By Moselle Dake, 14, Irvington; starts Grant High School in Fall 2019

I was exposed to the idea of good education at a young age. When I was 6 years old my mom started a small school because she was unhappy with the public school that I would have gone to while living in San Francisco. This was my first introduction to how education is something worth fighting for and how a good teacher can change your life forever. But after moving to Northeast Portland and starting sixth grade at a public school here, I learned that not all kids got the same chances in school as me. 

There are four teachers at my middle school that are notorious among students. We all know that they should not be teaching. It started out with a teacher in 6th grade who yelled at my entire class for at least 30 minutes most days, even though it was because only a couple kids were misbehaving. In this teacher’s class, we read one book in the entire school year. 

My seventh grade teacher may have been a good person, but I learned nothing in her class and my writing – usually my best subject- went downhill. This year I have a teacher who is well-intentioned, but she is overwhelmed, does not teach well, and does not grade most of our work. 

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I know a student at my school who has had these same bad teachers. Even though he is smart and extremely friendly, his reading in 6th grade was below grade level. It breaks my heart that someone like him is failing his classes because the adults in his life have failed him: his teachers, his parents, his community, his public school system. I have a very hard time comprehending why no one either knows this, does anything about it, or cares. Do you want to retire and realize the next generation is not equipped with the necessary skills for making good decisions in important things such as our government? 

I have to say that all the other teachers at my school are great. I have had math and science teachers who make their classes fun while teaching all of their students so much. I have had an art teacher that is the only reason that some students want to come to school, and a band teacher who inspires and pushes kids to be the best they can be. I have had a social studies teacher who makes students excited about learning history by teaching from multiple points of view so that all students feel like they are learning about history from their ancestors’ side of the story. I had a P.E. teacher who owns extra bikes so that kids who can’t afford bikes can participate in her famous bike unit.

It is unfair to these wonderful teachers that they have to do so much more work than the below-mediocre teachers who get paid the same. These teachers are the people who I can not thank enough; they have impacted and touched so many people’s lives. Teachers like this should be credited for the success of their students. 

They are the reason I have been inspired to become a teacher myself. After all, we are the future.