Today’s teachers must be smart, creative and resourceful. These attributes ensure survival. Investing in the soul of a child, “the diamond in the rough,” as described by Mary McLeod Bethune, means using the teacher’s personal funds, applying for grants and moving through a maze of data every day. Unlike a factory worker, the classroom teacher must supply the right resources to get the best results. Fortunately, a teacher who does the research can make a way out of no way.
These tasks are harder in the inner-city schools. The schools seem to be red-lined. Very little is poured into these schools. And much that is good is stolen, i.e. computers, etc. The maintenance of the building is quite often as poor as the neighborhood buildings.
The city is indebted to the teachers who remain, fighting each day as they advocate for children in City Hall, in Albany and in Washington, D.C. Perhaps one day education will become a priority in our nation. When that happens, perhaps the pauperization of inner-city schools will end.
Phyllis C. Murray, retired