North Whidbey students need more class time | Letters
February 5, 2013 · Updated 3:08 PM
Oak Harbor needs to pass the school levy. After almost 30 years flying in the Navy and a few years spent running an aerospace manufacturing company, I went back to school and earned my teaching certificate as a secondary science teacher. I spent five years teaching science at North Whidbey Middle School.
I was mentored by enthusiastic, focused, tireless and devoted professionals … both teachers and administrators. I found teaching middle school students to be the most challenging job mentally, physically and emotionally that I have ever had the privilege of doing. No group has been affected more in the last few years than our middle school kids.
Budget cuts reduced their time with teachers 30 minutes a day … these young teenagers are in, arguably, the most influential time of their lives and state-forced budget cuts reduced the minutes they spend learning.
At the same time, sports and clubs have been cut to the point that only half of the students who want to play sports are even given the chance.
These are the years when students need more time in school and more to do after school … not less. Where once we had six science teachers teaching sixth, seventh and eighth grade science at North Whidbey Middle School, we now have four.
Fewer teachers equate to larger classroom sizes and less time spent with each student.
My most successful tool was opening my classroom after school for tutoring and as a place for students to do homework in a supervised environment.
The loss of funds for the late “tutoring bus” all but removed that option. Oak Harbor’s school levy will restore the full middle school day and bring back middle school tutoring and sports. Please join me in voting yes.
Capt. John R. Worthington, USN, Ret.
former science teacher