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Tired of teacher bashing

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Initial post: Mar 24, 2012 4:55:39 AM PDT
D. Hines says:
My take? If your kid knows his or her alphabet, can spell at least a few words and count to ten before ever setting foot in a classroom, you're allowed to gripe about those lousy teachers. Otherwise, you're a lousy parent who's a big part of the problem and you don't have any business pointing fingers at anybody else.

When Johnny can't read, I think less of the classroom and more of all the homes I've seen where the only reading matter is TV Guide and People magazine.

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 5:03:56 AM PDT
TV Guide? People Magazine? ...not in most of my kids houses. Video games, the more guns the better, Xbox, Playstation. Sad when my kids can name more guns than they can states.

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 5:13:39 AM PDT
When I was a kid, I grew up on the original Playstation which, in most cases, did not have in game voices. All dialog was in dialog boxes or subtitles, I contribute this to an early awareness of unique narrative styling and sentence structure. Video games nowadays are less talking and more action, unlike the role playing games I grew up with such as the Final Fantasy series, Legend of Dragoon, Parasite Eve (which is actually how I learned about DNA structure and proteins), etc. Admittedly, I play the shoot 'em up video games kids are playing now, but oh how I miss the days of intriguing dialog and plot twists of unique and interesting story lines and character development. It was more like an interactive book than anything else...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 5:24:20 AM PDT
D. Hines says:
I've always had a soft spot for those text adventure games, the ones where you navigate by typing - GO SOUTH, TAKE SWORD, CLIMB LADDER, etc.

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 5:59:23 AM PDT
Voice of god says:
Yeah, why did they ever have to make video games into talkies?

#crotchety false nostalgia

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 6:13:17 AM PDT
Its funny because I was always really good at reading in school and I relate it to the same thing. When I played Everquest online I learned a lot of big words =P.

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 6:31:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 24, 2012 6:32:35 AM PDT
Nanciejeanne says:
I think even kids from households where "learning" isn't the focus can still be great students and excel. I think it is more of an attitude of the caretaker (mom, both, grandma, whomever) that the world is full of wonder and things to figure out. It doesn't have to be some expensive Montessori preschool or foreign language class at age 3 or bombarding the kid with flashcards and stuff. Things like planting a garden, working on a car, playing a guitar, making cookies, or even just reading cereal boxes and Star magazine can be the vehicles. Learning is learning. Are we just interested in them being repositories of facts and figures, passing tests and things like that, or do we want them to be better people?

I just think the most important thing that kids need is to have their interest sparked in learning new things. It doesn't matter what those things are so much, just that there are lots of them. I don't think any interest is really off limits. (e.g., Video games? sure! Contrast the differences between them, compare prices, why did they choose that music? Why is worth more points for this thing than that one? Why do you think they cost so much? How could the developers have made the game faster/better/etc?) Even as adults those skills will remain with them and they will have a much richer life where they continue to find interest in new things. Just my opinion. :D

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 6:36:53 AM PDT
Sl Judge says:
I agree with you, but no video game bashing either. <;-) Everything in moderation is just fine! My video game addict (since age 4 when he saved the Princess) has learned limits and boundaries and is now graduating in the top 5% of his law school class. Parents need to be in charge of their children, their learning and their development. How can one expect a teacher to do it all for them and 25 others in the class? Expose the children to life and they will certainly thrive! Sponges at such a young age! Electronics are not babysitters, but yet useful learning tools when used appropriately! I swear, I feel bad for teachers. Johnny is NEVER wrong. Parents are willing to defend little Johnny no matter what. Sure, like the teacher really is lying or doesn't like your child? Oh please.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 6:53:03 AM PDT
K. Rowley says:
"I think even kids from households where "learning" isn't the focus can still be great students and excel."

But on the scale of things - it's less likely that those kids will... Parental expectations and examples (or lack of them) have a great effect on how well students do in school (although, like anything else there will be a few exceptions).

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 7:15:29 AM PDT
Nanciejeanne says:
I do agree, but I maybe wasn't clear on what I was trying to say. When parents/caregivers have NO interest in learning anything themselves or with their kids, that is bad. What I really was trying to say that what we always think of as "educational learning" isn't the only way. Drilling vocabulary words and math facts with a 4-year old won't inspire them to want to learn more as much as learning from other activities. Especially younger kids...building with blocks, playing in puddles, painting pictures, buying their own candy bar, etc. is much more relative and internalized than reading or drilling about those things. That's all I meant. I have just seen so many kids that seem so focused on the concept of "are we being graded on this? If not, why bother?" I am never sure if those kinds of kids are learning much of anything, or just learning/memorizing how to get an A. I just never wanted to instill that "learning-is-only-for-competition&quot; concept and didn't want their later lives to be based on how their performance is judged rather than the inherent interest in knowing and doing new things. I think I often learn the most from things I fail at doing.

Some of the trouble is, many parents who did poorly in school really have a dislike for "school-stuff." They see it as some sort of torture or belittlement and don't want to (understandably) do that to their child. It is like they are trying to protect them from the experiences they had and don't see it as helping. So telling them "read a book every night" or "practice this homework" with their kids just will never happen. I think maybe the focus should be more on TALK with your kids, ask them things, experiment with them, try to figure things out with them, encourage them to ask questions and find the answers together, etc. (with ANY topic the child finds interesting) is a more attainable goal rather than chastising them about how they are "doing it wrong."

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 7:46:17 AM PDT
oooh, good topic.

im one of "those" people who are quick to toss some blame at the parents when it comes to the actions of their children. mom and dad are the first teachers we have, mom more so. ok they may not have formal training and essentially work for free but that is no excuse for lack of trying!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 8:00:02 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 24, 2012 8:00:20 AM PDT]

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 8:09:31 AM PDT
I represent teachers on behalf of the CTA (California Teachers Association). They are hard working people that do a very difficult job. They are being forced to teach their students how to be good test takers at this point. If a principal doesn't like the teacher for whatever reason, they can load that teacher's classroom with under-performing students, students with behavioral issues, etc and then point out how low the test scores are for that teacher.

We need to get away from all of this testing (yes, there should be SOME testing) and just let these people TEACH. No Child Left Behind has been a disaster.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 8:20:16 AM PDT
D. Ellison says:
There are many great teachers in this country, but there are many that are that become teachers for all the wrong reasons. My brother in law wants to be a HS football coach but the only way to do that was become a teacher. He teachs history. I ask him once what he thought of the way that JFK handled the Cuban missile crisis, his response was classic, he did not know who I meant by JFK and the Russians had never attempted to put missiles in Cuba. No child left behind should test the teachers for basic knowledge

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 8:21:52 AM PDT
James Updike says:
It isn't the fault of the teachers in many cases... the fault I see lies with Administrators who are afraid to require discipline in their schools.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 8:25:41 AM PDT
D. Ellison says:
Be glad you don't live in Texas the school district I live in put more money into football than books. Can anyone justify that for me

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 8:42:00 AM PDT
D. Ellison says:
Again the district I live in the carry discipline to the extreme but the teachers are never at fault. While the problems are 95% the students fault the other 5% that are brought on by the teachers are ignored byt the admin. I guess that is in order to keep the teachers that they have. Teachers that are badly under paid and under qualified. I love Texas. I have no children so I try to look at this fairly

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 8:55:26 AM PDT
Rick Blaine says:
Sesame Street and The Electric Company taught my kids how to read, figure out their shapes and colors and generally get along in life before they set foot in school. The older one loved school, he'd live there if we'd have let him. The younger one hated school, the less time he had to be there the happier he was. Now, both of them are making well into six figures - one in the technical end of the entertainment industry and the other developing software for the US government. Myself, I believe that the child's home life and upbringing have more to do with what they learn and even if they learn than the schooling that they get.

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 9:00:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 24, 2012 9:09:41 AM PDT
I learned how to read when I was three. My parents were brilliant, and I didn't need school. Frankly, I think the whole school system is designed to crush spirits and train people to obey and respect authority whether it's deserved or not, and that blows.

That said, a good teacher is a good teacher, and pretty impossible to replace. The system sucks, but a good teacher is worth his/her weight in gold.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 10:29:34 AM PDT
K. Rowley says:
"No child left behind should test the teachers for basic knowledge"

Here in Texas they do (or use to) - they had a test (think it was called the TCAT).. From what I heard, most of the people that had to take it several times to get a passing grade were people who were going for a 'coach' position.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 10:41:19 AM PDT
Just MO says:
Any decent kindergarten teacher will happily tell you that having manners, being able to wait their turns and playing well with others are far more important skills than spelling, counting or knowing the ABC's for kids to have when entering school.

Some teachers are great. Some teachers are state workers.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 10:41:25 AM PDT
tonyS says:
Many districts are essentially run by an elected school board that is staffed by local citizens with little to no real experience in education or administration. And the kids' parents are suit-happy.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 11:51:35 AM PDT
D. Hines says:
"become teachers for all the wrong reasons"

Maybe, but you know what? None of 'em become teachers because they want to drive Porsches or live in gated communities or have fat bank accounts. Even your BIL's heart was in the right place - he wanted to help kids. (they don't offer degrees in phys ed any more? Most coaches when I was in school were phys ed teachers)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 11:53:14 AM PDT
D. Hines says:
The parents who teach them counting and the alphabet tend to teach them manners and good behavior too.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 11:57:10 AM PDT
Just MO says:
Not really.
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Discussion in:  Gold Box forum
Participants:  189
Total posts:  1355
Initial post:  Mar 24, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 29, 2013

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