This week’s blog comes from one of our candidates, Val Delp.
I would like to take a moment to address some comments made at this week’s board meeting in an attempt to spin our candidates’ concerns to suggest that we are anti-teacher.
I thought a lot about a comment that was made about how sourcing and context matter, and yet it seems there was no research done on my background before making this assumption. Let me share that with you now so that you can understand my view on teachers. First, I’m a former teacher myself with a bachelor’s degree in education, two years of experience at the elementary school level, and 5 years in early childhood education. My father worked over 35 years as a school guidance counselor, and he sometimes shared the wonderful experiences he had working with students. I will never forget how his school district threw him a surprise retirement party, all the wonderful things everyone had to say about him, and how absolutely proud I was that he was my dad. I also have several relatives from my family, and my husband’s family, who are teachers. I highly respect and applaud teachers for taking on such an honorable role in the community. I know first hand how challenging, yet rewarding, being a teacher can be.
Now I’d like to shed some light on what we ARE against, and it’s not teachers. We brought to light specific and real examples of lesson plans at Wilson that have created conflict among the student body. It’s the controversial topics and sources being used to teach critical thinking skills that we do not agree with, and that some students are being ostracized because a select few teachers are telling students their opinions are wrong in front of their peers. It is the method we take issue with, not the teachers. We simply want some consideration for how controversial topics can be impactful on our students in a very negative way.
I’d also like to address the accusation that these examples were not first brought to the teacher by the concerned parents. In some cases, attempts were made to get a meeting with the teacher unsuccessfully, which resulted in going to the administration. As parents continued to feel the problem was not resolved from there, they then came to the school board.
Politics have created so much division among adults across the nation over the last few years, so why would we want our kids exposed to that at such a young age? We just want kids to be kids without all of the added anxiety that politics brings. There is already an enormous amount of pressure on them in social settings, sports, and doing well in school. We are worried about the impact of controversial topics on students’ emotional and social well being. And we want to believe that our teachers can leave their political beliefs at the door and focus on developing students’ skills utilizing productive, positive, and inspiring topics.
We hope to work closely with our teachers on ways to accomplish those things in the future. And again, we absolutely love and respect you for all that you do for our children. Thank you for being role models for our kids during these challenging times.