How We’ve Failed Teachers


Will Meier, science teacher, teaching Anatomy and Physiology (photo by O. Tarvin).

“There is no simple answer [to solving the issues in the education system]. Are there ways? Absolutely, but I don’t know that our culture is prepared for what it would take,” Dan Wooge, band director, said. 

Every day, many teachers at the high school are faced with adversity in the classroom. Having to face these challenges has caused teachers to have issues covering their content and lesson planning. 

“Coming out of [COVID-19] we not only have to teach our specific content, but we have to teach more life lessons. I feel like I’m teaching my students the same thing I’m teaching my 4 year old. Society was heading that way anyways, but [COVID-19] expedited the process,” Will Meier, science teacher, said. 

Having less time to teach content hasn’t helped the decline in test scores. It has also made it incredibly difficult for teachers to adequately meet state standards. 

“Larger districts have alternative schools for students that need more support, for those who need a little bit of a different focus. We don’t have an alternative school, it’s been discussed, but we just don’t have that,” Meier said. 

Not only do larger districts have alternative schools for students who don’t do well in classroom settings, they also have CTE buildings. These buildings would allow students to start classes in the career paths they are passionate about. 

The difficulties teachers face in the classroom are not something that they take lightly. Depending on the severity of the situations, many teachers have reevaluated their choices in becoming an educator. 

“There was a short little stint halfway through my career [where I had regrets about teaching]. I had multiple students and parents put me down on a regular basis telling me that I was a terrible human,” Stephanie Hojnacki, math teacher, said. 

Teachers struggle with disrespectful behaviors of students, but they struggle even more so with the criticism and lack of trust that society and parents have for the education system as a whole.

“The downfall of our society is that we have suddenly vilified experts. The people who have been trained, understand, and have those successes are no longer respected for those skills. Everywhere people no longer look to educated, well-read people for guidance. It’s just much easier to dismiss them,” Wooge said.