Don’t sell teachers short

I am writing this in response to the letter written by David Gallagher in the July 11 edition of the Mirror.

This is not the first time that Gallagher has been an outspoken critic of the teachers’ unions. While I do not entirely agree with his views on the subject, he is entitled to his opinion.

What I do have a serious issue with, however, is his implication that our current teachers are not qualified to be in the classroom because we chose to major in education.

In his letter, Gallagher stated that future engineers, chemists, etc., should not be placed in “an environment with someone who majored in education.”

At this point, I would like to point out that all middle school and high school education majors in Pennsylvania must take subject-concentration specific courses, in addition to their methods courses.

We must also pass subject specific state exams.

To say that we are not qualified to teach is absurd. Many of us have graduated from our respective programs with high honors and have furthered our education in order to obtain higher degrees.

So let me assure you that there are many highly intelligent, qualified teachers in the classroom who put great time and effort into this profession every day, despite, according to Gallagher, being lowly education majors.

I would also like to suggest that Gallagher could benefit from attending a few more high school English classes. His article starts out by rant-ing about the problem with teachers’ unions, but then goes completely off topic to discuss poor teacher training programs and tenure laws.

Any apparently non-expert English teacher would tell you that if you’re going to write a persuasive paper, choose a topic and stick to it.

Otherwise, the paper becomes disjointed, and your message loses its effectiveness. Even I know that, and I teach social studies.

Elizabeth Chapman