THE TEACHER'S INTEREST
To the Editors of The Crimson:
I must take exception to at least part of Chris Hagert's "Opinion" article in the Oct. 30 Crimson. He seems to say that the youthful candidates for the Cambridge School Committee would somehow miraculously liberate the students from "the totality of the school system's degradation". Myself, I believe that often it's the teachers who need to be liberated from the degradation of some of the trouble-making students, who are kept in school only because they are too young to quit and go to work.
I am not a "life-long resident of Cambridge". I have lived here only six years, four of them as a graduate student at Harvard, but now I earn a living in part by substitute teaching in the Cambridge high schools. While "teaching" at Rindge Teach, I have never been able to teach, esp. the 9th graders, I only collect paper-airplanes and yo-yos, while ducking as best I can the chalk, pennies, spitballs and verbal abuse ("spick," "queer", etc.); I consider myself lucky because I have never been assaulted, only threatened.
As for radical reform of the libraries--at Rindge the library is mostly used by students cutting class.
As for abolishing teacher-tenure--at Rindge tenure is about the only thing that keeps many teachers there at all.
As for creative new programs--there are many creative and talented teachers at Rindge, but their time is taken up with keeping the canaille from destroying the bathrooms or stealing pencils. The good students go begging because the School Committee and the courts are so "responsive" to the parents that the teacher has to spend too much of his time acting as policeman. Donald E. Steele