A Rhyme On Teacher Time
As a teacher and teacher trainer in the Harford County schools, I have become quite disheartened by the apparent disregard the Board of Education has for the amount of work elementary teachers do.
One night last week, I put my work aside at 11 p.m. and wrote this poem . . . It attempts to explain my frustrations:
An Elementary Teacher's Thoughts
Oh, it's a typical school night
And all through my home,
Not a person is stirring
Except the teacher alone.
The teen-agers have settled
As is the family rule,
While their parent continues
To plan lessons for school.
The clock strikes 11,
Surely, it's time to quit!
But there is still much to do,
So, I grade school papers and sit
And think of how little
People understand what's to do.
And realizing how frustrated
Teachers are feeling, so
Planning time has been taken
And not equally replaced.
The recent school board actions
Are a slap in the face.
Raises are being promised
The government says, "It's true!"
But class sizes are sure
to grow and grow
As the board can hire just a few.
The story repeats and repeats,
Again and again and again,
And I hope that finally one day
Education needs will be met,
Bel Air The beautiful Tollgate Mall has been vacant for quite a while. We are told classrooms are needed for 300 or 400 students. Children are our most precious commodity. Why can't this mall be used for classrooms? All that would be needed are desks and blackboards. . . . This surely would save many tax dollars.
If we elect intelligent people to represent us they should not have to be reminded that they cannot spend more then they have.
I know if I write a check for $2.50 more than I have in my account I am socked with a $25 charge. Our president is asking for an additional debt ceiling in excess of a quarter-trillion dollars more than he will be getting in revenue, in which money paid in for Social Security is being counted as revenue. . . .
We can add, even if our illustrious representatives cannot. We have millions of citizens out of work and our government is giving low-cost loans to American businesses to relocate south of the border. . . .
Do you read the labels on your food? We cannot even grow our own vegetables, so many of them are imported. We export banned pesticides which probably end up on vegetables grown abroad. . . .
Congress is on a wanton spending spree. If you had to live on a very tight budget with no hope of there being any Social Security left when you turn 62, your attitude would change. We also are concerned about the safety of pensions and savings. There should be a huge surplus in Social Security funds compounding interest, but Congress is spending all of it on these what-nots. And while Mr. Average American is sweating it out whether he will have a job at the end of each week, Congress has voted itself nice fat raises in the middle of the night; after three terms, they are vested for fat pensions.
I strongly recommend reading "Bankruptcy 1995" by Harry Figgie Jr. and "The Coming Economic Earthquake" by Larry Burkett. What we are seeing in Russia today will be here tomorrow.
Shirley J. Leard
N. Harford Middle
A special thanks is offered to the parents, students and teachers of North Harford Middle School for their hard work and support during the recent magazine sales fund-raising activity.
The support given to the Parent-Teacher-Student Association was fantastic! A special thanks is extended to the cadre of parent volunteers who assisted with the campaign. A heartfelt ,, thank you is offered to the residents and business leaders of the North Harford area for their participation. The children of North Harford Middle School will benefit greatly as a result of the support provided by the North Harford community.
Gerald E. Scarborough
The writer is principal of North Harford Middle School.
South Africa's Violent Future
South Africa, struggling to move from apartheid to normalcy, has been racked by violence. Massacres, brutal murders and fratricidal confrontations have occurred regularly.
A few weeks ago, I heard a young South African, a member of the African National Congress (ANC), speak at Harford Community College. He was an eloquent, impassioned and well-informed speaker, brimming with hope for his nation, but frustrated by the violence that threatened this hope.
All the vast wealth and resources of South Africa have been monopolized and exploited by the minority. The army, the civil service, the major industries belong to the whites. The infamous South African police is a white force.
Illiteracy is widespread among the blacks. Although schools are supposed to be integrating, such integration has not been stringently enforced by the white government. Integration is left to the whim and fancy of parents, and schools with high white enrollment frequently opt not to integrate. Blacks are still cut off from a proper education. In black townships, schools do not have competent teachers or decent textbooks. Black children study in ramshackle buildings without toilets. There are no high schools in many black communities and because higher education is inaccessible, the school dropout rate is phenomenal. The administrative aspects of many black schools are in shambles.
Public libraries are now open to black people, but again only the hardy and persistent black student will seek them out because they are far away from the hubs of black existence. . . . Even basic health care is not within the reach of the majority. Often sick black people have to travel miles, to be cared for by white doctors in hospitals where the black majority is frequently treated as the under-class and the outsider. . . .
The white South African government has merely made cosmetic changes and is reluctant to give up its power. It practices divisive politics and is buying time.
Meanwhile, the West has been hoodwinked into believing that South Africa is marching inexorably toward reform. Multi-national corporations, including those from the United States, thrive in South Africa on white support. Foreign corporations primarily employ whites, and do not benefit black South Africans in any significant fashion. After all, black South Africans are not educated, trained or skilled enough to work for these corporations.
The problems that the ANC will face if it heads the next South African government are staggering. Improvement of sanitation, housing, health care and education; redistribution of wealth; dismantling and rebuilding the civil service, the army and various industries, while simultaneously pacifying fractious elements in Natal and other provinces will be the beleaguered ANC's lot. . . . Corrupt or belligerent ANC members can make the whole process come undone.
But most frightening is the fact that apartheid is a state of mind. It is in the mind that humans build impregnable citadels and erect barriers against others. When and if majority rule is established, black South Africans should take care not to practice their own form of apartheid against whites or East Indian minorities. Events in the former Yugoslavia testify that forgiving and forgetting do not come naturally to humans. . . .