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Go back to school

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Joe Webb

Years ago, I was enrolled in a survey of English literature course in a community college. The instructor constantly touted the fact that she had a “master’s degree in English.” She used this as a method to intimidate and control kids who needed to pass her class. One girl told her mother about some of her antics. Her mother didn’t believe her, so this girl invited her mother to class to witness it for herself. The mother accepted, and when she sat down, the English teacher was unaware of her presence. The instructor went on as she normally would, and at the end of the class, she asked the mother who she was. “I’m so and so’s mother, and I’m pretty disgusted that the tuition dollars I’m paying for my daughter help to fund your salary.”
The instructor then claimed her academic freedom was violated because she wasn’t informed that the mother was there at the beginning of class. Think about that. What she was saying was that she would’ve behaved differently had she known beforehand that a student’s mother was there. The mother who was paying the freight for her salary incidentally. The mom then told the instructor that if she screwed with her daughter’s grade that she would sue her personally and the school for retaliation. She also stated that regardless of whatever happened that her child’s grade would be audited by another faculty member. She would call the dean’s office and make sure of that tomorrow. She then told her daughter she was sorry she didn’t believe her but that she was glad that things happened the way they did.
I relayed the story above because I was the recipient of a review that a Metro State graduate wrote about of one of his instructors. The review was negative mostly due to the instructor’s lack of professionalism but also their political agenda. Most of the complaints about education today seem to have a political basis unlike the one I relayed, which was rooted in subpar behavior. The mom in the story was a role model and ought to be emulated.
If it’s possible, I’d like to encourage a parent or other relative to accompany their child to class for a day, whether it’s in high school or college. True professionals will not mind the scrutiny. In fact, they’ll welcome it. If your child is in a middle school or high school, call the school’s administrators and let them know you are coming. Colleges, with some exceptions, are just places where you can enter a classroom with a student. Education for a loved one is an investment in today’s world. It is logical and reasonable that anyone should be able to monitor their investment. Administrators and teachers should and probably will welcome any feedback you provide. In a process where the end product, a student’s future, is important that is the way things should work.

Joe Webb is the chairman for the Jefferson County Republican party.