Questioning FFA trip seems like silly micro-management; what about important issues?

Dear Editor,
Not until I read the article in the Tuesday issue of the
Dispatch entitled,

FFA trip value?

did I realize the Gilroy School Board must grant approval for
field trips, out-of-the area workshops or state leadership
conferences when students are involved.
Dear Editor,

Not until I read the article in the Tuesday issue of the Dispatch entitled, “FFA trip value?” did I realize the Gilroy School Board must grant approval for field trips, out-of-the area workshops or state leadership conferences when students are involved.

One member of the board questioned the priority and allocation of resources to such events. The same board member was concerned about the absence of Miss Nolan from her classroom and that a substitute teacher will be needed to fill in for those days. An additional concern was the accompaniment of one of the school’s academic coordinators on one of the two planned events, thus leaving behind his duties and unattended caseload of students.

I understand her concerns, but is such micro-management necessary. Miss Nolan and other teachers like herself are experienced, hard working and dedicated educators that know what’s best for their students. I understand some of the board members concerns, but are such micro-management really necessary. Couldn’t the approval of such events be handled between the individual school departments and the principal.

Attending conferences and overnight field trips shows a teacher’s commitment to her student’s education and also provides an opportunity for the academic coordinator to gain first-hand experience with the inter workings of an organization such as the Future Farmers of America. In fact, board members might gain from such an experience by volunteering to chaperone such events. We need to look beyond the iron fence that surrounds the high school campus.

The experiences gained by both the teacher and students goes far beyond what can be taught or learned from daily structured lesson plans. Educators and students come from all parts of California sharing their ideas and experiences. It’s the teachers and students time to develop relationships with other FFA educators and the future leaders of our country. And since our future leaders will be in attendance, let’s not deny our students such experiences.

I will be waiting on future decisions the board will make on more important issues such as a hard line policy to deal with the abusive use of cell phones and any electronic music playing devices by students in the classroom.

Alan L. Johnson, Gilroy

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