Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home


[Susan notes: I'm late in publishing this letter, having just stumbled onto it. But I love Beverly Cooper-Wiele's point that teachers are portrayed favorably only when they are self-sacrificing.]

Published in Boston Globe
09/11/2011
http://articles.boston.com/2011-09-11/bostonglobe/30142666_1_money-on-classroom-supplies-middle-and-high-school-teachers-school-districts

To the editor



RE PETER Schworm's Sept. 5 article on teachers who spend their own money for school supplies (“Budgets cut, teachers dig deeper for supplies," Page A1):



First, I am happy to see the Globe portray teachers in a positive light.



Second, I wouldn't characterize out-of-pocket expenditures as an "occupational hazard," but as an occupational necessity. Teachers in the primary grades are evaluated not only on the learning atmospheres of their classrooms, but on their room's visual appeal, a responsibility that does not apply to the same degree to middle- and high-school teachers. Still, we spend willingly, and with little hope of reimbursement, to make our rooms welcoming and to ensure that our learners have the materials they need.



Third, do readers perceive the article's subtle threat? If we teachers do not spend our own money on classroom supplies, then school districts won't have budgets sufficient to hire more teachers.



We are portrayed favorably only when we are self-sacrificing. Perhaps those foundations that spend millions on all manner of educational experiments could simply supply small grants to school districts or even directly to teachers.



Finally, forget those tennis balls to quiet the feet of chairs. Just go to the nearest hardware store and buy felt pads. They are equally effective and much cheaper.





The writer is a first-grade teacher in the Boston Public Schools.

Beverly Cooper-Wiele


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.