Letter to the Editor

Externships weaken teaching commitment

Friday, January 10, 2020

Dear Editor,

The old adage “Be careful what you wish for” comes to mind as the Indiana General Assembly returned for the short session on Monday, Jan. 6.

Last spring, as we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week in May, it was revealed that the Senate Education Committee slipped in a provision to change the teacher licensing procedure. They made it mandatory for those completing PGPs to add 15 hours of a business-related externship to the 90 hours required before July 1, 2019. That threw the entire teaching staff of Indiana into a flurry of panic.

Now, this is stupid for a variety of reasons. The jobs of today will be gone by the time a kindergarten teacher’s students graduate. Besides, is it really wise to send teachers who already feel disrespected into the business world where they might see better pay and benefits? Do you have any idea how many teachers already have second or third jobs? It would seem that they already know what local businesses need.

Why did they do this? Because they never listen to the people in the field. Public education is more than just preparing kids to be worker drones for current job openings.

Fifty-thousand teachers (of 75,000) invalidated that law effectively by starting their paperwork early. There’s your sign of (un)intended consequences.


Kristien Hamilton

Greencastle Teacher