Monday, December 17, 2012

Is arming educators a good idea?

An interesting consequence of compulsory education in the US is that nearly everyone has experienced a significant amount of time "in the classroom." As a result, many people consider themselves educational experts. The problem is, they have only spent time on the student-side-of-the-desk. Teaching is much more than what we observe as students. What a student sees is only a small fraction of the entirety of the practice.

This misunderstanding about what it means to be a teacher is especially apparent when politicians and lobbyists suggest that arming educators might be a reasonable response to the recent school shooting in Newtown, CT. I am willing to bet many of them have not spent significant time in a classroom as a teacher. Adding "armed guard" or "first responder" to the already growing list of roles a teacher must take on these days is ... how do I say this delicately ... removed from reality.

Please, the next time a "great idea" about improving education comes from some "expert" without teaching experience, check it out with our teachers.