Meg Finn

October 11, 2006

Post #2077 – 20061011

It’s Oct. 11, 2006…Everyday on my way home from TEACHING 8th grade math and science at Grayson Co. Middle School in Lietchfield, KY I usually listen to NPR for the duration of my 35 minute commute. Coincidentally and unfortunately today I heard your segment on All Things Considered. So, I want to know, are you always so negative about teachers? Were ALL your teachers horrible people? Did ALL your teachers humiliate you and ridicule you? Did you not have a single good teacher who you know is a good person and who you know busted their ass for you? Do you realize how much negativity teachers have to deal with all the time? How much criticism, cynicism, and slack we have to tolerate? It’s easy to be negative. Lots of people complain and whine all the time.

From a teacher’s perspective, teachers support ANY POSITIVE media, any POSITIVE comments. We are expected to be positive all the time, to keep kids positive, to keep them confident, to build confidence, to calm their fears, to build on their talents, and to help nourish weaknesses into strengths…all while being dragged through the mud and made to sound like we’re goblins in the night out to devour children and squash their dreams. I’m sorry you had some bad experiences through school…everyone does. I’m sorry your scars are so deep. I hope you have taken the initiative to become a mentor to some other poor child who may be struggling with something they are hindered by.

PLEASE, next time you speak on NPR or anywhere about teachers (public servants), please try to be positive. We are good people, most of us. Yes, I’m sure you had some assholes for teachers, but there are assholes everywhere, not just in schools. BUT, thankfully, there are far more good people in the world than bad. Hopefully you had many more good teachers than bad. I know I work with a LOAD of people who are motivated by making young people happy, safe, confident, and a little smarter.

Thank you for your time.

p.s. If you can read this, you might want to thank a teacher.

Daniel replies:

Well, I have written about 100 books for children and young people, which some people say encourage them to be themselves, be curious, and ask questions. Would that be similar to mentoring ""some other poor child?"" One of my books is called The Education of Robert Nifkin--did you read it? And I did finally have a good teacher, in summer school, toward the end of high school. I'm sorry you seem to think it's normal to have ""some bad experiences through school...everyone does."" I think no one should.