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Respect education program

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I would like to dispute the opprobrious and shabbily written “salute” offered to the education majors of Saint Mary’s in last Friday’s Inside Column by Laura Baumgartner, “Student teachers.” As an education major, I felt that it was demeaning on several levels. The first of these was the outright criticism of the faculty of our esteemed institution. I feel that the professors of any education department have an especially daunting task when it comes to the field of education, simply because of its nature. The education of children, or, for that matter, of adults, is not an exact science. Here at Saint Mary’s, we are very fortunate to have a department that is filled with teachers who are competent, understanding and, most importantly, present us with new challenges daily. They push us to explore the latest and best practices and present us with opportunities to push ourselves to new levels both in and out of the classroom.

When it comes to your promulgation, I would like to agree with you on one point. You are clearly in no position to judge any member of this faculty, as is clearly evidenced by your poor writing and thoughtless public presentation of your own thoughts. This leads to my second point of dissension. Your writing is atrocious. I read your article several times over, pausing and rereading to ensure that it was no trick of the imagination or computer screen. I find it difficult to believe that an attendee of this College would be so impudent as to insult tenured staff in the midst of writing littered with run-on sentences, misspelled words and blatant syntax errors. You can rest assured that your teachers and professors – present and past – would be less than pleased with your latest literary venture.

And finally, I speak for many of the women who share your campus when I express displeasure at your seemingly backhanded concluding statements. While it may be true that you meant no offense to the student-teaching body, how is it that you conceived the idea of undermining our entire major and department as being complimentary of our future roles as educators? In one sentence you debased the entire core of our education, and in the next you thank us for devoting our time to tasks you have already deemed worthless. And, for someone who so clearly stated that she could “only imagine the challenges” that educators face on a daily basis, you are quick to point out faults in a system with which you claim to have no firsthand experience. The focus of your column is so unclear that it leaves me wondering what your point was. Were you looking to uncover an education program that is in dereliction of its duties? Was your column an underhanded strike at pre-service educators? Or was it simply a poorly planned lament spurred by junior-year stress and the bellyaching of close friends? Whatever the case may be, I certainly hope that the many readers of The Observer can look past this misinformation and poor representation of our student body so that the true value of our institution, its professors and all of its students will not be overlooked.

Kate KeatingseniorLe Mans HallApril 25