lawyers and business people, to do what should and could have been done in school buildings across America.

Millions of young men and women of all colors and classes receive the time, attention and education, which they needed in order to become citizens of the country. What this project is suggesting, is that you cannot address the issues of teacher burnout without addressing issues of injustice in our educational system.

The church must step forth and play a significant role in addressing the ills of our society. Today it is our brightest teachers who are leaving the system. Perhaps we may wake up and become aware that some of our brightest students are also leaving the public educational system. America has so focused on the tragedy of 9/11 that it forgot that we are made even greater by our tragedies. The events of 9/11 made us wake up. We were a giant asleep besides our accomplishments of the past. Our leaders, our thinkers were all asleep behind the giant of our future possibilities. When the giant woke up, he was angry, and he wanted revenge on those who woke him up. Revenge takes energy, and the fire blown from the nostril of the giant can and did destroy, but the giant was not a giant because of its power of destruction, he was a giant because he was bigger, and smarter than all the others around him. The church today is the sleeping giant, and it must be awaken to solve this attack on our educational system, and our country. Our education system, still second to none, made us a giant. Our education system taught our military, our doctors, lawyers, bankers and engineers. Our education system sent people all over the world, creating markets for our economy, and helping other worlds to have new focus and directions. This education system has a big problem, it is designed to create a bottom class and a penal class, and today, as America competes with a world that is using our own market driven economy plans to compete with us, must readdress the problem.

 

 

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