Mailbag: Teachers prove their skills in classroom

I write to express appreciation and agreement with letter-writers Stanton J. Price and Judith Warner about the pointless efforts to measure teachers for their diversity skills (“Some things don’t need to be tested” and “Diversity best learned in the classroom,” respectively, Dec. 28).

Developing such skills comes from life and classroom experiences. Human diversity takes many forms. Not all of these are susceptible to language courses, cultural programs and sensitivity training.

A prime example of a teacher’s ability to instruct effectively under diverse conditions was featured in a Dec. 29 Los Angeles Times front-page story “Hushing the intruders in her brain,” which is about Jani Schofield, who, at age 6, was found to be suffering from schizophrenic delusions so severe she must be mentally stimulated while awake or she can lose control and become violent, a danger to herself and her family.

Glendale Community College professor Daphne Dionosio introduced herself and a group of psychology students to the family. The students now spend at least five hours every day with the child, keeping her mind occupied.

The article also stated that the assistance gives the over-stressed parents a few hours each day of relief and rest from the struggle to help Jani, holding their family together.

How would Dionosio measure up on the paper test of diversity skills, and would her grade reflect her extraordinary way of teaching psychology students about a human mind gone astray? Five to 14 students are involved in learning firsthand about schizophrenia, to say nothing of the gift of giving their help personally to a tormented child and her parents.

Glendale Community College is twice mentioned as the place from where this creative instruction comes from. I can’t say enough in praise of our community college and its active engagement with diversity in all of its forms.

I’m sure Glendale Unified School District has teaching staff of equal merit, and I hope some of their diversity stories will be heard with as much honor accruing to wonderful educators we are fortunate to have here.

SUSAN N.

STEPHENSON

Glendale

Is Obama doing his job from Hawaii?

I’m wondering why the Obama family had to go to Hawaii with all the problems in this country? Most past presidents have been more than happy to spend Christmas and New Year’s at Camp David. (I’d be happy to spend the time in our beautifully decorated White House!)

The cost of fuel alone for Air Force One is more than many people had to spend this Christmas. And, the Secret Service, private secured quarters, meals, etc. are more than one can fathom in cost!

It seems that President Barack Obama is enjoying the perks more than he is paying attention to business.

Oh, how can we wait for the 2010 and 2012 elections?

FRANCIS ADAMS

Glendale


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