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Current Issue Table of Contents | Back Issues

Volume 3 Number 8

Harry & Rosemary Wong remind us that, "An induction program is an organized, sustained, multiyear process with many activities designed to help you succeed...."
Preparing for the First Day of School by Jan Zeiger
Classroom Discipline Forum Will Support New and Veteran Educators by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
Six Traits of Writing Forum by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
Ideas for Welcoming Teachers & Students Back to School by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
Classroom Rules??? by Bill Page
Learning Your Students' Names: Fun, Fast, Easy and Important by Bill Page
Making 2002-2003 The Best Year Ever by Bill Page
Your Summer Reading List: The Process of Change in a School System by Dr. Rob Reilly
Beware of the Standards, Not Just the Tests by Alfie Kohn
The Importance of Reading Aloud by Lisa Frase
Dear Old Golden Rule Days, Chapter 2 - Creative Activities by Janet Farquhar
Objection overruled, or You can always go to law school if things don't work out by Taylor Mali
Dealing with Dishonesty by Tom Lucey
The Maiden Week by P R Guruprasad
Is Learning to Read Easier Than Learning to Play the Piano? by Grace Vyduna-Haskins
School was GREAT today because... by Linda Todd
The New Teacher and Coping With Special Needs Students in the Classroom by Dave Melanson
Learning About Community Service by Jay Davidson
Book Reviews - We Can Work It Out: Creating Peace in the Home & Songs for Howard Gray by Susan Gingras Fitzell
Summer Recess by Joy Jones
Tips On Time Management by Jan
Class Books Around the Year Compiled by Terry
Literacy Centers Organization by Catherine Thornton
Why the Center Approach? from The Mentor Center
Classroom Teachers' Management Tips (Part II) from the Chatboards
Why Teach? by Lynda L. Hinkle
4 Blocks Literacy Tips: Storing "Making Words" Materials from: The Mentor Center
How to Encourage Substitute Teachers to Return to Your School by Lucy, Substitute Teacher
Teaching Students To Discuss Controversial Public Issues from: ERIC Clearinghouse
August Columns
August Regular Features
August Informational Items
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Teacher Feature...

Why Teach? American Renaissance in the Hands of Educators - An essay

by Lynda L. Hinkle

My father's family escaped the coal mines of Western Pennsylvania when he was ten years old in order to move to the working class neighborhood of Bellmawr, New Jersey. As Bellmawr had no school of its own, its children were bussed to the Haddon Heights School District where they were immediately placed at the bottom of a clear social caste system that was reinforced by the student body as well as the teachers.

My father reacted as many young people do to such an unfair situation: he rebelled. He became the bad student that they told him his socioeconomic class dictated. When the school conducted an IQ test, my father's English teacher announced disdainfully, "You will NEVER guess who had the highest IQ in the senior class? Wayne Hinkle." Yet, his grades only barely enabled him to graduate high school.

Forty-some years later, smart children are still failing out of schools where race, gender and socioeconomic class are more likely factors in their failure than their ability. At the feet of this inequity I lay the blame for the stultification of our entire culture. Americans expend more energy silencing voices that contest "traditional values" upheld by the privileged than it does in developing solutions and expanding itself culturally, spiritually, and even economically. Ironically, these traditions no longer function effectively among the majority of American people, including the privileged themselves.

The possibility of an American Renaissance exists only in the hands of its educators at every level of the educational system. A nation that makes an enemy of its own hands and feet can do nothing but tear itself slowly to shreds. It is only through the conversion of America's silenced populations into functional, contributing and equally valued societal members that we can hope to heal our social ills and move forward as a nation into a positive, culturally thriving future. Such an American Renaissance would also have global impact.

You ask me, "Why teach?"

It is my way of registering to vote.

The issue on the ballot is the future of the world.

About Lynda Hinkle...
Lynda L. Hinkle is a freelance writer, filmmaker and graduate student in education at Rowan University, Glassboro NJ.

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