Open letter to Bobby Jindal

Dear Mr. Jindal,

There have been many wonderful things you have done for this state. You are greatly loved by many. As a teacher I have a few thoughts on your new education plans. I understand that you want to focus on teachers.  I will agree that I have witnessed a few less than stellar teachers, but I wonder what you plan to do with the big issues in your schools.

Every day I would get to school and have to clean the rat feces off of my desk and the students desk. When I asked the health inspector what he could do about the rats he told me “there was nothing that could be done.” When rats would run along the wall in class it was very difficult to get the class back on track. There were a couple of holes in the windows of my classroom. I covered them with duct tape, yet wasps continued to get into class. I feared not only for students with allergies, but also that a simple wasp sting would hurt an innocent child. I wonder what your thoughts are on how I should teach in this room. What would you have done if this was your child’s classroom? There are quite a few schools that I know would fit this model.

The second big issue I faced was the lack of professional development. One of the big issues today is how are teachers do not spend enough time  training. I taught higher level math. I asked my district professional development coordinater if there was any math training the district offered past geometry. They said they had never had any. No training for Algebra 2, precalculus, or calculus. Let alone AP courses. I looked throughout the state for training to become a better math teacher and found very little. I wonder where in your new laws there is more teacher training for those that want to become better teachers.

The third big issue I faced was how to teach children coming from rough home lives. I had children who would sleep through class because they were homeless and slept on a school bench outside the previous night. Students who had been raped. Students who would be coming down from severe drug highs in the middle of class. Students vomiting from being drunk at 8 am. I was ill equipped on how to help them. I would have loved training on how to not only reach those students, but empower them to want to be great. Does part of your law include plans for these students and their teachers?

The fourth big issue I saw was the violence in school. Not once was the school put on lock down for a gun. The only way I knew they had found and taken a gun was by watching the evening news. Students would get into such violent fights that often someone left in an ambulance. I know there was training for non violent intervention, but it made no significant change. Many of the schools practiced positive behavior intervention. Yet, still guns and violence. What part of your new law deals with guns and violence in the schools?

Sincerely,

A concerned teacher