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Ask a Teacher Anything

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posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Thank you...I am currently a student (in college for the second time) and work with a department that offers services to students...this is a nice look into what instructors (teachers) actually do!

I have an AS in social science and am working on a BA...so you peaked my interest in educating our younger generation!

I also have four daughters in public school...6th though 12th grade...so I get some hands on every now and then!

One more (I know I said that last time) question...what are your views on taking religion out of the public school system...(the pledge of allegiance, history, etc...)?




posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 11:25 AM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl

Originally posted by boncho
9. Timmy brings a pack of matches to school, another kid tattles on him, you tell him you aren't gonna tell his parents but then you do.

Who is in the wrong here and why?


First of all, if Timmy brought a pack of matches to school, I would call his parents myself. Most likely Timmy meant nothing malicious; kids are curious creatures and like to show others theh things that fascinate them. I wouldn't assume Timmy was a raving pyromaniac intent on burning down the school unless there were other warning signs.

After the phone call, depending on the group of kids, we might have a talk about the dangers of playing with matches.

I would never tell a child something, then turn around and do the opposite. It would undermine the child's trust in me, and that trust is very important.



That's good.

The trust thing was all that I was looking for. There are a lot of teachers that don't care about the kids as long as they are following protocol or getting what they want out of them. A bit of a loaded question, but you hit the key notes I was pondering.

One last thing though, what about the boy who tattled?

What do you think his motivations were for tattling? I know we teach kids to report things to teachers, but in one scenario, what if the kid who tattled was also the kid who told the other to bring the matches to school? How many teachers would consider that type of scenario?

Some kids look for ways to get others in trouble if they don't like them, and some kids take the full brunt of the blame when they shouldn't.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 11:27 AM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 
My sister home schools her kids ( which i do no agree with but that is another matter) her one son is nine and cannot read past 1st grade level. She thinks it may be dyslexia. She has taken him to a neurologist but they cannot find anything wrong with him. Is there any public resources she can use to help him even though she does not participate in the school system. She doesnt have much money. any suggestions would be appreciated



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 11:44 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Being able to question teacher and bring facts to to the table and being able to have debates is what education should be about. Too many times I went through or have heard of teachers dismissing students due to the differences in the taught material and facts. It's a shame really. I feel the kids today, well in my time as well, are only being taught to pass tests.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:10 PM
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Here is one problem that may be a bit out of your area. At my kids' school, the parents are the thing I worry about most - specifically, the parking lot before and after school. Parents are speeding, illegally parking, making illegal turns, all while talking on their cell phones. One of my son's friends was hit by a car two years ago while in a crosswalk and was hurt pretty bad. The school administration admits it is a problem, but seems powerless to control the situation. With cut backs, the police does not have the manpower to put up cars and start ticketing people for reckless driving.

Any suggestions? Thank you for your time answering the items posted in this thread.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 12:48 PM
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Originally posted by SLAYER69

Originally posted by XLR8R
I don't mean any disrespect but how come the truth about historical facts isn't taught in school? I was taught to revere the colonists. But upon further research on my part, I had found out about the Native American genocide which they had never talked about when I was in school. When I brought up the issue I was told there was no such thing and was reprimanded for holding fast to the facts. And this is just one example out of many. Why such secrecy and hypocrisy? Can't the teachers take it upon themselves to teach outside the curiculum, or adding side notes to what is being taught?




6. Handling bullies, including teachers or administrators who bully students

I was once [many moons ago] sent to the office for disrupting the class when I refused to sit there and be spoon fed old cold war propaganda about Russia, Soviet Union from an obviously over the top Pro US/West old fart teacher. [I wasn't then nor ever will be a fan of the Reds] but, his rhetoric was extreme and when I called him out on some of his BS [Not once but several times that year] finally after a few heated arguments and debates [That he lost] one day he sent me to the office and started procedures to get me expelled for disruptive behavior.

Thank God, The school's student counselor was a much more open minded level headed fellow. Make a long story short, two months later the Teacher was "Retired"


Yes, its true. Some teachers can be absolute jerks on a power trip. I won't pretend otherwise. They can also be ignorant, racist, hateful, rude, and all around annoying.

When you have the misfortune to be in such a person's class, you do what you have to do. Sometimes that means having the courage to confront the problem head on.

Glad it worked out for you!



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 01:03 PM
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reply to post by TLomon
 


Go to a town meeting. Pass a motion for the patroling of the school lot once a month at the start of the day and and the end. It'll only take about an hour of their time. Hopefuly one hour per month isn't too much too ask from you police officers. People will think twice about being inconsiderate with their vehicules around kids at your school.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by jerryznv
reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Thank you...I am currently a student (in college for the second time) and work with a department that offers services to students...this is a nice look into what instructors (teachers) actually do!

I have an AS in social science and am working on a BA...so you peaked my interest in educating our younger generation!

I also have four daughters in public school...6th though 12th grade...so I get some hands on every now and then!

One more (I know I said that last time) question...what are your views on taking religion out of the public school system...(the pledge of allegiance, history, etc...)?


You can ask as many questions as you like. Being a teacher, I'm kinda used to it.


Religion is still in school, its just not school sanctioned. Kids can pray all they want, but teachers can't initiate that prayer. We have a moment of silence, and many students use it to pray.

Sometimes my students will make a comment about God or religion. I never bring it up myself, but when the kids do I let them talk as much as they want. I keep my replies neutral when possible, but it depends on the situation. One student had just lost her grandmother to cancer and was talking about how people go to heaven. She asked me if I thought her grandmother was in heaven. I told her yes. In my opinion, she needed that reassurance.

Good luck with your studies, and ask any questions you want to ask!



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


Tattling. Whooo-boy.

Tattling is a huge problem. We want kids to tell us when someone is getting hurt or bullied, but we don't want to hear the petty stuff. That's a hard thing for kids to understand. We do a lot of role playing about tattling scenarios (Suzy pushed Tommy, Jared said he was going to hit me, etc).

Basically when a child comes to tattle, I ask if what they are going to say is helpful, or hurtful. They do think about it, and usually they say it would be hurtful. Then they just smile and leave, because they've realized it wasn't important.

When you have two students in a conflict and you try to sort out what happened, there's simply no way to magically do that each time. I take my own observations and knowledge of the students involved and that's how I make my decision. For example, if Joey is telling me that Mark is hitting him, I think about Joey and Mark's past behavior. Joey, I know, is constantly tattling and seems to enjoy getting others in trouble. Mark is a typical boy, plays rough, but is good natured and has never hit anyone. In that situation, I'd believe Mark over Joey. And I would explain that to them both.

Other times, its hard to tell. You just give it your best shot.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by HODOSKE
reply to post by smyleegrl
 
My sister home schools her kids ( which i do no agree with but that is another matter) her one son is nine and cannot read past 1st grade level. She thinks it may be dyslexia. She has taken him to a neurologist but they cannot find anything wrong with him. Is there any public resources she can use to help him even though she does not participate in the school system. She doesnt have much money. any suggestions would be appreciated



Can he rhyme? Students with dyslexia have a very hard time rhyming words. Just a quick way to see if her concerns are valid.

Resources for reading....there's a lot of websites that are great for younger kids. www.starfall.com, www.abcya.com, these are great but geared more towards kindergarten aged students.

When he reads, does he struggle with sounding out the word? For example, if he came to the word dog, would he be able to segment the word into dee-oh-gee? Or to sound it out, which would be duh-ahh-guh. If he struggles with this, then it sounds like he needs a firmer grasp of phonetic skills.

A great way to teach phonics is with word families. Start with something simple, like cat. Then say "Change the beginning sound so that cat is mat." Keep doing this, making word chains. When he has beginning sounds down pat, move to ending sounds. Then work on middle sounds.

Home schooling can be a wonderful choice for children, but it does require a lot of work on the part of the parent. I have friends and family who home-school, and they do a fantastic job. I've also seen the opposite, where the parent simply isn't disciplined enough to keep to a schedule, or perhaps doesn't understand the mechanics of teaching the skill.

If possible, have her sit in on a college class for teaching reading...or go on youtube and watch some classrooms. This may give her some ideas and help her out.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 03:04 PM
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Originally posted by XLR8R
reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Being able to question teacher and bring facts to to the table and being able to have debates is what education should be about. Too many times I went through or have heard of teachers dismissing students due to the differences in the taught material and facts. It's a shame really. I feel the kids today, well in my time as well, are only being taught to pass tests.


There's a lot of truth to what you've said.

Testing...I could go on for pages but it would do no good. Suffice it to say that the standardized tests do not measure a child's ability or a teacher's success. There are far better ways to monitor a child's learning, but I'll stop that rant now.

I don't get a lot of debate with first graders, but when they are genuinely interested in a topic and start questioning, I run with it. For example, we've been discussing transportation. Last week I mentioned the Titanic, and it caught their interest. So I abandoned all my previous lesson plans and we spent an entire week on the Titanic. They just finished their powerpoint presentations today. Was the Titanic in the curriculum? Not really. Did they learn important information? Heck ya. Did they enjoy it? Without a doubt.

When you work with older kids, its easier to get the debate going. Last year when I taught fifth grade we'd debate things all the time. Its part of the curriculum, actually. Students need to know how to critique an argument and look for logistical flaws.

I wish I could say every classroom did this, but that's not true, for lots of reasons.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 03:07 PM
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Originally posted by TLomon
Here is one problem that may be a bit out of your area. At my kids' school, the parents are the thing I worry about most - specifically, the parking lot before and after school. Parents are speeding, illegally parking, making illegal turns, all while talking on their cell phones. One of my son's friends was hit by a car two years ago while in a crosswalk and was hurt pretty bad. The school administration admits it is a problem, but seems powerless to control the situation. With cut backs, the police does not have the manpower to put up cars and start ticketing people for reckless driving.

Any suggestions? Thank you for your time answering the items posted in this thread.


We have the same problem, I don't think there's an awful lot you can do about it.

Two years ago, our volunteer crossing guard was hit and killed by a parent. It happened in front of the school and several students saw it happen.

Now we have a police officer to direct traffic, and that's helped a lot. Plus our principal has no problem letting parents know what they need to be doing for safety reasons.

I wish I knew something to suggest to help. I'll keep thinking, though. Maybe some signs reminding parents to turn their phones off?



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 03:15 PM
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I don't agree with the "no child left behind" policy that was enacted a while back. It screwed a lot of kids and teachers up because the problems that were being created were illogically asked and the teachers couldn't even understand what they were trying to accomplish. I think there are some high paid officials overlooking this that don't have communication skills that translate to lower levels of teaching. When a teacher can't understand the question that's being asked, how can parents help their kids with the homework? I think they rushed production of the books and test papers and farmed the creation of these learning aids to people who never taught kids. To me the whole education field is going downhill and it's not necessarily the fault of the teachers. Do you have an opinion on this?



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 03:17 PM
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What's your take on the recent push for nearly complete data control in the classroom? i.e. standardized testing, heavy performance evaluation that may be somewhat intrusive to the classroom setting, tightening of the reigns on teaching styles and methods, taking some flexibility away from the teachers...etc.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


From what you say you seem to be a great teacher. Keep up the good work. You seem to really care about your kids and I tip my hat to you. Have an awesome evening.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 04:26 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Hi there I'm a Senior High School student preparing for college what's your advice for me because currently I'm clueless with what should I go in the future because right now I feel that there's nothing I can really do with the problems my generation will face in the future (debt, joblessness, etc) Also what kind of major and job should I go for



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 

Wonderful gesture on your part teach, much thanks!

What is the current climate of PE(Phys Ed), as in is it a fleeting course or is it being supported and implemented still?
What percentage of lesson plans are taught via computer and visually these days? Are all classes equipped with computers these days?
I am sure you have noticed some declines in students abilities and attitudes and/or the school's academic approaches, but what are some of the positive differences you are seeing in today's kids/schools verses 10 years ago?

Thanks,
spec



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by rickymouse
I don't agree with the "no child left behind" policy that was enacted a while back. It screwed a lot of kids and teachers up because the problems that were being created were illogically asked and the teachers couldn't even understand what they were trying to accomplish. I think there are some high paid officials overlooking this that don't have communication skills that translate to lower levels of teaching. When a teacher can't understand the question that's being asked, how can parents help their kids with the homework? I think they rushed production of the books and test papers and farmed the creation of these learning aids to people who never taught kids. To me the whole education field is going downhill and it's not necessarily the fault of the teachers. Do you have an opinion on this?


No Child Left Behind= No Child Gets Ahead

I could go on for days about the harm NCLB has done. The main problem is it doesn't measure a child's growth.

For example. When I taught fifth grade, my kids came to me on all different levels. This is normal, children learn at different rates and have different strengths.

Anyway, I had quite a few students who were reading on a 2nd grade level. For the scores to be positive for our school, those students had to be reading on a fifth grade level. It wasn't enough that they went from 2nd to 4rth, the equivalent of 2 years growth. What mattered is that they didn't pass the test.

These tests are so damaging to our kids' psyche. I've seen kids so nervous that they vomit, break out into hives, pass out, you name it.

You hit the nail on the head with regards to who makes the education decisions. In our county, we have people in charge of testing, curriculum, inservice training, and more WHO HAVE NEVER TAUGHT A CLASS. I don't know how they got their jobs, but they can make the dumbest decisions. For example, the lady in charge of reading decided to purchase a new assessment program for a couple of schools to pilot. Now this assessment is completed using a palm pilot (which constantly breaks).

To assess one child takes anywhere from 30 min to an hour. This has to be done once a week. Every kid.

We spend so much time assessing we have no time for instruction.

That lady came to our school to check on the progress of her program, and she was furious at what she saw. We tried to explain the program's limitations but she wouldn't listen.

If she'd been a teacher for one year, she would have known how much time this program would require.

Another example that drives me nuts. A teacher decides to become an administrator. She's spent her entire career teaching high school English. But now she's the principal of an elementary school, where she has no experience in dealing with young children.

Honestly, if the state and federal government would let us teach, things would be a lot better.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 04:46 PM
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Originally posted by zayonara
What's your take on the recent push for nearly complete data control in the classroom? i.e. standardized testing, heavy performance evaluation that may be somewhat intrusive to the classroom setting, tightening of the reigns on teaching styles and methods, taking some flexibility away from the teachers...etc.


Having data about student performance is a good thing. You can get the info you need without standardized tests, though. A quiz, test, even simply observing a child use manipulatives to solve a math problem- that's a wealth of information. I use it to group my students based on their need at that time. These groups change frequently as students master the skill and move to the next.

I rambled a lot on standardized testing in the post before this, so I won't repeat myself. But you are right. Teachers now have very little say in how we teach. I think they'd prefer robots, to be honest. And I fully expect that within my lifetime schools will be mainly online courses with few actual teachers. I really hope I'm being paranoid, bc school is so much more than memorizing facts. You learn vital social and lifelong skills in school.



posted on Apr, 26 2012 @ 04:55 PM
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Exactly, I am afraid that school is becoming a "download" for kids. With all the control imparted by the system, the kids are at risk of being simply churned and burned. A teacher is now getting a much greater percentage of his or her time stolen, by having to meet the numbers. The trade off is less intimate time with the kids. Like the rest of this country, quality seems to be traded for quantity.
edit on 26-4-2012 by zayonara because: (no reason given)



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