This e-mail is from a former Payson High School teacher and directed toward the former student who wrote the letter of negative criticism of PHS teachers printed in the July 21 issue of the Payson Roundup. I taught English, reading, and writing classes there for eight years.
I will state unequivocally that I have never taught with a finer, more concerned staff, including teachers, administrators, and support staff. I would not have stayed there as long as I did had that not been the case. I do not have knowledge of but a single teacher who was not 100 percent engaged in providing quality education to every student.
Many of us worked long hours to this end, as well as putting extra time to help improve the school, and we did these things often at the sacrifice of our family and personal time.
I wondered how the writer avoided the obvious irony in the articles the newspaper printed on July 21.
In the letter, the author lambasts the teachers; another article seems to imply that the main reason for low recruitment is salary. Could it be possible that potential recruits read the newspaper before applying to teach in the community? Could it be that people are sensing this type of negativity during the interview process?
I realize the purpose of the letter is to reflect an opinion and that, technically, facts are not required to back it up, but as in any situation, only facts engender credibility. When I taught logic fallacy in my classes, I taught PHS students that opinion cannot support opinion with validity.
I do not know the author of this letter. Perhaps the person had an absentee problem or was not particularly receptive to learning during his time at PHS. My recommendation is that the author spend some time in the classroom of a teacher such as Anna VanZile to review effective argumentation techniques.
All PHS English teachers teach them.
Lella B. Dougherty