Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

American education is burdened with problems, that’s an identifiable fact.

An abundance of negative criticism fills the airways, newspapers, homes and faculty rooms. That criticism makes it seem almost impossible to fix what’s wrong.

As an optimist and an idealist who has spent forty five years in classrooms from New York to California, I can’t accept giving in to the pessimism that is so prevalent. Neither do I think the governmental, top-down process of No Child Left Behind or continued pumping in of money will solve the problems.

In my humble opinion… errrr…wait… I should use the new technology mode of talking, shouldn’t I?

IMHO, the whole thing is out of control at the top level. Too many chiefs and super-chiefs who are politically or economically focused can’t possibly understand the real issues that are happening in classrooms and homes where the real battle takes place on a daily basis.

Risking the perception of a growing insanity, I believe that the only way to really fix the problem is to have an increasingly expanding program of addressing critical problems one teacher at a time. That’s it. Just one after another of expert teachers doing their thing day after day, affecting kids positively and effectively.

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The only way this can happen is to understand one simple fact.

We can’t just keep a constant chatter of rhetoric, but we need to be solidly based in the philosophy of why we do what we do. After knowing the foundation, we absolutely must follow that philosophy with real nuts-and-bolts activities based on our stated philosophy and mission.

This will be a daunting battle. Some of what we do will fly in the face of political correctness or governmental intervention. We may have to change some of our union negotiating to address practical issues of educational strategy.

Such a battle will not be easy, and will likely take an entire generation of teachers to accomplish, but it can be done.

Call be crazy if you will, but some of us have started a couple of websites dedicated to creating the spark that will eventually permeate the world of education with energy and passion; the energy and passion that produces positive change.

There are some very practical issues that must be addressed. There’s no way these can be solved from the top down, nor can they be cured by a massive mandate from state or federal governments.

But they can be solved in my classroom, and yours, and the teacher next door.

Following is a beginning list of significant, but practical, problems that must be addressed at the classroom level.

We must figure out how to…

 

  • cure growing apathy in students
  • encourage kids to read books
  • use technology constructively and efficiently
  • make school have practical meaning to students
  • get students to think critically and creatively
  • increase the attention span of students
  • teach students how to do simple mathematical calculations
  • make our time efficient and productive
  • fight against “approval by acquiescence”
  • show students how to be revolutionaries rather than rebels
  • produce functional behavior modification

By rahul