Not Your Dad’s Elementary School
There are a lot of changes in elementary schools since I was there. Of course, my school didn’t have a web site. But we did have a mimeograph machine with purple ink and a wonderful inky smell. If we did have a web site that listed our teachers and staff, it would have been very simple: one teacher each for kindergarten through seventh grade. We learned English, Arithmetic, Reading, Spelling,
Geography, and Penmanship. Once a week we had art, music, and gym. We had recess every day. We must have had some science, but I don’t recall it.
Such was my simple academic life of basic, fundamental strength for which I’m grateful. This week has been an eye-opener for me. I always appreciate teachers, but I have to admit to feeling overwhelmed by what they have to deal with nowadays. Some of the things I’ve discovered on the faculty/staff lists are daunting. There are so many acronyms for teachers, I can’t fathom what they all mean: AIG, EC, EEC, ESL, ESOL. Many of the titles listed belonged to my mother: Nutritionist, Counselor, Before/After School Care, Guidance, Behavior Specialist. Oh, yes, my mom did all of those things. She was an exceptional Behavior Specialist. When my children were in school, I did those things for them. A Guidance Counselor was part of high school, helping students sort through applications and forms. Now it seems it all falls on the elementary schools.
So many professionals beyond education degrees seem to be necessary. Many schools have: Data Manager, Intensive Supervision Counselor, Speech Pathologist, School Nurse, Resource Officer, Social Worker, Homeless Curriculum Specialist, Migrant Education Specialist, Instructional Technology Facilitator, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist. Remember these are all elementary schools I’m talking about. Why does a K-5 school need a teacher for computer coding, and a Career and Technical Education Teacher? Just wondering. Isn’t every teacher an instructional technology facilitator? It’s what they do, isn’t it?
So here’s my big question: What is a Day Porter? Several school sites list Day Porter in their Faculty/Staff list. A Day Porter? Someone to carry umbrellas? Probably not, since students aren’t walking to school. Someone to carry and organize lunch boxes? Does anyone bring lunch to school? A driver perhaps? Like a car pool? What is a Day Porter?
I’m sorry to see so much of a child’s overall education beyond academics handed to teachers who are now responsible for health, nutrition, and social behavior as well as academic knowledge. The very term elementary is outdated. There is nothing elementary about elementary school any more.