I probably would not be addressing this issue, if it wasnt for the public challenge made today, during a eulogy by a man of the cloth. The dare is for the community to prove him wrong, that if we had better teachers, kids wouldnt pick up guns, use marijuana and would perform better in school.
Giving him the benefit of doubt, I want to believe that when he made the statement that there were not 20 good teachers in the whole of the Virgin Islands, that he meant there are few other teachers in the educational system that could match the commitment and sacrifice of the Celebrated. But, it sounds more like he was debasing all teachers, but a few.
From my understanding of Christs teachings, his response to this pastor would have been, your message could have been that the community at large needs to take back our streets and schools, and to give every teacher as much support as they need. The pastor did mention the exploited proverb, It takes a village to raise a child. That was true at one time, but the villagers today are living with a ghetto mentality of the survival of the fittest.
Yes, teachers are responsible for Reading, Writing and Arithmetic; but, the child should have been taught the 3 Rs (Respect, Responsibility and Retribution) by the family and the village before reaching school age. In the past, a child on the way to and from school, they are told everyday: listen to the teacher, do your work, learn your lessen, make us proud, grow up to be somebody, etc.
Before a teacher can teach there most be a disciplined, safe, learning environment.
The pastor also considers teachers, who request that their students be tested and placed, are avoiding their responsibilities to those students. Not to identify a student with special needs is no justice to anyone. If a student needs more attention, how can a teacher with 20 to 30 other students provide that assistance without neglecting the rest of the class.
My belief, that the Eulogized would not have agreed with this pastors assessment of the commitment and the scarifies made by the majority of teachers in the Virgin Islands, Daily.
I practice no religion, however there are a lot of people who make jokes about the Jehovah Witnesses canvassing our neighborhoods, but when was the last time have you seen a Catholic Priest in the Hood?
A Ghanaian proverb: The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people.
This was a missed opportunity for this self-righteous pastor to demonstrate the true power of Enlightenment and Unification from the Pulpit.
Ivan Butcher II
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