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The state of education

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posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 05:27 AM
They don't respect us grownups and teachers especially because they can easily understand that we are 'fake'! We are full of hypocrisy and pretence. We act out our role to the exact minutest detail. And that's what kids mock.

After lots of patience from their side, kids get bored and maybe revengeful!

I have personally experienced the taste of a real teacher: a person that could truly approach us, because he was a genuine person! his session was a real 'knowledge' party:

1) we arranged our desks in special ways.
2) we did theatrical presentations of the lesson.
3) we went out in nature.
4) we held long discussions about relationships. After all, at the tender age of 13 to 15, relationships is the no1 subject.

That teacher never had us memorize anything. He always appealed to our judgement. He was a true 'teacher', and even 'bullies' participated in the class! it was truly amazing to see 25 hands, the whole of the class, furiously raised in order to be selected for answering the questions! Other teachers came and watched the sessions in order to find out how to unlock the secrets to relations with children!

After all these years, I still can remember much of the lesson he tought, and many pleasant memories. I can't remember anything from other teachers.

Kids can easily recognize what we really feel. While as adults we are trained not to pay attention to other people's feelings, kids are not. So they can easily spot a teacher that has no actual interest in teaching. They can easily recognize the fake one, the pretending one. And we are all great pretenders.

That's the problem with education. Strengthening discipline will bring less problems to teachers, but will not be a step forward for our society.

posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 09:43 AM
Sorry about the differnet screen name I hope it isn't a problem but it was the only way I could respond at work to the laster poster. I don't know if you were reffering to my comments but lets examine them in reality.

First of all when I speak of discipline I'm talking about young children mainly. This is the age where they have no higher order thinking skills and need rules and boundaries for their safety and their development. If you tell a young child not to do something because it is wrong you'll likely be asked well what will happen if I do? Children want and need boundaries. They want to know physically what will happen to them as a consequence, what penalty they will suffer so they can put it in context. Then, as they get older and can function at higher levels then you have punishments that affect their social time, are aimed at getting them to think about what they did wrong, etc. However if you don't put this in place at a young age then they don't progress correctly and yes, sometimes even at an older age they don't progress as fast as others and corporal punishment is a valid and effective means of discipline. It all just depends on the kid. Thats where the problem is, we have made all these strides into differentiating education to the student and yet we try to discipline them all the same. To a kid that hasn't mastered higher order thinking these punishments are more like rewards because there is no real sting to them, such as in school suspension or out of school suspension. Now if I were suspended from school or even got detention I would have faced severe consequences at home which would have paled the school ones in comparison. So thats why I said its a home problem too. A school can raise a child even though we try, only the home can.

Second you mentioned theatrical lessons and talking about relationships. This would be great if I didn't have a specific curriculum I had to follow as mandated by the state with a standardized test at the end where I am held responsible for the scores. Because of the beuracracy and testing all but the most creative teachers are prevented from doing much beyond the truely mediocre. There are many that rise to the challenge, but there's only so much we can surpass when our jobs are on the line. So, yes I'd love to do things like that and I strive to when I can, but I have a tremendous amount of information to convey, 90 days to do it, and my job is on the line on the basis of a test that does not gauge their understanding of a subject but how well they memorize information.

Third you talk about going out into nature and this gets to the point that we are in a nation crazy over litigation. I'd love to take them outside but my neck is on the line. If Johnny is stung by a bee and ends up in the hospital I and the school get sued for millions of dollars. I live on a state border near many many historical landmarks that would be awesome for field trips. But because of insurance based on litigation I have to go through so much red tape to take them across state lines that it is almost impossible and is usually financially prohibative.

Now some other issues that get to the base of the problem that you didn't mention. First of all the work ethic that started in this country has been dilluted to the point that it is almost unrecognizable in many of today's youth. I say many because there are plenty that work hard, but the average standard has dropped. I see this as being due to two factors. First of all we live in a society of immediate gratification in which people work very little to obtain things. I admit I'm part of it in some respects, but credit cards, microwaves, and instant meals take away having to wait and work for gratification. The other problem is social promotion. We promote kids to the next grade even though they do not have the knowledge they need to be there. We are so worried about hurting people's feelings that we give them unreasonable views of themselves. I will always tell a student that they can get just as far as they want to with a lot of hard work, but I'm not going to tell them they've already achieved what they haven't. What I'm seeing now is a large number of students that have gotten promoted that not only do not have a basic knowledge needed for high school, but actually beleive themselves to be honor students when they're not, and I'm talking to the point that out of 400 students in a class 170 are classified as honors. This lowers the expectation of what an honors class is considerably and hurts the students that really are honors. It also devestates the ones that aren't when they get a real teacher and their A's and B's dissapear and becomes C's, D's, or even F's. We are brining up a group that believes that they can do almost no work and still progress, sometimes even at the top of their class. Just like when they reach a teacher that expects them to work, when they get into the real world they are going to be devestated. If you don't work in a college class you fail. If you act up in a college class you get expelled. If you don't work at a job you get fired. If you act up at a job you get fired. If you act up enough at a job you get arrested. I'm not trying to be fake to my students, I'm trying to prepare them for a real world that isn't going to cater to their every whim and "make it better" when they screw up. I care about them, I want them to succeed, thats why I became an educator. I think you are getting so caught up in what things could be that you forget that we still have to exist in the real world, at least until we can change it. If I don't prepare my students to live by the societal standards of the current world, not only will they fail, they won't be able to change it for the better.

posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 12:00 PM
The above post illustrates very well what a decent teacher is.

If kid's don't listen to you, you should look for a problem within yourself, not the poor kids!

If you have someone "acting out" in your class, you can suspend or expel him. So he won't be in the class any more. What else do you want?

It then would be his choice to "correct" and come back or to go to another school or to start a company, to become a rock start or a Sufi. That's not your problem.

>> I'm trying to prepare them for a real world that isn't going to...

This is the same as 15 teachers that I had in my school. They had already screwed their live and kept trying to screw the life of their pupils, by hammering their senile "LIFE IS HARD" marasmus into them and saying "I want to prepare them for the real world!".

Ok, a little test for you now.

Please evaluate yourself, your life, your job, your attitude, etc. from 0 to 10.

[edit on 1-12-2004 by bratok]

posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 03:53 PM
Well lets examine this. If I have someone acting up in my class no I can't suspend or expel them. I can send them to the office and if they've been sent enough they'll get suspended for a day or so. Then they'll be right back. You expel someone and lawyers get involved and well we're right back to the problems I listed. I find it interesting that all you want to do to refute my points is to personally attack me as a teacher. You have never seen me teach, you don't know where I teach, you know nothing about me except what I have written here about the system as a whole. For your information on the first day I ask the kids what they want to do and try and incorporate that into my lessons whenever possible. I am constantly looking for ways to change things to make my class more fun and interesting. For your information I have students that tell me its their favorite class and students that don't like it, you're never going to satisfy everyone but I do my best to modify things so that everyone finds something interesting. If you notice from my posts nothing was at the level of the classroom yet everything you list is. I'm talking about broad changes that are needed so that once a child gets to my classroom or the classroom of any teacher they have a better chance of success. My sole purpose is to create an environment where as many kids as possible succeed. I have posted things that I as someone involved in the field have seen that need to be repaired. All you have done is tell us about one teacher you had once and then attack myself and my profession catagorical stereotypes that can fit certain members of any profession but in no way characterize our numbers as a whole.

Finally you put that stupid quiz up as a direct insinuation that I'm not happy with my life and I'm taking it out on the kids. Again y ou have no idea what my life is like and your tactics are lowering this discourse. I didn't put it up to complain or for pity, I put it up to get a discussion going and maybe get feedback on ways to change it. Instead I get your insults.

You ask me to grade my life well if you must be that nosey lets examine it. I'm young, I'm getting engaged last night, I'm in a field that I enjoy going to work each day and I get to help people, while the pay isnt' great its decent and I have great benefits, I live in one of the most beautiful areas on the earth, I have a family that loves me, friends that respect me, and next fall I am starting law school so I make even more of a difference. I'm not even leaving the school system once I have a law degree, I want to use it to help reform the problems with our legal profession by enlightening future generations. I have a blessed life, thank you.

posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 02:45 AM
>> I'm talking about broad changes that are needed so that once a child gets to my classroom ... they have a better chance of success.
>> My sole purpose is to create an environment where as many kids as possible succeed.

Yet I truly believe that "disciplining" a kid by using "corporal punishment" or any other way of mental-block-hanging would make him a successful 9 to 5 factory worker and nothing better.

If you think that a factory worker is successful, then you're on the right way

>> All you have done is tell us about one teacher you had once and then attack myself and my profession catagorical stereotypes...

As illustrated by a few post above, when a decent, true teacher walks into the class, everyone stops talking or "acting out" and carefully listens to every word he says.

Therefore he does not even get an idea "it might me useful to use corporal punishment". Why should he, if everybody is listening?
Even if someone starts acting out, he would try to find a key to this kid, instead of hanging blocks onto him.

So, if you suggest the use of "corporal punishment", it means that some kids do not listen to what you say. That means you have problems with communicating with kids.

>> Finally you put that stupid quiz up as a direct insinuation that I'm not happy with my life and I'm taking it out on the kids.

It's an interesting assumption you make. How do you know, maybe I was expecting to hear that you're happy?
What would you think of someone, who, when asked "are you happy?", thinks "oh, he want me to say that I'm not happy..."

>> You ask me to grade my life well if you must be that nosey lets examine it.

It's a basic, well known, test that needs only a number from zero to ten.
Your autobiography isn't needed

>> by enlightening future generations.

If not a secret, how exactly are you planing to enlight it?

[edit on 2-12-2004 by bratok]

posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 05:48 AM
Ok please someone post something positive. I'm done playing this guys game, its not productive and he's just a troll who beyond making the shocking revelation that children pay more attention when a subject is interesting (duh), and has made no positive contribution to this thread. Please some new blood, some discourse, a real argument for once from someone. Bratok I'd love to discuss your views of education, but please find a less acidic way of presenting them, especially if you're going to make vague inuendos and not stick by them. Oh, and yes for a lot of people, working in a factory is a good job by which they are able to make a good wage and feed their family. So whether they become a factory worker or a doctor if they become productive members of society and can live fulfilling lives then yes I'm happy. Oh, and if you weren't so busy finding ways to tell me what I'm supposedly doing wrong, you would have seen that this entire thread was supposed to be things that needed to be done to help students gain "enlightenment."

posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 03:42 PM

Originally posted by jukyu
I haven't said it yet but I'm a public school teacher. I must say that at this point I'm really scared by the ignorance of students in the public school system...

Excellent post jukyu, I agree 100%!

Originally posted by bratok
"...Why this kid does not want to learn math? Maybe he thinks he does not need it? Then let's have an open-mind discussion with him to see if he is right or not. Maybe he does not like the math teacher? Then what can be done ABOUT THE TEACHER so that the kid would like and respect him? And so on..."

Originally posted by bratok
If kid's don't listen to you, you should look for a problem within yourself, not the poor kids!

I see... So, all kids are good and can do no wrong; therefore, if a kid is antisocial or disruptive, it must somehow be the teacher's fault. Not only does this not make sense, it completely ignores human nature. And people should be held responsible for their own actions, whether they're 8 or 80 years old. On top of that, you're assuming that a child has the knowledge and experience to make adult decisions about his/her own future. They don't.

You spoke of moral relativity, which is another debate in itself, but I'll touch on relevance here. The notion that education must be "relevant" to the students is nonsense. It is absurd to imagine that students can determine in advance what will turn out to be relevant to their progress as adults. Relevance is not something you can predict. It is something you discover after the fact -- after you have left school and are out in the working world.

A democratic society can only be successful if it has a well-educated public. If everyone lived their lives on a need-to-know basis, they'd be highly succeptible to fraud in its various forms. How free are you when you're gullible enough to be persuaded to believe a lie, just because you have no idea what the lying person is talking about? That's how the "useless" knowledge you don't use on your day-to-day job helps you survive. If you don't have a basic knowlege of Math, Science, Language, and Government/History, how are you going to know if a politician is lying to you? Or a doctor? Or a lawyer? Or a salesman? etc. You wouldn't -- and you'd graciously accept being ripped off, given poison, or sold something dangerous because you just didn't know any better.

Take away the "classical" education of Math, Science, Language, and Government/History, and you'll quickly have a country that descends into both tyranny and anarchy.

I'm sorry, bratok, but your posts aren't even logical. They're just emotional outbursts. I'll say your heart is in the right place, but, as you said yourself, logic is the "enemy" of creativity, so...

[edit on 12/3/2004 by ThunderCloud]

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