1) In this essay the author is asserting the notion that “penny-pinching school boards” are the real ones to blame and not the teachers who are often the easiest to confront. The poor judgment and many cutbacks placed on teachers by their respective school boards create the appearance of mediocrity on the behalf of teachers.
He attributes this misplaced and often misunderstood anger to society’s lack of comprehension of what education is or the aims that it ought to pursue.
2) As far Mr. Layton is concerned, the teacher’s role is “incalculable”. The instrumental role they play in providing students with harmony or wisdom goes far beyond the one or two years in which the student may be their pupil.
This influence almost inevitably leads to the students discovering their intellectual passion and potentially pursuing it for the rest of their life. However for this to be possible, the teacher must have their own vision in which they are constantly pursuing and sharing with those they teach.
3) For the most part, I am in accordance with Mr. Irving’s conviction that “the purpose of schools and universities is to enrich the individual’s life by giving him/her the tools of self-improvement and the cultivated mind to use them.” Schooling provides us with the knowledge and skills to pursue our career passions and become socially responsible citizens.
Whether it is the academic proficiency gained in English and Math or the collective skills of teamwork and time management, schools and universities are essential aspects in the development of well-rounded individuals.
However, like many other tools of self-improvement, you get what you give. You can only allow schools and universities to change your social and academic skills to the degree you feel appropriate. Therefore self-improvement becomes open to interpretation and whether or not a person believes that schooling is actually improving their life in a positive way.
Though the tools may be available, failure to utilize them will solely rest with the individual and their determination to improve themselves. Nevertheless, it is absolutely true that the educational system does provide us with methods to better ourselves and teachers are the instruments used to explain and guide us with those tools.