Dear editor:

You know what really grinds my gears? Teachers. They're always getting on your case to do this, and to do that. I come home every day with notebooks filled with homework. Then, if I get the slightest thing wrong, I get points off for it. It's crazy! Where do they get off pushing us with so much work? I mean, we know the material. So, why do they keep piling work on us as if we're pack mules?

All joking and exaggeration aside, I feel the need to respond to a letter to the editor in the Moultrie Observer on March 19. The author of the letter in question blasted the school system, and while I agree on some points, there was one idea that struck a nerve with me. The author had the audacity to say that the majority of the teachers at CCHS are unqualified and incompetent.

That's a very generic and stereotypical statement. There are more than just a few qualified and competent teachers at CCHS, and one person's experience is not a good indicator, as the average student will have around 24 teachers during a typical 4 years at high school. There are over 100 faculty members at CCHS. Also, it is worth keeping in mind that Colquitt County High School has a student body of 2000-plus teenagers. By comparison, several schools in the northern portion of the state have around 1000 kids, but larger campuses than ours. What does that mean for CCHS? Larger class sizes for teachers to manage. And, let's not forget that there is a teacher shortage in Georgia.

I have had the privilege of taking several classes taught by some awesome teachers, in every subject, from 9th grade literature to advanced placement physics. At Colquitt County High School, we have some incredibly knowledgeable teachers: for example, Mr. Tommy Hall, (probably one of the best physics teachers in Georgia), Mrs. Traci Jones, Mrs. Gwen Desselle, and so many others that excel in not only preparing us for our exams, but also in making the material interesting. There may be some bad apples, but rest assured when I say that we've got more than enough good ones to make up for it.

I may be ‘just a kid’, a student, but believe me when I say that I have yet to meet a teacher at CCHS who isn't willing to go above and beyond to help the students and stay involved with them. As a student, I see things that some people from outside don't see. I hear what goes on when the teacher is not listening. It’s something some of you might not want to believe. Put bluntly, part of the blame does go to the students. It's one thing to mess up or forget an assignment, but nearly every day, I see and hear students basically refusing to do the work. They don't want to listen, pay attention, or take notes. They don\'t want to copy down instructions or example problems. In many cases of what is perceived as poor teaching, it is actually just a mass refusal by the students to work. The mindset is that there is always tomorrow, or that they can make it up later. And, this is crazy, I know, but it's not just in the lower level classes. It's in each class level, Tech Prep, College Prep, Advanced College Prep, and even some AP classes. A school can have the best teachers on Earth, all with Ph.D's and national certification, but if the students refuse to at least meet them half way, the teachers can't accomplish much.

I, too, remember sitting in Withers Auditorium as a freshman, listening as Mr. Jones explained that one of the kids next to me would not graduate. It is indeed a depressing statistic. But, to say that he was being negative and discouraging is to take his words out of context. If I remember correctly, Mr. Jones was trying to make a point; statistically, a few hundred kids would drop out of school, and that we should work hard to make sure we aren't one of those few hundred. With the exception of that negative statistic, I've never heard a less than encouraging and positive word come from our principal to the students.

With graduation, and then college, coming up so soon, it's even easier now for me to see just how much my teachers at CCHS have done for me and my classmates. So, I just want to end by saying something that doesn't get said very often. I want to say “thank you” to every teacher at CCHS; we couldn't have made it this far without you. So, do you want to know what really grinds my gears? (I'm serious, this time.) People who think that our teachers aren't good enough.

— Taylor Walsh

Moultrie

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