We Need TAs

I believe that children are getting both smarter and more arrogant. They are the center of their parents’ world and they know it, so when they get to school, they expect to be the center of every other adult’s world as well. Well, in a classroom of 20 or more kids, that ain’t possible. It’s even less possible when you have one teacher managing a class of elementary-age students by herself.

Where I live, elementary schools have teacher assistants for kindergarten through third grade classrooms. These brave souls help to manage the chaos of all those young kids and take on mandatory side jobs like working in the cafeteria and/or driving a school bus. They give special needs children the one-on-one attention that they need, provide extra help to students who are struggling in a particular subject, handle discipline matters, and much more so that the main teacher can focus on teaching.

And the state government wants to cut them from the payroll, which strikes me as foolish, especially when many parents let TV and the Internet raise their kids and have a mentality like, “Little Johnny’s off to school. Now he’s the teacher’s problem.” The way school systems are run doesn’t make a lot of sense because government officials make all or most of the decisions and have no idea what goes on in the classroom. They don’t seem to realize that cutting teacher assistant positions won’t make anything better and that having more money in the pot is useless unless it goes toward changes that will be helpful and not poorly implemented.