Monday, April 15, 2013

School Safety

Ed Week has an article here describing Congressional efforts to do something about school safety.  There is disagreement about all aspects of change, from increasing mental health resources to tightening gun laws.

I am all in favor of better mental health resources and stricter gun laws.  But most of these shooters are young men, which means they have very recently been high school students.

I was lucky enough to teach in a high school with reasonable class and student loads.  Most of us taught four classes and were limited to 95 students.  That’s way under the average load for secondary teachers.  But it meant that I could notice students who were not functioning well.  Many, many times I walked students up to our excellent guidance center, and waited until they had set up appointments for help.

Teachers who teach 150 kids every day, in five classes (plus a duty!) rarely have the time to do this kind of hand-holding.   There are many educational reasons to reduce the teaching load of secondary teachers, but there is also a good school safety one as well.

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