Sunday, January 13, 2013

JT Calls For Yet Another Mandate On Teachers

As if they don't have enough to do.

Sunday's Journal Times editorial calls for local educators to teach "soft skills" to area high school students because area employers made anecdotal complaints about workers who have no job etiquette or common sense.

Why? "Soft skills are not being taught in every home. Which means they need to be taught in high schools." According to the JT editors. Well that's quite a leap and an odd one at that.

The last time we checked - schools do teach these skills. When you are late to school - it's called "tardy." If you don't show up to school - it's called "truant." If you are a slacker and do crappy work you get a lousy grade. Schools have dress code which insist students dress appropriately and of course if you completely breach the code of tolerable behavior - you get expelled.

So how do a few dumbasses in the employment market become the job of teachers to fix? Why don't these employers train their prospective employees what is expected - the Siren remembers participating in that exact kind of thing as a youth in her first real job.

It seems to us that just about everything that plagues us as a society is the responsibility of educators to prevent. Poor kids? Teachers have to buy extra food and supplies. Low test scores? Teachers pay with their jobs. Gun violence? Teachers should pack handguns at school.

But if you're a teacher and you want a say in your workplace environment or pay? Go straight to hell.

We're not exactly sure why the editors at the Journal Times feel so comfortable in making teachers and the school district the villain in just about every scenario while they completely let parents off the hook - but they have a habit of doing so and it's a shame. We find their suggestion that job "etiquette" skills be taught by teachers to be yet another unfunded mandate for teachers to fulfill while at the same time their ability to negotiate workplace conditions and benefits are reduced. We tie teacher evaluations to the ravages of poverty and expect them to stand first against loaded firearms in their classrooms.

How about we stop acting as if employers are holy and have no commitment to the community beyond just hiring people. How about we ask them to participate for once?