Teachers are part of the problem not the solution.

My response to an article by Dr. Sue Atkinson that implies our educational difficulties are solely the result of inadequate teaching skills.
I would agree with Dr. Atkinson there are defective teachers working in education, the problem is that most of the truly clueless ones work in colleges running educational studies and teaching teachers. As to the presence of defective students, whose existence, she so blithely dismisses apparently based on one study, when Dr, Atkinson was in school, if she ever even attended a public school, did a number of normally functioning kindergarten students arrive at school still in diapers not knowing how to count or even their colors and this after extensive free preschool opportunities? Did 5th graders scream obscenities at teachers often destructing the classroom environment hourly with no real penalty? Did her teacher have to compete with cell phone and video game addictions vying for time with reading? Did failure to perform have consequences when she was in school or were endless do-overs granted as they are now? Finally what used to happen when students looked teachers in the eye and simply said, “No” followed with, “you can’t make me”. Because now when they say that, they are absolutely correct.
This is perhaps the biggest Problem facing education today. Forty years ago a student may have refused to do the work but would not destroy the classroom around them. Now a certain number of students in almost every classroom not only will refuse to work but seem to be driven to take the rest of the class with them on the path to self-destruction. Controlling these students becomes very difficult and time-consuming because teachers have no meaningful penalties left in their tool kit, as even staying in from recess is banned in many districts. In too many school systems the teacher is left only with the power of their personality and bribery to control aberrant behaviors. Bribery, little if any discipline, open defiance of the law, and self-centered blindness to others, sounds a little like our society doesn’t it, the one that produces the children who fail because of bad teachers.


About safrisri

I was a school teacher until retirement. I have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. Now I'm the guy sitting on the porch with an opinion on everything.
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