Career Calling

December 30, 2014

Teaching the Whole Child


I often praise the writing Laura Clawson of the Daily Kos because it offers a window to the world of lives of real workers. Today she writes about a teacher, Amy Murray, who has written an open letter to parents that gets at the heart of the challenges faced by educators. Murray asks parents to think about the students in her class who are not their children and understand their challenges. She outlines a range of factors that impact academic performance and classroom behavior.

As Clawson puts it, teachers face a tough “balancing act,” which we should remember whenever any critic of education rails against “bad teachers.” Teaching is not simply a matter of presenting a subject of knowledge that can be evaluated by tests. Now, more than ever before, teachers have to deal with factors that have nothing to do with reading, writing, and arithmetic.

I urge you to read Amy Murray’s letter and judge for yourself.

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