In the above article, 8 myths about education are deconstructed. After a ear of teaching in a Title I school system, I’d like to address each one from my perspective.
The Culturally Naive Writing Teacher
Bridgette takes a writing course offered to the community, and her classmates are a diverse set of community immigrants and international students. The teacher begins making good-intentioned but awkward comments about his classroom being like the UN and assumes he knows about other cultures, only for the students to give him blank stares like he’s an idiot. He keeps apologizing for the English language being so complicated until an Indian student raises his hand and says “actually, English was very easy for me to learn,” and several students nod their heads. The teacher, flustered, begins making the assignments harder to prove that English is so hard to learn.
Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5 of this year. It was around this time of year a year ago that I read a biography of his, Tree Shaker, by Bill Keller. I read this book in order to create a sample assessment for students.
When my students read The Canterbury Tales, I didn’t want to tediously read through all of the characters with them. They wouldn’t remember all of the characters that way, and it would only serve to make it less interesting to the average high school student. So I had a plan.
Today is my first day as a public school teacher.
I’ve taught before in universities, and subbed long-term in public schools. But this is my first time as a full-time teacher in a public school. I am teaching high schoolers the art of language.
[back to part 8: The War on Some Drugs]
“Our Future is the Hands of our Students”
“High Stakes and Low Standards”
“High Standards, but Low Barriers”
“Repeal NCLB already!”
Our school systems rank toward the bottom of the list when compared with those of other industrialized countries. Sure, we may be able to brag about churning out all kinds of Nobel winners and innovators, but most of our students are graduating without the knowledge they should have, meaning that those Nobel prize winners stand on the other side of a gap too far from most of our other students. Our schools pass a lot of kids because our schools are too easy.