Anytime I am on a television program or talk show I find it an honor as well as humbling. It was no different yesterday as I was on Face to Face with Jon Ralston together with Vali Crawford discussing the condition of our existing education system. There were various points I was unable to reveal in which I would like to remedy today.
However initially, what has continued to astound me is how severe the indoctrination of our teachers has reached and how it is not merely accepted by teachers, but expected by means of our leaders and the media. I made the statement that I dislike the way students disrupt class time and were pilfering that time away from the students that aspired to learn and Mr. Ralston interrupted saying, “isn’t that your job?”
No, I quickly affirmed, my job is to teach and the definition of teaching is to disseminate information from one person to another. But now you can see my argument; the public nowadays believe it is the teacher’s responsibility to take away class time to deal with these persistent disruptions. And I am not merely talking about an occasional occurrence. We expend, on average, 10 to 15 minutes a day dealing with this dilemma.
Be aware, the era of sending a student to the principal’s office is preparing to expire. Sending a disruptive, rude student to the office is a blot against the teacher and will reflect disapprovingly on their evaluation at the conclusion of the year. This is why we expend that 15 minutes a day dealing with those students… fear of the cost … a terrible evaluation. What does that say concerning our education system when a student is disruptive and the teacher has to fear the consequences more than the student?
This is the MAJOR crisis in education, teachers are no longer expected to be simply teachers, we are expected to misuse the time of high-quality student’s dealing with these constant interruptions. This prevents me from performing my task and prevents a vast majority of children receiving their entire education. And it appears teachers are buying into it. Ms. Crawford believes it’s our task, she said, “kids are kids where ever you go,” and “it’s part of your job as long as you have a support system.”
We were referring to the students that did not contain a support system so that was more of a diplomatic answer than a genuine answer. And are you as fed up with the justification “kids will be kids” as am I? If kids will be kids then why don’t adults be adults and impress upon these children the significance of respect, self-control and self-discipline. It is the same adults that utilize this justification that have no control over their children, typically since they would like to be their friend rather than parent, teacher or mentor.
On camera Ms. Crawford, although being pleasant, articulate and most likely an excellent teacher, I trust she was a bit over diplomatic and naïve. While I was asking Jon and his audience to define a bad teacher and advocating how there would be millions of diverse responses, Jon then inquired, “Sometimes students don’t know if there’s a good teacher in that classroom?”
Vali interrupted and alleged “They know. Kids know when they are being instructed, they know when they are being given busy work and they will call you on it… they know when they are getting quality instruction.” She even mentioned how students have approached her and criticized other teachers that are not providing that quality instruction.
They most certainly do not! If students had all of this knowledge, why would they inconvenience themselves taking classes? I mean if they are able to discern the difference relating to what is and what is not quality instruction you have to deduce they already know the topic or how else would they know it is quality? And to honestly believe that is naïve.
My kids attempted to play that game with their mother and me. The student is simply attempting to get on YOUR good side, making you appear as the good guy; also they are probably getting ready to blame that teacher for their failure of the lesson. That is the new trend we seem to be falling for. It is by no means the student’s fault they fail so it HAS to be the teacher. Food for thought; how can someone go from saying “kids are kids where ever you go,” to “they know when they are getting quality instruction.” These are two entirely contradicting statements.
Unfortunately, I do sense the need to defend myself on one commentary by Jon. He referred to Vali as passionate, touching and she loves the students, whereas I “hate the students.” I genuinely wish that no one believes that. Truth be told, I believe the opposite. Any person can be touchy feely and try to be the students friend, conversely it takes added time (my time not class time) to be their mentor. This is the predicament – in today’s world if you desire to discipline and edify respect you are entitled a bully, intimidator and tyrant. However, if you are a touchy feely, affectionate, all kids are wonderful and you yearn for their friendship, you are caring, compassionate and loving.
This is what I was referring to previously regarding the unfeasible expectations of teachers, at least if we crave a thriving education system. If we compel teachers to utilize class time for anything other than educating then we possess no claim to be astounded when education deteriorates. While I was discussing removing the unruly, disruptive, disrespectful students, Jon asked, “What should we do with them?” The mere posing of that question notifies me he considers education no more than an underpaid babysitter.
Teacher/Author “Teachers… It Ain’t Your Fault.”