To the editor: It shouldn't have come as a surprise that teachers went the distance for their students during the last school year during remote learning.
Now that almost everyone is back in the classroom, you would think that the administration, the parents and the students would be grateful. Sadly, this isn't so. The administration piles more and more responsibility onto the teachers' shoulders and then onto the students' shoulders as if every student is in high school.
They are not. Elementary school is preschool through fifth grade so we are talking about young children. Each elementary teacher is trying to protect these young minds and bodies while motivating them to learn and round them out to become functioning members of society. How did we lose sight of this? MCAS and a change in special education philosophy. For some time, there has been an exodus of teachers and principals out of Pittsfield to other school systems because the Pittsfield population has become very difficult to teach with success.
It reached its high point and really became difficult when the opioid crisis worsened. More parents went to jail/rehab, so this crisis has led to more foster care placements, grandparents raising grandchildren, other family members raising children and tired children. Tired children are cranky and unmotivated. Some are downright awful and yet teachers are to somehow work around them without much help from some principals and adjustment counselors.
The child is not always right. Letting him play with an adult after insulting the teacher and disrupting the class is an awful idea. But, it is definitely an accepted practice right now. Let me close with this thought: A school isn't a school unless there are two things besides a building — teachers and students. Everyone else is extra. So, don't teachers deserve more support while they are dealing with every type of child, illness, family crises and MCAS requirements?
Pittsfield, let's not add to a teacher's burnout or the most vital piece of a child's education will be missing: the teacher.
Anne Larrow, Pittsfield