We Disagree with Mr. Shaw’s Comments on Howard County Teaching Practices

Late work traditionally gets 10% off every day it’s late. (Photo by Gabi Olibris)

Are teacher’s leniency in the classroom a reflection of pushing their political agendas on students’ education?

On Tuesday, November 2, 2021 Mr. Shaw spoke to the Board of Education about his concerns with the way classes in Howard County are being taught. He expressed that students are being given too much leniency and are not being properly prepared for the real world.  He also feels that teachers are “indoctrinating” our students with political ideologies. 

We believe this is a misrepresentation of what happens in Howard County. With many students’ lives changed this year, teachers being a bit more lenient is not going to ill prepare them for post-high school life. Students have a lot on their plates right now: adjusting back to full time school, dealing with mental health, and interacting with people in person again. Therefore, teachers are adjusting based on students’ needs.

Mr. Shaw’s comments do not tell the full story about how teachers at Wilde Lake prepare students for their future endeavors. Although they can be lenient with deadlines, they also make sure that students have all the resources and assistance they need to learn the content and be successful in the class. 

Submitting work on time without understanding the content or fully completing the work will not “prepare students for the real world,” but instead will leave them with lapses in important content and will not truly teach them anything. 

He then proceeded to talk about how Howard County schools are politically indoctrinating students. 

He feels that the staff at Wilde Lake are pushing their political agendas on students. However, the staff at Wilde Lake pride themselves on preserving the individuality of their students, political or otherwise. Classes are purely based on content and factual information that allow for students’ interpretation and opinion to be expressed openly in the classroom.

The history that is taught at Wilde Lake is not sugar coated or hidden. True history, both locally and internationally, although sometimes painful and uncomfortable, is an opportunity for students to grow and learn not to repeat the mistakes of the past. 

Our community openly welcomes students from all backgrounds to share their differing opinions and experiences in a safe environment. Teachers do not force one idea, political belief, or practice on students but allow us to develop our own through discussion.

Teachers in Howard County are not indoctrinating students. They have created an inclusive environment where students can form their own opinions based on facts. And that environment is damaged by teachers who don’t allow room for discussion.