Teachers stoop to kids’ level

Letter to the editor

Once again I am appalled by an article in The Mirror on Saturday, May 17.

English teacher Andrew Miller of Federal Way High School brags about how he is reaching the kids by lowering himself to their level by using the text-messaging lingo to communicate with kids.

Shorthand like LOL (laugh out loud) and BFF (best friend forever) is all the rage among kids. In case you don’t know, there are many abbreviations in text-messaging to minimize key strokes. This teacher has apparently decided to learn these acronyms and communicate with the kids this way.

Although admirable, it misses the point entirely. In teaching, the entire point is to raise children up to the adult level and entirely not for the teacher to lower himself or herself down to their level.

By lowering himself down to the student level, the teacher is reinforcing the belief of the students that their level is the correct level. Actually, we should be teaching the kids that this Internet stuff is OK, but that is not the adult world, the world where they will spend the rest of their lives whether on not they like it.

It’s as if everything is backward — teachers aspiring to be kids rather than kids aspiring to be adults. One of my recommendations to the school board, after many months of trying to get this on the agenda, was to require teachers to dress as professionals so as to set an example for the kids.

Finally, the school board took this up. The resolution: To let the teacher’s union set the dress code for teachers. What a copout this was for a gutless school board. Well that is the end of that and a happy ending indeed. The school board members can claim that they resolved it and the teacher’s union can claim that they are working on it. Meanwhile the teachers dress little more formally than the kids.

So now we have it. The teachers dress like the kids, while complaining about standardized tests that reveal grade inflation and trying to reach the kids by using their lingo. Most in education today would call this progress.

So once again I am appalled disagreeing, as I do, with all of this.

Bill Pirkle,

Federal Way

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