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It is in the prosecution of some single object, and in striving to reach its accomplishment by the combined application of his moral and physical energies, that the true happiness of man, in his full vigour and development, consists. Possession, it is true, crowns exertion with repose; but it is only in the illusions of fancy that it has power to charm our eyes. If we consider the position of man in the universe,—if we remember the constant tendency of his energies towards some definite activity, and recognize the influence of surrounding nature, which is ever provoking him to exertion, we shall be ready to acknowledge that repose and possession do not indeed exist but in imagination. - Wilhelm von Humboldt, The Sphere and Duties of Government (The Limits of State Action) (1854 ed.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Letters: What tired Oregon teachers say

Dear Editors and Teachers:

There are a number of problems with Susan Nielsen's attempt to evoke
sympathy for teachers in her article "What tired Oregon teachers say"
on Sunday 11/15. While I agree that teachers are woefully
under-appreciated and under-valued - their role being among the most
vital to any community - along with this comes equally strenuous
responsibility. My experience leads me to believe that where the
system is failing is inculcating, fostering, and sustaining in
teachers a goal of "eudaimonia": Each and every students needs to
flourish to their maximum potential. I recognize the difficulty in a
class of 30 or so, and it would even be hard with only 10. But, I have
found that most teachers unwilling to work with me to achieve this for
my children, let alone for their class as a whole. Further, some
districts such as mine actively disallow in-class volunteering.
Consequentially, I reject the notion that teachers are lacking
volunteer support.

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