Reform education? Reform the home

Education Reform

Reforming education has become a political football. There are those who promise revolutionary change and those who talk without doing anything.

Surely, there are many great techniques and shifts in tactics to improve output. BUT the real problem is the broken home. Without mom and dad at home pushing Johnny to get the grade, reform is doomed to modest results at best.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for honing. I favor paradigm shifts. What I oppose is charlatan fads exploited by unscrupulous politicians (forgive the redundancy) that sway public opinion momentarily without delivering better graduates.

I realize that there are those who make their living promoting reform. I congratulate all sincere efforts that seek better results. But I’m a bit skeptical. Learning will always involve some amount of plain, old, boring work. You can sing the times tables, if that works for you. But at the end of the day, you had better know how to sing your way through a complex multiplication and division problem. Results are what counts.

A change-up in methodology can be good. Hocus pocus, not so.

However you approach it, at the end of the day, students need to know how to write, to do math, to analyze, to think critically. No doubt teachers play a critical role. But a heartbreak from home to ruin a student in class. It’s great to be dynamic teachers, but if Sarah Sue is crying inside, she might not be paying attention to anything Mrs. Summersault is saying.

Please, please, please, for good of students, keep your home together.


Education: What hasn’t changed in 20 years

ImageTwenty years ago I taught. Now I’m teaching again. And, man, things have changed!

It used to be that students had to respect the teacher. Now it is the teacher that has to respect the students.

What hasn’t changed though is the love you give the kids. If you’re not teaching because of love, you’re in the wrong profession. After all, it is a people profession.

Love makes the difference. It goes the extra mile. It helps that student who’s lagging behind. It spend more time planning lessons, grading homework. It gives of itself unselfishly. Love never fails.

Maybe it’s good that we teachers have to respect the kids now. At least, teacher abuse will be on the decline.

Somethings change radically. Others never change. If you love kids, if you love learning, there will always be a space for you to teach.