Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When a Teacher "Hates" You

"All my teachers hate me."

No, Deprecating "Debra"*, your teachers do not all hate you.  They may all be frustrated with you, as I am.  You are exhibiting behaviors that are getting in the way of not only your academics but a healthy self view.

I don't think in my five years of teaching that I have ever met a student that I actually hated.  I've had students that I hate being around, or hate the days that they actually show up to class (and if anyone has issue with me making that statement has never been a teacher or in education).  But, I've never hated them.  I've hated the way they frustrate me because I can't figure out how to help them, to enlighten them, to make them see sense.

Some say hate is a strong word and shouldn't be used.  However, it gets the point across.  It's a lot more succinct to use than "I have an unbearable and strong dislike of _______".

Many students fall into the "trap" of thinking that if a teacher doesn't act like your friend, lets you get away with not doing work, doesn't call you out when you are being rude, inappropriate or disrupting "hates" you. 

When a teacher "hates" you, thank the Lord above.  When a teacher "hates" you, he or she is taking time out of their busy schedule to address a problem you have.  When a teacher "hates" you, they want you to live up to the enormous potential that they know you have.  When a teacher "hates" you that means there is at least one person out there that cares about how you turn out as a person and how much of a future you will have.

We should all be so lucky as to have a teacher who "hates" us.

*name changed to cover my butt.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Don't Ask What your School System Can Do for You...

...ask what you can do for your school system.

"It is the country that is failing public education, not the other way around"

In lieu of "Waiting for Superman" and the economical crisis in the United States, teachers have been under fire. 

People are not happy with the way most school systems are being run and want change.  Guess what, so are teachers.  However, the problem isn't really with the teachers but with "you" (a general you, not necessarily you personally).  The teachers did not create the system, they just work within it the best they can.  "You" created the system by voting in politicians that don't know much, if anything, about education.  It's these politicians that created the system. 

People want change in the school system, and so do teachers, but when the teachers try and do something about it they are attacked in the media.  If you want change in your schools, YOU need to do something about it.  Vilifying and blaming the teachers is not going to do it. 

I'm not talking about coughing up more money.  On the contrary, lets get rid of some of the money.  Let's get rid of the money in the hands of the textbook companies ($100/book every seven years?), and the testing companies.

The reason that students seem to know less than they did in the past is because they don't.  Despite the fact that students start learning Algebraic equations in elementary school, they aren't living up to students in past generations.  Too much information is given to them in a shorter amount of time and they aren't really learning and retaining what they need to know. 

State standardized testing (which my students are currently right in the middle of) occurs at the end of April/beginning of May for most states.  ALL the standards for each discipline tested are included in the testing.  This means that teachers must address and teach all of the standards of their discipline in about 30 weeks.  My main discipline has 55 standards for my student's grade level alone.  That is about two standards a week.

Each year the media and news outlets talk about how the quality of our schools get worse and worse.  Each year there is more and more emphasis put on standardized tests.  Am I the only one that sees the correlation here?