Go to the Head of the Class

Education has been most of my life since around 2001.

For a time, while taking classes, I lived, ate, and breathed education. I immersed myself, gladly, in its fumes and let it make me giddy with knowledge. The thing I looked forward to most was getting ideas across to students. Not just Science or Math or English, but living experiences, telling my stories, helping them to become better people.

My first couple of years, I got to do this. Then I got more productive with work and learned how to wedge the stories in between and along with the work. Then I learned to make the stories a part of the work.

Now, it is different. I think it is scary.Scary because I no longer believe that education has our children’s best interests at heart.

In my checking, I believe Indiana has it the worst; however, that is the only state I have taught in. I have simply read about others, in general. You know, it’s even difficult to put your fingers directly on the problem. I think that’s intentional; if you can’t say exactly what it is that needs fixing, they can walk around it for years. Just and opinion.

Here’s the thing: There are three things that are being thrown together and I believe we have the wrong amounts of the combinations. First, and foremost, we are now testing…testing…testing. The students lost anywhere from 4-7 school days in just testing. We are told this is to make certain that teachers are teaching properly. How do you argue with that?  But, all this testing is being used to fund the schools by results and play a huge part in deciding the effectiveness of the teacher.  Bad idea, guys.

Then, we are to teach them the “standards” that the state has set up for each subject. I don’t really argue with this as it is; however, if it keeps getting more

How do you handle it when a student is allowed to stay up very late and otherwise kind of “neglected” at home?

Finally, teachers are becoming accountable for everything the students does. To a point, again, I agree; however, it is reaching the point at which the teacher is responsible for the child desiring to learn and teacher is responsible for the parents’ duties as well.

So, here it is: If the government continues to increase tests (and they spent a huge amount of educational funds – ones already cut severely – on purchasing tests), if they continue to restrict teachers’ movements and methods and such, and if they make the teachers even more responsible for things out of their control – it will fall.

It will not go away silently in the night, this fall will make Humpty-Dumpty look like nothing. There will be egg on everyone’s face. It is bad and people do not see how bad it is getting nor how fast it is coming

This fall marks the first of a horrible teaching year for teachers. The paperwork has doubled, the methods to teach now are clumsier and stricter, the testing has increased, teachers’ responsibilities have increased, the teaching unions are nearly gone, and the students do not seem to care as much for learning.

It’s not too late. We truly need to get these problems voiced and driven through channels that will make a difference.
Even though I am no longer teaching, I still feel an obligation to letting the world know that things are not good and steps are being taken that will, indeed, make it worse.

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  • FindingStrengthToStandAgain  On June 18, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. We are creating a cookie cutter education system for different shaped children. More than once my children have been “taught the test”. It is disheartening.


  • magsx2  On June 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Unfortunately the same is happening in Australia, the testing seems to override everything else. A program that is basically designed to show which schools are the best is what it is all about here. The kids don’t learn half of what I was taught all those years ago. Not good at all for the future of the children or the country for that matter.


  • buckwheatsrisk  On June 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    preach it!!! i teen i dearly love is out of school for the rest of the year (has been out for weeks now) the stress put her in hospital


  • Soma Mukherjee  On June 16, 2012 at 3:58 am

    this is so thought provoking and so well written..
    Scott i agree with you whole heartedly..
    But then it is not education what our kids are getting or recieving now a days….education can’t be /shoudnt be just about text books and printed words,
    Education is life lessons in and out of book and the balanace has to be maintained….or else kids will become wikipedias not humans…

    And since a teacher is evaluated based on the no. of students who pass,even the best of intentions then resort ot books and grades..


    • kindredspirit23  On June 16, 2012 at 9:30 am

      I agree. There is something beyond the test scores that must be looked at.
      I understand the difficulty of trying to evaluate the life skills of a 6-7 year old.
      However, that is what observation and teachers are for. Let them do their job.
      Stop basing their salaries on a simple test. They say that’s not all there is to it;
      however, it is not very simple to fire a teacher within a year if the administration does not care for her, even if she is a good teacher. Opinion again, but I saw the beginnings.


  • Aspergers Girls  On June 16, 2012 at 1:34 am

    Thank you George Bush for signing the No Child Left Behind Act that has created an approximate 95% fail rate for children. I left the teaching field right as the testing began. Let us not forget the weeks, if not months, spent teaching to the test, the suffocating of the arts, PE, music, the insane amount of time spent in meetings trying to decide how to increase test scores…..I’ve read much on this subject. The good news is that change is on the horizon….there has to be enough discomfort for change to occur, and discomfort level is rising. Our education system is very young, and was created to take trouble-making kids of the streets….that was the original intention. We must recreate the intention of education, keeping heart and spirit in mind. Great post….You got me on my soapbox, now. he he 🙂 Sam And God Bless the teachers!!!


    • kindredspirit23  On June 16, 2012 at 9:34 am

      God is with everyone; they simply need to listen.
      I agree with you. Start looking at the true intention of what education should be.
      Then build your system around that idea. See what happens.


  • theforgottenwife  On June 15, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Reblogged this on theforgottenwife and commented:
    I wrote about a teacher getting fired in an earlier post. This just goes to back up what I said in my post. From an ex-teacher, no less.


  • theforgottenwife  On June 15, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    I cannot argue with anything you say here. Especially with regards to the testing. It’s ridiculous the amount of testing that is given. I also think that it is ridiculous that any funds are tied to the tests. This means that my children receives a very narrow curriculum so that he can learn the tests. I hate that. I hate that they missed so many instruction days to the testing. As a parent, I am very scared where our schools are going and I’m thrilled that my children don’t have that long left in the school system. It’s only going to get worse before it gets better.


    • kindredspirit23  On June 16, 2012 at 12:40 am

      I find that to be fair comment.
      It worries me also. Even though I am now out of the system,
      our future depends on these children and their education.


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