RE: Educational Equity Digest V1 #46
Sat, 9 Nov 1996 8:46:57 -0500 (EST)

I find that I must reply to Nancy M-K's comment about girls "dumbing down"
to teaching. I want to plug for the really bright people who have a calling
for teaching to do that. We need teacher role models for bright women.
If we had more bright women teaching math and science, it would be more
accepted for girls to be interested and to achieve highly in these fields.
Certainly girls should pursue other careers in science and maths if that
is what they want to do. But just because elementary teaching has been
a traditional job for women doesn't diminish it's importance. Teaching
affects every child in the country. It is estimated that by the age of
10, children have learned half of what they will learn in their lifetimes,
when counting learning to talk, walk, etc.
The teachers they have in N, K, 1, 2 and 3 will determine whether they
see themselves as successful learners, whether they gain the foundation
for later academic success, and to a great extent how they form positive
self esteem. If we were really doing this business right, the very brightest
people would be encouraged to become teachers and they would be paid
according to the contribution they make to society. Physicians contribute
to the life or death of the body; teachers contribute to the life or death
of the mind.
Betty Ford

new message to this message