Matteo: 10 reasons why I could never be a teacher in America today

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

When I graduated from college in 1983, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I had a bachelor’s degree in economics and graduated cum laude from my university. I worked as a medical claims examiner for an insurance company, did retail sales, and even worked for a company that did inventories for retailers. Two years after I got my degree, I made the decision to be a teacher. I saved up enough money to take a year off and went back to school to get my teaching certificate, which I obtained after picking up 48 credits in 1 year. At this time, affirmative action was a major factor in teacher hiring, so I had to settle for a temporary job teaching world history at a high school. It was a six-month job to fill in for a teacher who was on maternity leave. During this six-month period, I went to school every morning with tremendous energy and developed a great rapport with my students. My department head gave me a perfect 100% score on my beginning teacher program, however, the school made a deal with the teacher who went on maternity leave to bring her back a week before the semester ended, so she could get credit for a full year. My students, who loved my classes, were so upset that they created petitions to keep me. I ended up leaving that school and took a position at a junior high school, but the assistant principal for the high school where I had worked realized that I was a quality teacher, and informed me that the next social studies teaching position that opened up in social studies would be mine.  

Later that year a position did open up, but my phone never rang.  As it turned out, they were obligated by the county to hire a black teacher (because of court-ordered staffing ratios/a precursor to DEI) and I was stuck at the junior high school. The teacher that they hired was so bad, that he was let go after the following school year. However, I was so disheartened by this situation that I decided to leave education and start my own business. After a year of getting my business set up, I really missed teaching, so I opted to teach at night at a private school. I did that for several years and throughout the next decade worked a lot of part-time teaching gigs because I loved being in the classroom.  

I closed my business in 2007 and got a job working for an SAT company. Once again, I was thrilled to be back in the classroom and doing what I loved to do: teaching. The company was seeking to open offices in China, so in 2010, I was sent to China and I got to teach Chinese students. It was a great experience. I eventually took a job in 2012 teaching in a Chinese high school. I have remained in China as a teacher, and in addition to teaching, I have held many responsible positions at Chinese schools that included head of the ESL department, head of the humanities department and vice principal. My relationship with my students here is very similar to my relationship with my American students, which is excellent. They know I am here to help them and in addition to teaching them, I mentor them. I am well respected at my school by my students, colleagues and parents, and despite the mandatory Chinese retirement age being 60, I have been allowed to teach even though I am 62 because in China my expertise and experience are valued.  

As I see the insanity that has taken over many school systems in America, where parental rights are usurped by activist school board members with liberal agendas, and left-wing so-called educators who are intent on bastardizing curriculum to support their own warped ideas about education, I am certain that I could never be a teacher in America.

Whether it is support for misguided history lessons in the form of critical race theory history curriculums, or the idea that my career would be terminated if I refused to comply with compelled speech and used an objectionable pronoun in the eyes of some student who was successfully indoctrinated into believing that pronouns can be owned, I know I would never be able to teach in America again.  

These are the things that would have gotten me fired (or not hired) if I was an American teacher:

1) Pronouns are parts of speech, and like adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, you don’t get to own them, as they are merely tools in how we communicate.

2) People should be hired based upon merit.  Professional sports teams don’t win championships by putting the most “diverse” lineup on the field.  They win championships by putting the best lineup on the field.

3) Teaching children to embrace their fantasies leads to delusional thinking and groups of spoiled individuals who believe that the world must adjust to their environments, instead of them adjusting to the environments where they exist.

4) History should be taught with all of the factual information available and the purpose of it is to learn from it.  History should not be taught to vilify any group of people or make children feel guilty about people of the same race or ethnicity for things they didn’t do.

5) Celebrating victimhood is akin to celebrating having a terminal illness; it may lead to sympathy, but in reality it is debilitating and enabling.

6) Censoring ideas you disagree with is an act of cowardice.  The best way to refute ideas you dislike is to expose them in a logical manner through debate and civil discourse.

7)  I believe that a teacher’s private life should be private and NOT shared with students.  A teacher’s job is to teach specific subjects and their private lives have no bearing on the curriculum that they were hired to teach.

8) I believed debts, stamps and TV shows can be canceled, but people cannot be canceled and welcome someone trying to cancel me.  

9) All people should be respected because they are people.  However, respect does not include having one’s rights usurped or curbed and another person’s rights become preferential and take precedence.  We can agree to disagree without name calling and vilifying people with opposing views.  

10) I’m a heterosexual, older, fiscally conservative, Caucasian male, who believes that diversity, equity and inclusion is a smoke screen created by individuals who want to vilify merit and success, so no woke school administrator would not hire me.  


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