[Applicant addressing the school administration]

Let me see if I have got this right.

You want me to go into that room with all those kids
and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning.

Not only that, I'm suppose to instill a sense of pride in
their ethnicity, behaviorally modify disruptive behavior,
observe them for signs of abuse and T-shirt messages.
I am to fight the war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases,
check their backpacks for guns and raise their self- esteem.

I'm to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship
and fair play, how and where to register to vote,
how to balance a checkbook and how to apply for a job.

I am to check their heads occasionally for lice,
maintain a safe environment,
recognize signs of potential antisocial behavior,
offer advice, write letters of recommendation
for student employment and scholarships,
encourage respect for the cultural diversity of others,
and, oh yes, always make sure that I give the girls in my class
50 percent of my attention.

I'm required by my contract to be working on my own time,
summer and evenings at my own expense toward advance
certification and a master's degree; and after school,
I am to attend committee and faculty meetings
and participate in staff development and training
to maintain my employment status.

I am to be a paragon of virtue larger than life,
such that my very presence will awe my students into being
obedient and respectful of authority.

I am to pledge allegiance to supporting family values,
a return to the basics, and to my current administration.
I am to incorporate technology into the learning,
and monitor all Web sites while providing a personal
relationship with each student.

I am to decide who might be potentially dangerous and/or
liable to commit crimes in school or who is possibly being
abused, and I can be sent to jail for not
mentioning these suspicions.

I am to make sure all students pass the state and federally
mandated testing and all classes, whether or not they attend
school on a regular basis or complete any of the work assigned.

Plus, I am expected to make sure that all of the students with
handicaps are guaranteed a free and equal education,
regardless of their mental or physical handicap.

I am to communicate frequently with each student's parent by
letter, phone, newsletter and grade card. I'm to do all of
this with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books,
a bulletin board, a 45 minute more-or-less plan time
and a big smile, all on a starting salary that qualifies
my family for food stamps in many states.

Is that all?

Oh! And you want me to do all of this
and you expect me NOT TO PRAY?

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful
people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is
almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full
of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone
are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always
will solve the problems of the human race."
-Calvin Coolidge


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January 11, 2003