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View Diary: But Why Do We Bash Teachers? (180 comments)

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  •  Teachers are victims.... (2+ / 0-)
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    AaronBa, yoduuuh do or do not

    Individuals become teachers for very noble reasons.  Once individuals become teachers, they do as best they can.

    The problem is that our extant educational system is geared towards babysitting and child crowd control rather than teaching.  Children are aligned in phalanxes of desks and encouraged to follow the lead of the authoritarian teacher at the front of the room.  Children are not encouraged to think for themselves.

    In fact, if a child were to be so bold as to revolt from this unnatuaral state of affairs, that child would be at risk of being labelled ADD or ADHD.  How sad.

    Our society is one sick puppy.

    After all, for progressives, taking one for the team is desirable, but all too often at present, we are taking one from the team.

    by El Tomaso on Sun May 01, 2011 at 03:53:04 PM PDT

    •  A great diary. I am a teacher of 2nd graders (3+ / 0-)
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      AaronBa, El Tomaso, Tookish

      in a small Michigan town. I did become a teacher thinking that I could contribute to society as well as use my talents. That was my idealistic 18 year old self. I did not go into teaching thinking "I'm going to make lots of money, get tenure and health benefits". I know of no teacher who thinks this way. (By the way, my district does not pay my pension, nor for grad level courses.)

      I really like working with 7 and 8 year olds. I love their openness to new ideas and information. I love the way they embrace knowledge. I have my students sit and work in groups (not rows). I have them discuss ideas with their "shoulder partner", work in small groups, and work independently on research, which includes finding information on the Internet. I guide their reading in small groups and assess their skills continually, by running records, observation, and assessments. I tailor my teaching to students individual needs. I do the same with math.

      I am fortunate that I have only 23 second graders in my classroom. Some of my students have been disgnosed with ADD, ADHD, OCD, anxiety, depression, Aspergers, and other conditions which they may take medicine for. I also have a paraprofessional for 45 minutes each day to work with in my classroom. Several mothers come in each week to help with cutting, stapeling, laminating, etc., so my para and I can work with kids.

      I actually encourage my students to think, in fact, I teach them to think. I use Bloom's Taxonomy to get them to delve deeper into information, and expand their thinking. I frequently answer a question with a question to get my students to figure out the answer for themselves.

      I am not a unique teacher, at least in my district, in using these techniques. I believe it happens in other public schools, too. We teachers know that the old model of school - the factory model of "kids are like cookies - put the raw dough in the oven and they all come out the same " - does not work.  The old method of teaching to the middle does not work. My teaching is based on the latest educational methods and recent brain research on how the young brain learns.

      So, what DO teachers want?  We want to be regarded as partners in children's education. We cannot do it alone, nor should we take the blame alone when things don't work. We also want people to think of education as a good thing. Already at my students' age I am concerned about teaching life skills that will help them have promising futures.

      Please visit a school or classroom soon. I hope you will be surprised to see something new and different happening in education.

      Liberal (from Webster's Dictionary): tolerant of views differing from one's own; broad-minded

      by 50sbaby on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:02:30 PM PDT

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      •  I sincerely hope that you are the rule.... (1+ / 0-)
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        AaronBa

        and not the exception in education.

        I suspect that you are exceptional.  Good for your students.

        When I ask adults about their experience in our public education system,  I do not ask fellow professionals. Rather I ask the tradesmen/women, lawn mowing people, etc. about their experiences in our public education system, I largely hear negative things about public education.

        When I ask anyone where they learned the most;i.e., at school or in their experiences of life, I universally get the answer that their life experiences taught them more than they learned in school.

        Children  were never meant to sit still, listen up to an authority figure and be quiet.  Quite the opposite.

        I am so happy that your students have you.  Most students do not.

        After all, for progressives, taking one for the team is desirable, but all too often at present, we are taking one from the team.

        by El Tomaso on Sun May 01, 2011 at 05:37:11 PM PDT

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