Thirty-year teaching veteran Elizabeth S. Layton sits in her English department office at B-CC, thumbing through old year books.

Coming across old photographs of B-CC teachers, she laments the increasing "lack of commitment" of those teachers who have replaced them.

"We used to be tireless," she says, closing a book and shaking her head "We talked and researched and planned for days on end. There was a commitment to the profession that I feel is going down."

A pleasant, soft-spoken woman, Layton remembered her first day at B-CC 27 years ago.

"It was on of the hardest, most depressing times of my life," she says, smiling. "I felt inadequate compared to my illustrious peers. They had great reputations.In those days, if you taught at B-CC, you were really something special.

"One day Dr. Lucille Smith, another teacher then, said to me, 'My dear, I taught 15 years before coming here and I have a doctorate. Ye others here still think I'm insufficient.'"

Layton laughs at the memory. "In those days, we paid more attention to consistency in the department," she says. "Everyone knew what everyone else was doing. We were strong and good because we were united in what we were attempting to do.

"Now, everything is so dissipated I don't know as much about what others are doing in their classes. Kids are more independent. They have jobs and others outside interests. We can't control them or their learning as much as before.

"If we (teachers) meet nowadays, it's only for very specific reasons, like which class to place so-and-so in.

"We just don't do as muchas before," Layton says. "Teachers are negotiating the length of their days now, the number of night meetings they should attend, how many days they should spend after school. That would have been unheard of 30 years ago."

Today, she goes on, "at 4 p.m. sharply, some teachers will just get up and depart. They take more advantage of their free time. The philosophy in the old days was that you as a teacher could always see something more to do. And you did it."

Teachers today, Layton feels, see more limits to the profession.

"My colleagues are saying there's more to life than teaching," she sighs. "I think it has something to do with the sexes. In the past, more of use were women. We could sit down after school and make ourselves do more.

"Now," she says "there are more who say why should I do that when I could be bowling or hunting or fishing?" CAPTION: Picture, Elizabeth S. Layton, a teacher for 30 years, says, "We used to be tireless."