Our dear friends, Carla and Bill, drove my wife and I to dinner last night. It was a long, difficult drive and we appreciated their kindness. On the way home we got to talking about ISSUE 5 upcoming for a vote in Ohio. I don't know much about it but it deals with teacher's responsibility to educate their students.
Discussing an incorrigible four year old in my neighborhood, one of two children in a single parent family, this child will be a problem in school as well as in life, in my opinion. SHOULD A TEACHER BE HELD RESPONSIBILITY FOR SUCCESSFULLY TEACHING SUCH CHILDREN? We agreed it was a problem.
I awoke at 4:00AM, laid in bed for an hour thinking about it, then got up to write this blog, my last one in July. BTW, for those of you who think I haven't been blogging faithfully because I've been busy with other writing chores for a month or so, for this my 3rd full year of blogging, I have averaged 8.7 blogs a month year-to-date. Last year I averaged only 7.7 blogs per month. FOR THE RECORD, THAT IS A 12.9% INCREASE IN PRODUCTIVITY. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Hee Hee!
The problem in education today, in my opinion, is that Americans are no longer dealing with realities. Too many have an idea that no child can fail, or that there should only be winners as no child should ever be a loser. BULL FEATHERS! They can and will fail. Some will be winners in life and some will be losers. That is life! Deal with it!
I used to be a guest speaker-for-the day on business in the local high school. A professional speaker of many years standing, I worked hard to make the classes fun. Most students got involved in the classes and, although they had as much fun as I did, they learned a lot about the real life of business. The teacher alerted me, however, that some classes were "burn outs" who would be difficult to teach anything.
Those classes of "burn outs" came into the class room, half of them laid their heads on their desks, the others would gaze into space. They were badly dressed, disheveled and looked to be stoned out of their minds. Ask them a question and get either a "duh" or a class pleasing "I don't know, man, my brains are out to recess". The teacher would apologize for my having to put up with what they put up with daily. I told them that were I them, I would not put up with it.
Teachers have the responsibility to be prepared to teach their subject matter. The school adminstration has the responsibility to see that the teachers do their job.
The first day of "burnt out" experience, I think the parents should be notified that their child failed for that day, getting an F. At the end of the week, I'd again notify the parent that their child had failed for a week, getting an F and that if the child did not change, they would be expelled from the school and schedule a meeting with the parent.
At the end of the second week of failure, after the meeting--whether the parent came or not--I'd remove the child from the school. I would then rid the school of these failures. Let the negeligent parents become responsible for educating their wayward children, or not. YES, IT WOULD CERTAINLY CAUSE AN UPROAR, BUT THE GOOD STUDENTS IN THE CLASSES WOULD BE FREE TO STUDY AND THE SCHOOL RATINGS WOULD GO UP.
IF THESE YOUNG PEOPLE, AND THEIR PARENTS, CHOOSE TO FAIL, I'D QUICKLY CHOOSE TO LET THEM HAVE THEIR OWN WAY AND NOT BLAME A TEACHER!
Have students changed since I guest taught some 30 years ago? Read my blog of two days ago about the pot smoking young people I see going by my house every day after school and answer that question for yourselves.
Society today has a large portion of single parent families. Although these families may be financially less secure, they receive so much free help that they live a life that most of the world would die to have. Check out the clothing and cell phones used by these "poor" children. I was just shown a phone by a young person who bragged that the phone cost $400 and I believe her.
WE ARE TEACHING THAT YOU CAN DO WRONG AND GET BY. The rest of the nations, India, China, Japan are teaching us that we are wrong as they take our jobs away from us with their hard working attitude. Like the good students in the burn out classes, we are all made to pay for the failure of a few while blaming the wrong person for the failure.
My friends didn't cut our Governor much slack either. I recall Gov. Christy of New Jersey telling a young, female teacher who was complaining that for her level of education she should be making more than the $85,000-a-year that teachers were paid in New Jersey. I loved his answer when he told her that was what the job paid and if she was worth more perhaps whe should change jobs.
In some states, teachers are being paid 80-90% of their full salaries after 20 years or so of teaching is unreal. It is not affordable. I worked for 43 years, always in positions of extreme responsibility and my retirement is less than 20% of my working income. And, I do quite well, by-the-way!
And, not all teachers are good teachers. Not all of anything is good, teachers or otherwise, we talked about irresponsible nurses her daughter, an RN, knew about. There needs to be a fair but established yard stick for judging a teacher's performance, and the adminstration's performance. The bad teachers or adminstrators should be weeded out but not because all kids don't learn.
EITHER NOW OR LATER IN LIFE, THOSE WHO DON'T LEARN WILL LOSE OUT! That's life and I think it is fair!
God Bless you and your's. God bless the USA.