Education today wastes a great deal of time, money and effort – the student’s time and effort and, to a great extent, the parents’ money.
Let’s start by dispelling the myth that teachers (we’re talking elementary and high school now) are all that and a bag of chips. Teachers are given not only too much credit, but also too much blame. There is a trend towards greater teacher accountability for student outcomes based on assessment criteria. What does all this obscure jargon mean? Simply that teachers are increasingly being held responsible for students’ grades. That my friend is good. Almost as funny as the one where a minister, a priest and a rabbi walk into a pub. . . let me explain.
Teachers have a high workload under which even the hardest worker would bend and collapse. Not only do they have to prepare classes, attend meetings (teachers, administrators, parents) and make a living — if they can accommodate it — they also have a workload that averages them 57 hours per week. Also, keep in mind that being a teacher is stressful because there is no time to relax. As a teacher, you are responsible for teaching, supervising, persuading, organizing, coaching, motivating, disciplining, etc. From the beginning to the end of the school day, there is little time to relax and you work at full sensory capacity most of the time. That’s why there’s such a big teacher burnout. You have very little time to sit back and withdraw into yourself (like a desk jockey or cubic cubby). On top of all that, teachers are now said to be responsible for chasing down 100 to 200 students to make sure they do their homework and learn what they need to learn.
But keep in mind that there are now other factors that weaken the teacher physically, emotionally, and authoritatively. It’s the last point I want to focus on here. Students and parents have greatly undermined the teacher’s strength as an authority figure, one of the reasons why 3 out of 5 teachers now entering the field (K through 12) see teaching as a stepping stone. I have a lawyer friend who did just that.
When he began teaching, a grizzled veteran told him that “you will either give in to the student’s demands or quit.” To cite an example of this loss of control: At a general assembly, a student acted up. My friend told the student who wasn’t his to calm down. The student challenged him and said, “I don’t care. You can even call the police. Another friend, a classmate in grad school, told me that she is no longer a high school teacher because after 13 years her authority in the classroom has almost disappeared. In addition, there are parents who no longer support the teachers to a great extent. Some parents blame the teachers when their child gets a bad grade, the student gets away with it.
Teachers are not, should not, or will ever be considered the most important educators, motivators, keepers of their students or children. Children? What does this word natural mean? Of course parents. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children do their homework and do it well. Get off the couch and be the teacher you’re meant to be.
I have numerous friends who have taken back their children’s instruction through home teaching. A much-discussed topic, but I bring it up here to show how the problems of the K-12 school system have gotten so out of hand that parents are taking matters into their own hands.
It is important that parents not only teach academics (i.e. the bare minimum, homework control) but also other vital subjects that last a lifetime, via all those math, science, history and English that are all too quickly forgotten. A few things that should be on this list are work ethic, accountability, patience, perseverance, manners/respect for authority, cooperation, tolerance for differences, sacrifice, charity, humility, and more. If these things were taught by parents as they should be, perhaps the number of problems we now face in school and society would be reduced.
To continue with the question of pedagogical necessity and change, I would like to propose an academic revision. This topic is quite complex and something I will explore in more detail in my upcoming book Education is a Waste of Time, but I would like to make a few points here.
Consider that in 24 hours we forget 80% of what we read if we don’t check it, and even more if we don’t pay attention, have acquired the skill of better preservation and, most importantly, we don’t take care of it, How much does our left behind non-student keep? Well, after my 8+ years of teaching, mostly at the junior college level (or as I like to call it, cleanup college) and consistent statistical evidence, less than 1/3 of all students entering community college have adequate numeracy, reading and writing skills. The keyword is sufficient here. Considering there is a push for more math and science to keep up with the 6 countries producing students who excel at the preparation of our students, we don’t seem to have much hope. Even if the boost for students is unfounded due to the small number of existing professions that require high math skills, the numbers do not bode well.
With all of this in mind, it is important that we teach our students specific, well-established subjects: math, science, history, English and so on. I will often address this point by asking my students to review everything they learned in a class that day from the first minute to the last minute in the queue before coming to my class. Most, if not all, come up empty handed. One thing we don’t teach or inspire our students to do is pay attention and acquire skills that help them focus on and remember key material. Where is this class in high school? We just throw it at them and hope it sticks. Maybe I’m pronouncing myself wrong. Do teachers, parents, and administrators even think about hoping?
Another thing we forgot to ask is how any good marketer should do it. What happened to our authoritative, empowered, not left behind student? The all-too-liberal shift of power from teacher to student will be wasted if we don’t ask the authorities what they want? And if they don’t know, well, work on it. Many parents, teachers, administrators will say, “Well, they are children. You are not mature enough to know. Let them experiment at school (which means K to 14). three R’s.” How about this. We ask her often and we ask her early. Consider the following. Just me, please.
On average, 1 in 10,000 has perfect pitch. In many Asian countries where pitch determines meaning (ie: going up at the end of a word means one thing, down another), 1 in 100 has perfect pitch. my point? Work out. If we get students to think early and often about what they want to do with their lives, and know more than they don’t, then they need to focus on that and not fight and spend a lot of their time in classes they don’t care about, or if you are not motivated to participate and bottom line, a lot of time is wasted. Consider that within ten years 70% of college graduates will be working in fields in which they had no training (in terms of personal acquaintances, this number is low). And when you consider that many employers now use a college degree just as a dividing line (a way to weed out candidates with less potential), why not get a degree in something you love. Don’t waste those four years.
There is much more to this topic, such as B. the inclusion of finance classes, interpersonal skills classes, achievement classes and so on, but our K-16 system is in dire need of repair and updating. Now before too much time goes by and more time, money and effort is wasted. I know this is all quite idealistic and difficult if not impossible to achieve; yet it is a target or target that we must shoot at. We have no alternative and remember that we do not strive for perfection, but for improvement.
Thanks to Jeffrey P Brown | #Education #Waste #Time