Rant & Rave


Thursday, April 19, 2001

The day(s) they
stopped teaching

Since I was a child, my mother has warned me never to go into teaching. Perhaps she has always seen it in me: my ease with children, the need to make a difference. But despite all these positive traits, she has instilled in me the knowledge that with the occupation comes the hazards: the schoolroom shootings, the lack of appreciation, the lack of funds, students' indifference, and of course, the ridiculously low wages.

And my mom should know, she has been doing the job for countless years. My mother loves what she does but she often comes home weary and grouchy, and often enough, I am forced to listen to her unload her days traumas on me.

But with the bad comes the good, the little everyday miracles that force her to wake up again in the morning to do her job again tomorrow.

Do I believe that teachers deserve the raise they will receive? Yes. I believe whole-heartedly. I know that everyday my peers bitch, whine and moan about the quality of our teachers and about the quality of our education. I hear the parents' tirades of how different the education system is from "back in the day."

And I realize what the teachers were doing while on the picket line.

What they did by sacrificing weeks of their pay is work to improve the pay of future teachers. This means that more people who are qualified to teach, will be able to make a living doing so. This means that maybe, after teachers are done soaking their blistered feet and nursing their sunburned faces, others will be able to earn a decent-enough wage for my mom to actually encourage me to become a teacher, for a change.

People say that not all of their teachers deserve a raise. I agree, too.

I have had about five teachers I could label "good" after spending 12 years in the public education system. It makes you wonder what I've learned at all in those years.

And that's the point the teachers are trying to get across, that they, as mentors, are responsible for instructing the "adults of tomorrow." We will be the future president, bankers, lawyers and doctors, and yes, the future teachers. But in order to do so brilliantly, or even to scrape by competently, we must learn how to do so. I would like to believe that that these teachers were striking for our education.

Crystal Yamasaki is a junior
at Roosevelt High School.

Rant & Rave allows those 12 to 22
to serve up fresh perspectives. Speak up by snail mail:
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd.,
Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail or e-mail,

E-mail to Features Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin