I had a former student -- now a senior in college who can't graduate because the last engineering class he needs is not being offered til next semester due to furloughs and budget cuts... another blog post entirely -- come to visit me this week. We chatted during lunch.
I asked him how he liked his professors. He said, some were good, some were bad. Then he added, "But the bad ones are good for me because they force me to learn the material on my own. I mean I gotta know this stuff, right?"
And isn't that the difference between kids that achieve and kids that don't? Really, don't ya love that ownership?
Public education in America would be absolutely revolutionized if our students -- and the parents -- simply had an attitude adjustment. Instead of viewing teachers as the ones responsible for making
kids learn we need to flip the script so that the students feel responsible for becoming well educated
... and instead, view teachers as people who are facilitators of that aim.
Not the doers of all the work for them.
Your math teacher stinks? In today's world, that's seems to be a perfectly justifiable reason for kids (and parents, and politicians) to blame the school for these kids not knowing their multiplication tables.
Not in my house. My kids are gonna know their multiplication tables even if they are taught by New York City's Rubber Room All Stars
Your English teach is lame? Well, then by all means you should not know how to compose a simple sentence.
How about a little ownership over your own education, huh? Instead of viewing school like a 5 star hotel where everyone who works their ought to be at your beck and call with white glove service, why not view school more like CostCo or Home Depot where the goods are on the shelf, but dude or dudette, you better go figure out a way to get what you need by yourself!!
And if you do find an employee that can help you, be grateful for their assistance instead of demonstrating an attitude of entitlement.
Do teachers need to do better in this country? For sure!
But if they don't is that really a legitimate excuse for our students not to become well-educated?
All the tools are there. The internet. The public library. Teachers who care. Outreach programs. On and on and on. For the kid who is ready to apply some good ol' fashioned elbow grease, they sky is the limit.
And for the kid who thinks it is the job of other people to "make them smart"... may the Lord watch over them.