Seven things teachers are sick of hearing from school reformers

Stumbled onto this interesting perspective. Before knocking any of the following points read his reasoning.
Only thing I noticed missing was a reminder of the key and increasingly under-appreciated roll parents play in their children’s education.
:wink:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/08/14/seven-things-teachers-are-sick-of-hearing-from-school-reformers/?tid=pm_local_pop By Ian Altman 1. Don’t tell us that you know more about good instruction than we do. 2. Don’t talk to us about the importance and rigor of the standards. 3. Don’t tell us about testing data. 4. Don’t tell us “The research says…" unless you’re willing to talk about what it really says. 5. Stop with the advice about teaching critical thinking skills. 6. Stop using education reform clichés. 7. Don’t tell us to leave politics out of the classroom.

Right on the money! He hit every topic of interest to teachers across the board. We’re now dealing with common core, the new Parcc test, the former State testing standards, and a raft of other roadblocks to teaching that leave both teachers and students confused and befuddled. It all boils down to a few concepts: the teachers deep knowledge of the subject, the skill of imparting same, classroom discipline ( the ability to maintain control of over twenty young, bored humans) and the enthusiasm of a motivational speaker on speed. And this must be maintained daily. Number six pretty much says it all to me, educational jargon has to go. It’s neither impressive nor useful and amounts to ivory tower posturing. There’s no quick fix to education, lots of problems with control, parental non involvement, an increase in paperwork, low and I mean low pay, especially among the poorer states, and many other areas too numerous for this post, but you can tell this guy’s been in the trenches. Good post CC!
Cap’t Jack

I understand most of that except the last one. Discussing politics in general is important in history class but teachers should not use their classroom to indoctrinate kids into their own political beliefs. I had a teacher in high school who was a dyed in the wool Reagan conservative and he seized every opportunity to try and convince the class that his views were the only intelligent ones. As you can imagine we did not get along very well. There is a fine lie between teaching and preaching.

I agree wholeheartedly Mac. Teachers are often looked upon by students as “experts” in everything they say. Effective teachers know that’s not true. You need to be politically neutral when discussing citizenship and believe me I’ve bit my lip more than once when one of them spouts the flaming rhetoric that they parrot from their parents. I’ve always been a “left of center” Dem. but tried not to interject my political philosophy into a lesson. Once again, teachers are to teach thinking skills, not indoctrinate them as I’ve seen this happen in classrooms in the past. My teachers were products of the Cold War and religion and super patriotism were the class themes of the day. Unfortunately Some of that blinkered thinking is still alive today BTW.
Cap’t Jack

I understand most of that except the last one. Discussing politics in general is important in history class but teachers should not use their classroom to indoctrinate kids into their own political beliefs. I had a teacher in high school who was a dyed in the wool Reagan conservative and he seized every opportunity to try and convince the class that his views were the only intelligent ones. As you can imagine we did not get along very well. There is a fine lie between teaching and preaching.
I assume that "fine lie" was a typo, but it is also true. ;) Lois

So why can’t we create a National Recommended Reading List?
100 books for kindergarten, 200 for 1st grade, 300 for 2nd grade, etc.
The would be 9,100 by 12 grade. That many books could fit on a single microSD. Every kid could have it all in a tablet.
That is recommended, not required, with a short explanation of why it is recommended with each book.
The Tyranny of Words (1938) by Stuart Chase
http://www.anxietyculture.com/tyranny.htm
http://archive.org/details/tyrannyofwords00chas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9H1StY1nU8
We have lots of confusion based on words. Korzybski’s Science and Sanity is too difficult to understand. I wish someone had told me about that in high school.
I think good books are better than at least a third of the teachers I have had.
The LA fiasco shows how good our educators are with technology.
http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-lausd-laptops-20140630-story.html
psik

I understand most of that except the last one. Discussing politics in general is important in history class but teachers should not use their classroom to indoctrinate kids into their own political beliefs. I had a teacher in high school who was a dyed in the wool Reagan conservative and he seized every opportunity to try and convince the class that his views were the only intelligent ones. As you can imagine we did not get along very well. There is a fine lie between teaching and preaching.
I assume that "fine lie" was a typo, but it is also true. ;) Lois Oops

But who are the people putting together all these “new programs”? Aren’t they current and former teachers/educators? I have a feeling this, like everything else, is just a symptom of the disease of capitalism/fascism in the US. Educated consumers are bad for business. Educated workers are bad for corporations. Buy what we tell you to buy, do the work we tell you to do without question.
We claim to value education but we don’t. If we did teachers would be treated like professionals, on a par with and actually above doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. and they’d be paid likewise. And lest you think, but some teachers just plain suck, I guarantee you take the worst teacher, give him or her a salary of $200k, pay for additional education through a PhD, and they’ll become the best teachers in the world. Basic psychology: give them a reputation to live up to. As it stands teachers are almost Expected to be bottom of the barrel, no wonder many are.

We claim to value education but we don’t. If we did teachers would be treated like professionals, on a par with and actually above doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. and they’d be paid likewise. And lest you think, but some teachers just plain suck, I guarantee you take the worst teacher, give him or her a salary of $200k, pay for additional education through a PhD, and they’ll become the best teachers in the world. Basic psychology: give them a reputation to live up to. As it stands teachers are almost Expected to be bottom of the barrel, no wonder many are.
Education is not valued in the US nor are educators. In fact many states don't provide adequate funding for teachers or modern facilities and when budget cuts are needed, education funds are usually the first to be chopped. Which is why teachers are paid extremely low wages and school boards must wrestle with limited funds for their districts. That coupled with an increase in paperwork from the various state testing and tracking of individual students, classroom overcrowding, incompetent administrators and more stringent training (I'm not really opposed to that)potentially effective teachers are driven off to can enter another field, double their salary and eliminate the beurocratic BS from their careers. Also, it takes more then a Ph.D to make a competent teacher. In fact, some of the worse teachers I knew had Ph.Ds. They lacked communication skills and the patience to impart the knowledge to students and often used educational jargon meant more to impress than educate. I do agree though that as a profession, we're near the bottom of the barrel as public servants. Cap't Jack