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View Diary: The problem with NBC's Education Nation -  where are the voices of parents and teachers? (279 comments)

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  •  We need to nurture a love of learning. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, cassidy3, JanL, blueoregon, princss6

    The current practice in education is turning students and teachers off. My own experience is that it used to be more fun to teach and I believe more fun for my students to learn. Oh-but one cannot use fun and learning in the same sentence.

    "There must be more to life than having everything" -Maurice Sendak

    by lilypew on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 06:50:53 AM PDT

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    •  I disagree... (0+ / 0-)

      I think the best schools incorporate learning and fun.  But fun has long left the public schools even before reform.  I wasn't taught in a "fun" environment.  

      •  so you are universalizing your experience? (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sandblaster, lilypew, cassidy3, JanL, Azazello

        Ask my low-level 8th period class about fun -  they were having a great deal of it yesterday, even as we made sure to remember that it was Constitution Day.

        Hell, I tell my parents and my students that I plan to enjoy myself, because if I am bored the kids will be bored out of their minds.

        I am infamous/notorious or however you want to label it.   Yes, I am a very demanding teacher, but I also recognize that my students are not fully developed/mature -  most are around 15 when they arrive in my classroom.  I try to connect with their interests, to make sure they know I see them as more than the person occupying that seat for 45 minutes a day.

        Most of the really successful teachers I know connect with their kids.  They are remembered for making a difference, regardless of what happens with test scores.

        Too narrow a focus on anything loses far too many kids.

        I have fun.  I am excited by what I do.  That excitement is often contagious.   I am willing to be silly.  I do not mind some jokes at my expense -  hell, sometimes I offer them.  

        I am not teaching a subject.  I am teaching persons, with a responsibility to help them connect the curricular material they need to know with their own lives, which may be very different than mine.  Absent that human connection, the entire process is dry and ultimately not effective learning.

        "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

        by teacherken on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 07:59:59 AM PDT

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        •  Confusion... (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not universalizing my experience...I can't turn to just about everyone I know.  School wasn't fun.  Our teachers didn't try to make it fun.  I still learned.

          BUT I'm not disagreeing with you that the best gains are made when schools are fun so I don't know where you comment is coming from.  It may be the title.  My kid went to Montessori and goes to a "fun" school now.  I'm a proponent but I also realize that learning can take place without the fun.

        •  Oh, let me. :) (0+ / 0-)

          I'll universalize my DD's experience.

          Algebra 1? Horror show. Teacher who berated kids who had questions.

          Geometry? Lovely. Teacher who asks for input on his teaching methods.

          Same not-great-at-math teenage girl but now she is doing fine in math class. If she had to leave home, at least she has the benefit of the good (not as measured by test scores but as measured by humanity) teacher. Even though she went through the rotten one.

          Universalization? Don't be a bitch to your students. Be a real live human being. Treat them as you would expect to be treated. See them bloom. All other things being equal. (Big caveat, I know.)

          •  and from elsewhere you know my reaction (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cassidy3, Nance

            to teachers such as that.  They don't belong.

            But trust me, in the current frame of "reform" if they raise test scores, they will be lauded and some think they should be given bonuses, even if the end result is they crush the natural curiosity and desire to learn.

            "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

            by teacherken on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:55:17 AM PDT

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