ADVERTISEMENT

Doctor misunderstands tribulations of teaching

I am writing in response to the March 22 letter, “It’s ridiculous to compare teacher, medical training.” Hey, Doc, no need to take umbrage at The News’ piece on Fredonia State’s program for preparing teachers with rigorous curriculum standards. No one who has ever been in the hospital for surgery or other major treatments doubts the medical profession’s worth, especially the nurses’ care. But we’re talking about two very different professional training requirements, the medical and primary and secondary teachers’ education.

The medical field seeks to heal injuries primarily to the body, and while I regret that the writer and his colleagues may suffer from “severe anxiety, sleep deprivation” and other Gitmo-sounding ordeals, teachers in the education field seek to bring out the living mind of their charges. Patience and kindness are prime requisites because bringing life to ideas in young people needs a special kind of nurturing. That “teaching is not easy or stress-free … in many urban settings” is clearly delusional. Try insane, maddeningly frustrating, exhausting and often demeaning.

The difference is that in medical service, the training is up front, in the beginning, while in the teaching profession it’s in the process. Doctors are prepared to operate after residency training while teachers, like married couples, are still newly wed after seven years. It took me about 15 years and I’m still in need of much improvement. But there’s no offense taken to his misunderstanding of the trials and tribulations of the teaching profession, especially for those children mired in the chaos of poverty.

It’s those responsible for the infusion of the poisonous high-stakes testing and privatization of public education who are guilty of murdering young minds by cutting out their joy in learning.

Ray Peterson

Buffalo