Monday, February 4, 2008

Rantings of a Public School Teacher

Sometimes being an educator is like being on a ferris wheel - you take off all buckled in - you think it's going to be fun - you keep going around in circles - and you end up where you started. Culture, society and families keep changing with every circumference of the circle you travel, but some traits of children remain the same. They need structure, discipline, caring adults, role models, high expectations, encouragement, love etc.

Then again, some things have changed about children. School-age kids in 2008 (most,not all)have grown up being constantly entertained and are used to immediate gratification. They have participated in sports where everyone is a winner. They have been rewarded for doing homework and learning.

How does this translate in school? : Children who want to be entertained all day, be rewarded for doing their work and who don't have the tools necessary to deal with disappointment.

Then there are video games. Excessive violence in games + domestic violence = children who learn to react violently to everything.

Some five year-olds now come to school without knowing colors, shapes, letters or numbers, and yet the bar has been raised on kindergarten. The state says children should be able to read and do basic math before first grade!

So who teaches these kids how to take turns, how to wait in line without pushing and cutting, how to follow directions and complete work without a reward? Who teaches them manners and basic information? Who teaches them that fighting is not an option and that in real life sometimes you lose the game? TEACHERS.

If you are reading this then I am certain you are a parent who instills all those values and disciplines in your children. But be aware that your child's teacher has to spend a great amount of time teaching all that, plus refereeing and motivating children who haven't had the benefit of your kind of parenting. Whew! I'm exhausted!


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Well that is a whole foreign world to me, I'm sorry to say....But I know that Teachers today, ESPECIALY, are taking on a tremendous amount of the 'teaching' of things that parents should be doing.
I do hear some scary and depressing stories about the way kids talk back to teachers these days....And I'm talking about kids coming from upscale homes....NO Manners, NO anything!
No wonder you are tired!
I applaud you for doing what you do, Diane! BRAVO TO YOU!

Kelly Jene said...

I thank God I get to home school my boys, but I'm also shocked at how much school has changed for kids. The teachers are expected to do so much and parents just send them to school expecting it to all be done for them.

Good for you Diane. To you and all the teachers doing the parents work for them, Thank You!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to teachers, my kids might stand a chance in this world.

Hang in there!

Derek said...

You stated what teachers face excellently. The bullying of teachers by students and parents is the topic of my new book, coming this spring, titled Attacking our Educators. As a former teacher I admire teachers whose job description has certainly changed. What I feel needs to be addressed is the lack of parenting skills, lack of trust in teachers, supportive administrators, lack of teacher training, and not holding students responsible for their actions.

Derek Randel


You sound like a marvelous teacher!!
I know how you feel, coming from a parents view.
Teachers had it hard "back in the day.." but now, it's almost impossible with the strict cirric.

I'd let you teach my children in a heart beat!