Teacher Missed At Least Part of the Parental Point: It’s a Districtwide Problem

Dear Editor,
I’d like to respond to Mr. Chisolm’s letter regarding his
positive experience with Mrs. Silva at Gilroy High School.
Unfortunately, Mr. Chisolm feels I have singled out one particular
teacher. It sounds as though Mrs. Silva is an excellent teacher and
I was thrilled to hear such a complementary story.
Dear Editor,

I’d like to respond to Mr. Chisolm’s letter regarding his positive experience with Mrs. Silva at Gilroy High School. Unfortunately, Mr. Chisolm feels I have singled out one particular teacher. It sounds as though Mrs. Silva is an excellent teacher and I was thrilled to hear such a complementary story. Good teachers deserve to be rewarded and honored; I wish my son had the privilege of being in Mrs. Silva’s class. I was not trying to single out any teacher, although I was disappointed that a teacher was unavailable to a struggling student at lunch.

Perhaps if Mr. Chisolm re-read my letter, he would see that I clearly stated this math issue is not a problem that can be fixed with a new teacher; it’s a district-wide problem. There is a huge disconnect between what our children are learning in 8th grade and what they are trying to teach them in Algebra 1. Perhaps this was not the issue when Mr. Chisolm’s son attended GHS, but it is now. Ask any GHS algebra student or their parent. I’m not blaming the teachers, I’m blaming the district. There’s a problem they need to acknowledge and fix, rather than point the finger at the students. The statistics don’t lie.

Mr. Chisolm, I do not believe a teacher’s full spectrum of work is completed between 8am and 3pm, just as my work was not completed between 8am and 5pm. When I was working in Silicon Valley my typical day began at 8am. On a bad day, several hours earlier. On a good day it ended at 5pm, on a hectic day not until 9 or 10 pm. And let’s not forget quarter-end and year-end SEC filings when I stumbled into the house after midnight, or the off-site meetings that took me away for days (usually weekends), or the project the boss demanded in a week when it was a two-week job. I worked as long and hard as it took to complete my work successfully, even if that meant working 18-hour days and weekends.

So to answer your question: Do I expect a teacher to give up his or her lunch hour for a student begging for help? YES, I DO! It’s the duty and responsibility they signed up for.

I am the first to say wages we pay our teachers is unacceptable and shameful. They are doing THE MOST important job in the world. But that fact is not an excuse for doing a poor job. If you take the $75,000 a year I made when I worked and divide it by the actual hours I worked, I probably made less than the average teacher. But I loved my job, I did it well no matter how long that took, and I took pride in everything I did. Mr. Chisolm, how can we possibly expect any less than 110 percent from the people who are teaching our children and future leaders?

Karen Mountz, Gilroy

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