“Education, as its etymology implies, is not about filling mental drawers with data, but leading the young toward self-governance” (The Author)
A teacher is a human being with all the idiosyncrasies that accompany any of us; he or she will feel emotions toward the students, whether positive or negative. We try to avoid being judgmental, but sometimes the kid is so obnoxious and confrontational that we simply cannot find any way to like him or her. Whether our feelings actually play a role in assigning grades is a matter of discussion among education experts. Conversely, the student is so charming (and often manipulative) that we feel ‘forced’ to like him or her. Is this bad? Are we hurting the youngsters when they notice that we like or dislike them? Probably not, but a good teacher will bend over backwards to avoid assigning good or bad grades or treating them differently simply because of subjective circumstances.
Do neighborhoods dictate what kind of public school our kids go to? Of course, students are zoned in order to avoid lengthy and costly bus trips as well as contributing to traffic snarls in large urban areas. Do poor urban areas signify poor public schools? As a rule, yes. Some cities have tried to forcibly mix economic and social levels to insure a fairer distribution of pupils, but these experiments have usually not worked well. As a result, some schools are all black or all white, or all Hispanic. Race has nothing to do with it as used to be the case 40 years ago. But the facilities sometimes reflect the abysmal level of income and culture of their families, and, even worse, show much lower academic results. The best teachers want to teach in affluent areas and affluent school districts want to hire the best. What’s left (of the teachers) take whatever positions are available.