Here we go again ... more distractions in the Utica Schools that is ... although what is going on there seems to be prevalent everywhere these days. Now the kids are celebrating "Volunteer Appreciation Day."
Sure, let's give a hand to the many volunteers who assist in our schools every day. Let us adults give the hand, that is -- the volunteers are doing our job . . . whether we be parents or teachers. But for the kids to take a day out of their schedule to give accolades to their helpers is nonsense on top of nonsense.
There is something very wrong with our schools if they need armies of volunteers to teach basic things such as math and reading. Since volunteers do not necessarily have any special qualifications we should be asking ourselves what are we paying teachers for? Why are the teachers apparently unable to do the job? Funny, this never used to be a problem -- long before there were volunteers in the schools -- long before there were teacher assistants and aides in the schools -- and long before classrooms started looking like menageries. It is nonsense that volunteers are now needed.
Now what about the time out of class to "thank" the volunteers? What are the students missing? Seems like there is some new distraction every day -- some new excuse to put away the pen and paper -- to put down the book -- and to party. This sends the wrong message: that doing "politically correct" and "feel-good" things is more important that than the "3 Rs."
Let's thank the volunteers -- but also eliminate the reasons why we need them.