Shor's main point of this article is about the problems with our education system. In the beginning of the article is says,
"If I were a primary-grade teacher, I would devole my time to problems of socialization. The most important thing children learn is not the three R's, It's socialization" He urged teachers to encourage students t0 question their experience in school: "You must arouse children's curiosity and make them think about school. For example, it's very important to begin the school year with a discussion of why we go to school. "
I really liked this and it couldn't help but to make me think about the written paper assignment we got in class last week. I really didn't think to much about the assignment when professor Bogad handed it out. It was a an assignment to see how much we understood and retained from the article. I wasn't really appalled at the assignment, it was like a worksheet we did hundreds of times in high school. I know it wasn't something that we usually did in her class but it was something we have all done so many times in other classes throughout high school and sometimes in college. It didn't seem like that big of a deal to me. Towards the end i was slow on answering a few questions because I wanted to make sure that they were right because I wasn't sure if she was collecting them, but other than that it was like a normal assignment for many of my high school classes.
Now after the assignment we all talked about the assignment and how we all should have been appalled that she would give us such an assignment. Now when we first started talking I was like yea okay everyone needs to relax it was just a paper we had to fill out it's not that big of a deal. Then professor Bogad talked about the kid who put his pencil down in a previous class and refused to even do the assignment. I was shocked at that because in my head i couldn't wrap my mind around all the tension about filling in a paper.
However after listening to everyone talk I couldn't help but start to agree. We do deserve more as students. That paper really wasn't teaching us anything. We were all in more of a panic trying to finish it than the actual information we were writing about. Now thinking back that was all we did in a lot of my classes. In many of my history classes we would read something and then do fill in the blanks. Was that really teaching me anything? It taught me enough to get me through the test that week but i couldn't tell you about half the stuff we learned.
Now there is always so much talk about how corrupt the education system is and how many problems there are. Here in Rhode Island is a good example. They are firing tons of teachers in providence to try to help fix the education system. However as much as we complain about the curriculum and testing and all that kind of stuff, in the end i believe it all comes down to the teachers. It doesn't appear that the government is going to make any drastic changes anytime soon, but we as teachers i think can. It's just about the time and effort you are willing to put in.
I bet if you really think about it there may be a handful of teachers from your high school that you enjoyed as a teacher or made in impact on you. Then I bet you had more than a handful that you thought were not so great. Maybe you did maybe you didn't, but i know that's how my experience was. I think it's up to you what kind of teacher you want to be. Do you want to be that teacher who gives you assignments like we got in class? Or do you want to be the teacher who helps their students to learn? Personally I think we as teachers can change this. I think it's taking that extra hour after school to help students even though you aren't getting paid. It's taking those extra couple of hours planning a lesson that fits every student in your classroom. No one ever said that being a teacher was easy, and after being in this class and reading all of the article throughout the semester I've learned it will be even more difficult than I thought.
Like I said before I don't see the government changing anytime soon, so the only people i can see making a difference are the teachers. It's all how hard you are willing to work. The people who go above and beyond are going to find they get better results. If we only do the minimum of what is required then I don't think our education system will ever change. I think we can make a difference and all the new teachers starting out need to approach it with this sort of mentality and i believe we will start to see a change in our education system.
In class i would just like to know what everyone else thinks. Does everyone else think that us as teachers can make a difference? Am i totally off about what I'm saying? What are everyone else's opinions of our problems in the education system?