Letter to the Editor

One teacher used to do it all

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

To the editor:

My mother-in-law, who is 91 years old, attended school at a one-room schoolhouse for the first eight years of her schooling. She later went on to earn her master's degree and experienced no problems in doing so. There were, she has told me, a minimum of 60 students in this one-room school throughout the eight-year period. There was only one teacher and an itinerant superintendent of schools who made the rounds of all the schools in the district. She is proficient in reading, writing and math. She is a good speller and capable of composing a grammatically correct sentence and paragraph.

Why is it that we now need a gaggle of specialists -- remedial teachers, special education teachers, coaching teachers, counselors, nurses, resource officers -- and a covey of overpaid administrative personnel who can't seem to accomplish what one lonely, underpaid teacher could accomplish in an overcrowded classroom of yesteryear. Have we lost our senses?

AL ZIMMER, Patton, Mo.