Let me see if I've got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning. You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride. You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job. You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams. You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card. You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps. You want me to do all this and then you tell me "I can't pray?"Nope, you can't pray in front of the kids. We're offering you a job as a history teacher and we expect that that is what you'll do. You don't have to accept the job if you don't want to.
- You can work in a Catholic School for half the money and none of the benefits. They'll let you pray. You can try to find a private school. I sure they'll be happy to let you try to indoctrinate the Protestant or Catholic scions of Boston with your special brand of faith.
- You could ignore the request to teach them fair play and patriotism but then we'll point out that you've neglected part of what we pay you to do. We fire you. Seems fair to me.
- You can refuse to communicate to the parents in whatever language you deem beneath you, but you won't get far. Being a ignorant jerk doesn't exactly endear you to them or us. After your termination, you can crawl back under your rock.
- Yes, we ask you to provide an equal education for students. Why would we ask otherwise?
- You could tolerate disruptive behavior, ignore signs of abuse, or fail to recognize when their clothing is out-of-line, but why would you? You surely can't expect to teach much if you don't.
- You could refuse the starting salary as beneath you. I'm not sure why you applied for the job, though. Knowing the starting salary and accepting the job anyway doesn't give any gravitas when you start bitching about how small that check is. If you can't figure that out then you probably wouldn't teach well, either.
- No, Virginia, school is not a wonderful story-book setting of a happy smiling bunch of kids without any problems. It's reality with all its messiness, scars, and tears. For a great many kids, the only joy, success and motivation comes from just one source: teachers. If you're not willing to try, then go away.