Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Real Victims of this Economy

Greetings from the education desk at Singing in the Bathtub. I am writing today after hearing some dismaying news on NPR about the struggling state of California and the result it has had on the education system there. For those interested parties here is the link to the article:

I don't want to go into too much depth, when the article does a much better job of outlining the issue, but I would like to share my own reflections after hearing this sobering news. L.A. did something great for the struggling inner-city, they created a new model for the public school system, employed young, enthusiastic teachers (where the "old guard" would not tread), and experienced modest successes. Now, their hands are tied by a bankrupt state gov't, and the new generation of teachers are being forced out for those displaced and under tenure (not to mention the future generation of educators who are just getting out of school to find no work).

My mom would be appalled, but let me just say THIS SUCKS! I am in the same boat here in South Florida. Miami/Dade county has put a hiring freeze on all public schools, Broward county has just laid off 14% of it's work force. I have applied for my teacher certification in the hopes of moving beyond the freelance lifestyle that has made the past few years so trying. I have elected to be certified to teach elementary music, but knowing that arts teaching jobs are as rare as hen's teeth, I also was hoping to be your everyday, average elementary school teacher. Looks like this year will be a wash.

I have seen so many arts teachers cut from school budgets like so much worthless trash, now it seems the meager dream of being a general ed. teacher is out of reach for those just coming into the field. Who are the real victims of this economic downturn? The children! My sister made a similar joke after getting out of school, but I'm thinking of making a sign to hold up in on coming traffic:

"B.A. from a top liberal arts college
M.M. from a top conservatory
Over 10 years of experience with children
Will teach for food!"

Bumper Sticker Quote of the Day: "It will be a great day when schools have all the money they need, and the army will have to have bake sales to buy bombs!"

p.s. If any school out there is looking for a unique fund-raising idea, contact my blog about creating original CD recordings for sale. It's healthier than chocolate and much less expensive than wrapping paper!

p.p.s. Just a reminder... I am still waiting to hear from the following states:

New Mexico
North Dakota
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

Drop me a line and you could be next contestant in the Great 50 State Coconut Groove Giveaway (see contest details below)

1 comment:

Anne Deysher said...

I really agree about the economic woes impacting our children's futures.It's devastating that the Arts are being impacted and programs being decimated. It's hard to rebuild, and there is ample evidence that Arts education contributes to academic success. Then beyond that it the dismal employment picture for younger teachers and new graduates. My brother Doug, who has been teaching music for lo these many years pointed out that with the current pay structure, for him to be able to retire, he will have to work until age 70! No wonder there are teachers still working who should have long been retired and making way for fresh new talent.
One note of encouragement. When I got out of school in 1972 (yes, the dark ages), there were no teaching jobs either, and that time passed. It will not last forever....