Letter oozes ‘arrogance,’ ‘ignorance’; teachers are owed an apology

To the editor:

This is in reference to a letter that was printed on Sept. 22 from Carl Lane of Concord.

Mr. Lane, your letter oozes with arrogance and ignorance toward those who chose the profession of teaching.

In full disclosure, let me tell you that my wife is a second-grade teacher and has begun her 21st year with Mehlville. All 21 years have been at the same school, same grade level. Not only does she have her undergraduate degree, she returned to school and received her Master’s +45, all while still teaching and having two children.

Mehlville now requires teachers to obtain a double master’s within a certain time frame should they wish to move channels.

Your remark about the “least demanding courses of study, not only at the undergraduate level but advanced degrees as well,” is a slap in the face to every teacher out there who has chosen this profession.

The Sept. 22 edition of the Call has an article on Page 3A that Mehlville has been awarded the Distinction in Performance commendation by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

This award has been bestowed on Mehlville the past eight out of 10 years.

According to the article in the Call, the Distinction in Performance recognizes districts based on their success in 14 academic performance standards. The standards are based on scores from the state-mandated Missouri Assessment Program tests, graduation rates, attendance rates, ACT scores and other indicators.

There’s a lot that goes into those results, but I guess not good enough for what you pay in taxes.

Who do you think makes these achievements possible? The school board? Are you kidding me? The administration? Nope.

One last guess, I’ll even help you with the answer — teachers.

I happened to run in to one of my high school teachers the other day who retired last year after 31 years. He told me that he still teaches drivers’ education after school just to keep in touch with the kids. Yeah, Carl, that sounds like he took his “retirement option in the mid 50s” and ran.

In closing, I can only speak of my wife, but she has never thought about leaving the profession and joining the private sector — not because of the benefits that she will have earned after her years of teaching, but because she loves being in the classroom and teaching the future leaders of tomorrow.

I think teachers all over are owed an apology from you for your insults and ignorance to the profession.

Mehlville has an open-door policy. Should you ever want to come in and visit a classroom feel free.

If you would like to prove that you are smarter than those who chose this profession and want to trade positions for a day, I am sure that any teacher would welcome it.

Just don’t tell them who you are, or about the letter you wrote, because you might get a cold reception.

Michael L. Baker