Tuesday, May 07, 2013

(More) Teacher Ventilation

In the years I've been a teacher, I've learned a lot about myself, students, adapting certain types of materials, when to make exceptions and compromise and when to stand firm. I've learned that every student is is an individual with a learning style that suits them and that there are some students that will work hard and some that despite embarking on a journey of higher education, refuse to put in the effort and worse, those of that group who don't take responsibility for their lack of effort and pass the blame to the teacher.

I also recognize that there bad teachers, and while I accept that I maybe not every student will like my teaching sale, based on performance reviews from students and deans and colleagues, I am confident that I am a good teacher and I know that I am passionate about it. I also accept that I make mistakes but when I do, I own up to them, work through them, and learn from them. I try hard to use these times to set a good example to my students so they too can understand that it is important to accept and own their mistakes and to learn from them.

Back to what I said earlier, I can't respect those students who don't do the work, don't put in the effort and instead of asking for help or advice, begin to attack the instructor and blame them and everything else around them. Instead of asking for help or advice, they make demands or accusations; in some cases don't say a word to the teacher and go the school administrators. What's crazy, is they go to these administrators knowing they haven't done the work yet they expect some kind of mercy.

I have to believe that part of the problem stems from the archaic education practices used in many or our countries K-12 system. I think we are so behind the rest of the world in hour we educate our young and it's quite tragic. Yes, there are some schools and districts trying hard to break the mold and catch up, but we really need more. I would put any K-12 student from any European country against any one of ours and I guarantee that the the European educated kid will blow away the American educated kid 100% of the time and by an incredibly wide margin.

We also need to not be afraid to tell those who are not read to make the full commitment to higher education that its okay to put it off until they are ready. I've seen some parents get so going ho on the college search and application process that they never really take the time to actually ask their kid if this is what they really want or if they are ready for this. The kid goes along for the ride and soon findthem self  halfway into a $20,000 or more semester and in danger of pissing it all away.

I work with the community college population, of which a percentage is there knowing they are to ready academically; another great challenge - meeting the developmental needs of these students and also helping them to truly understand where they are on their journey, make them feel good about it and offer them the support they need while holding them accountable and preparing them for what awaits at the next stage.

I think I need to stop here.

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