Sacrificing a career to raise childrenAs a full-time...


August 15, 1999

Sacrificing a career to raise children

As a full-time stay-at-home mom, I took offense at Susan Ager's column, "Now ordinary women can get high and mighty just like ordinary men" (July 29).

Mrs. Ager's piece applauds women who have attained lofty career goals, one of whom has done so while shuffling her child between a nanny and babysitters.

There is nothing extraordinary about a woman whose career comes before her child.

Not once did Ms. Ager consider a woman extraordinary who had chosen marriage and motherhood as a career.

And people wonder why there is a decline in family values, and why some of America's youth seem misguided.

I understand that there are women who financially must work.

However, in most cases it is a conscious choice for a woman to be employed outside the home. It is a choice to have two family vehicles, to own a larger home.

To me, nothing is more extraordinary than a woman who puts her career on hold to raise her children.

These women sacrifice financial comfort and material goods to give their children the best possible start.

They are often looked down upon because it is no longer a societal norm for a woman to stay at home with her children.

It is these women, who give their children the gift of themselves, who are extraordinary.

Although I intend to teach my daughter that she can aspire to be anything, it is also my intention to teach her that children should be a mother's top priority.

Kimberly A. Dobrzykowski, Eldersburg

Becoming extension of Owings Mills

After reading about Carroll County Commissioner Donald I. Dell

Dell's latest pro-development comments in regards to the Rash farm being rezoned from agricultural, I feel obligated to speak up.

Mr. Dell claims to be a proponent of property rights and yet apparently has no problem with the increasing property taxes that Carroll County residents must pay to subsidize the costs of development.

In the 10 years I have lived in the county, my property taxes have nearly doubled, paying for new schools, more government, police and water and sewer. We are, in effect, being forced to subsidize the profits of developers such as Marty Hill.

And what of Mr. Dell's talk about the importance of preserving the county's agricultural heritage?

Evidently that talk was insincere, just as his original campaign slogan, "Keep it Country," based on a look at his voting record.

Our county is facing a serious long-term water shortage, with all new development drawing on the same aquifers as existing homes.

Prudent planning would indicate real caution in placing more demand on our limited water supply, if one is concerned about the future.

If the commissioners set the precedent of changing agriculturally zoned land to residential, we may become an extension of Owings Mills.

George H. Huppman, Manchester

Mystifying obstacles to becoming a teacher

The comments of Crispin Sartwell ("Why am I not good enough to teach in Md.'s schools," Opinion Commentary Aug. 2) and Jon C. Woodyard ("Substitute's easy `in,' " letter to the editor, Aug. 7) on the obstacles facing educated adults who want to teach in Maryland public schools struck a familiar chord.

At the conclusion of 21 years of naval service last year, I explored teaching in Maryland public schools.

This would have allowed me to enter community service as a second career. I was fully aware that my existing bachelor's degree would require augmenting and was prepared to spend time in the classroom. I expected this extra work to be directly (or even generally) related to child development and other education-related topics.

I was not prepared for a totally inflexible set of requirements that defied any application of logic.

First, the state university system found my undergraduate history education lacking by one course. I believe that my real life experience in Cold War naval operations and participation in NATO activities, related to the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, could be an acceptable substitute for an undergraduate history class.

The teaching certification process in Maryland would not entertain this argument. Neither would it accept recognized equivalency exams that the rest of the state university system readily accepts as part of their own degree requirements.

If I wanted to teach in Maryland, it was clear that I would be returning to the classroom as an undergraduate first.

The next obstacle came in the form of a requirement now facing all aspiring Maryland teachers: additional undergraduate coursework in non-Western literature. This prerequisite to certification is clearly driven by political correctness in the name of diversity, and could also be met only in a classroom (of course).

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