The Treasure Hunter

A blog by Joanne Yatvin

An Insider’s View

on August 11, 2017

Today’s post was submitted by an experienced and gifted teacher, Don Bellairs, who sees many flaws in current school systems.  The remedies he suggests reflect his own experiences and observations.


As a teacher in some challenging programs serving gifted and special needs students in several states, I grew aware of one constant: It is far easier to succeed when your students come to you ready for what you are going to teach. Yet such “successes”  are most often attributed in the media to district “communications specialists” who make more money than master teachers.

Equal opportunities in education demand cultural change. That means clearing out the sycophants who have learned that their jobs are more secure when they schmooze with the fund raisers. Reform means circumnavigating the “unions” to recognize teachers working in obscurity, designing lesson plans that provide opportunities for all students to develop and experience success.

Real teachers create learning environments where the gifted kids value helping those who are differently-abled—instead of simply working for the opportunity to surge to the front of their classes. It is a better lesson for every one involved.

We need to find ways to populate public school classrooms with REAL teachers. We don’t need school choice–we need accountability and oversight.  We don’t need vouchers–we need transparency and meritocracy.  And REAL teachers need a supportive union. Too many of them are laboring unsupported and unprotected, victimized by a corrupt union and a complicit state gov’t.

There is a LOT of work to be done, but most of the people who must do this work are also charged with creating lesson plans for two hundred kids every day (20% of whom need specialized plans), holding students accountable for completing tasks,  ensuring that students’ conduct and language are appropriate for large public groups,  interacting with stressed-out, often untrained administrators and colleagues, and reassuring parents who are trying to raise their children in a more-and-more frightening society.

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