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Teaching Is a Full-Time Job

March 24, 1992



The Opinion page article "Year-Round Teaching," Feb. 27, is full of sound advice and reasoning. However, one sentence is sure to strike a dissonant chord with teachers everywhere. I know no teachers who work "180 days, five hours a day," or have three months "off" in the summer.

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I believe this article illustrated one of the truths of our educational dilemma, that there are too many individual points of view, without awareness of the whole picture. Everyone is conscientious and well-meaning, but the narrow view is damaging. For example, those who no longer have children in school think they don't have a stake in meeting today's classroom challenges, but they do. Surely they would want their future lawyers and clerks and dentists to be well-prepared for their jobs. Nan Williams, Winter Park, Fla., Elementary Division Director, Florida Art Education Association

The author and others who aren't aware of the professionalism of most teachers are out of touch with the education community. I suggest they visit their local school and shadow a teacher for a day. Perhaps they'll find that teachers and students need smaller class sizes, updated resources, and more time and money.

Regardless of whether our schools switch to a year-round calendar, teachers deserve a pay raise. Many teachers in my area cannot afford to buy a house or send their children to college. Carol Johnson, Redmond, Wash., Junior high school teacher

I took a break from my weekend schoolwork to read the author's thoughts on year-round schooling.

I support the concept of a year-round school year, and, in fact, am coordinating a summer reinforcement and enrichment program for the students of the middle school where I work as a counselor. However, the author contributes to the low public image of teachers when he discusses our "five hour" days.

I believe that fundamental changes need to be made in American education. My concern is that too many people recommending those changes haven't a clue as to what actually goes on in public schools. J. Blechschmidt, Bowling Green, Ohio

As a teacher for 30 years in public schools, I know that my success in the classroom depended directly on the planning that I did.

If society values the education of children then it must be willing to pay teachers who are doing an excellent job salary commensurate with the training and preparation needed to do this work. Glenn McCulloug, Calgary, Alberta It's time for solar energy

Congratulations to the author of the Opinion page article "Unbind Solar Energy From Washington's Red Tape," March 12. I am sending copies of it to several members of the House and Senate. Nothing has been done since President Jimmy Carter left office. It's about time. Dorothy O. De Gray, Tyler, Texas