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Reader says teachers need respect, support

Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about America’s educational system. — Heloise

“Dear Heloise: As schoolchildren go back to their desks and books, I’m reminded of how difficult it is to teach a curriculum. In other countries, children are taught to respect their teachers. I don’t see it here in the U.S. We’ve taken away all authority from our teachers, blamed them if a student fails in class and made teaching an unattractive profession.

“Currently, we are facing a teacher shortage in some areas of the country, especially in poor districts. Some of the worst shortages are in subjects such as special ed, math and computer science.

“What can districts do to attract better teachers? They can improve pay and benefits, offer additional autonomy, and provide support and mentoring in their school districts. Perhaps the most important part, however, is parental support. They need to get behind the teacher and adopt a ‘zero tolerance for bad grades and bad behavior’ from their children, and that starts in kindergarten.” — Karen in Wisconsin

(Heloise is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. Send a hint to P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or E-Mail: Heloise@Heloise.com.)

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