Is it the teacher’s fault that our educational system is failing? Or is it the training they receive in college to blame? When I was young teachers were respected and valued for the important job they did to foster values and teach children and to be responsible citizens. Everyone knew someone that wanted to be a teacher when they grew up and model the teachers they had when they were young.
First of all let me state that there are great teachers and not so great teachers, but it is not the fault of the teacher that our countries educational system is failing. For one a first year teacher is not prepared for the onslaught of the demands brought upon them by the students and the administrator of the schools. She or he must plan lessons, tutor students, and keep track of each student’s progress each day. It is similar to be put on a battlefield without a helmet or supplies.
While the demands are great a teacher no longer has any power to teach. With the new Common Core Curriculum teachers must read from the script and then give students worksheets each day doing the same thing. Students are compelled to listen all day without time spent doing projects or learning in a creative way, where children would be engaged in the concepts. It is through action and doing that a child remembers 97% of the information than if a teacher was instructing them.
Who better than a teacher to know how best help the students in her class become successful in their coursework? The teacher that wants terribly and passionately to help her students know the subject matter better has no choice but to teach the way she is mandated to teach.
My two daughters are grown now and have children of their own. My older daughter has children 16, 13, and 10. She explains that this method of teaching is making kids feel less confident in their abilities and the coursework is much too demanding for their age. The subject matter is taught without any prior knowledge; it is like teaching algebra without knowing how to add.
I am not trying to disillusion you with this article but to help bring about a positive change so that all children can be successful in school. Being a teacher on a part time basis allows me to see firsthand the effect this curriculum has on children. Not everyone can learn by the teacher instructing consistently throughout the day. These students especially those with ADD get distracted when the teacher talks at length about the subject matter. These especially bright kids are already past what the teacher is talking about and they are bored. But by engaging the class in the conversation and by asking questions children can feel they are learning.
Children are excited to learn and make them feel good about themselves. I had a student just recently that was in first grade but could not read. I continued to ask him all the letters and sounds of the alphabet. He knew them all except a few. I wrote the word cat on a piece of paper. I asked him sound it out and he did he said CAT. He was so excited that he wrote it on the board, jumped on the letters on the alphabet mat and told all the other students about it. This is the kind of excitement you want children to have. Learning should be fun and exciting. We are not just learning through high- School but we are lifelong learners.
We can also learn from Finland who is first in the world in education. One practice we can adopt is teaching to the child's learning style. In Finland if a child is not learning they will find out and actively work with the child. Finland has an innovative way of learning and uses very creative ways of teaching. They also do not test their students until they are ready to choose what occupation they are interested in. So students are relieved of the constant pressure to perform.
Teachers are under constant pressure to make sure students are learning. If a student fails they can be fired. But not all students learn in the way they are now teaching. Teacher instructs and then does a worksheet. So I do not believe it is the teachers fault if a student is not shown other ways in which to learn.
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