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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    Today, if you reprimand a student, you often get a nasty email or phone call from a parent along the lines of "how dare you talk to my child that way!" Teachers are hamstrung when it comes to controlling the turds in class. I have some real pieces of work this year, but 90% of my kids are intelligent, kind and mostly motivated to do well, with supportive parents. Every year it is different, some groups are awful, some are fun to teach. But...the world and kids are VERY different than even 10 years ago. Technology has taken over their lives, they are losing the ability to read (they watch everything, no one speaks to them in intelligent ways as young children because mom/dad are on the phone texting or they are plopped in front of a dvd player/handed a smart phone. Smart phones do not make the holder smart, oddly enough....
    You are so right!! I firmly believe that if teachers were allowed to teach the way they saw fit and that children who chose to be disruptive were removed or disciplined , things would get a whole lot better. I respect teachers, and the work they do, but I despise the public school system w/ the way it has become more about money and less about the kids.
    http://community.webshots.com/album/548368465RfewoU[/url]

    She may not have changed the stars from their courses, but she loved a good man, and she rode good horses….author unknown


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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdagioWA View Post
    I grew up in Europe as well and studied english, german, french and latin in addition to danish. And I was a math/science focused kid. I think one of the differences is also the emphasis on sports (and other extracurricular activities) in schools over here. It is amazing to me that kids are suppose to practice 2-4 hours after school plus games/matches on the weekend if they want to participate. In addition, many schools (colleges too) put athletic capability above academic ability. Where I come from we don't have highschool or college sports teams. Schools are for learning.
    You're right-schools are for learning. When we homeschooled, I caught a lot of flack about "socialization." It didn't matter to the people fussing at me that my girls were active in church, social groups, had friends of their own ages in the neighborhood, and that they were active in 4H and showing horses. I just got fed up one day and made the remark that if my girls were to go to public school, they would be in trouble for socializing, because they were there to work, not to play and gossip.
    http://community.webshots.com/album/548368465RfewoU[/url]

    She may not have changed the stars from their courses, but she loved a good man, and she rode good horses….author unknown


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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by dghunter View Post
    Overall, I feel my school has excellent standards for our students. We really push them to try hard and excel. However, many kids at this age are still pretty self-centered. I just had a kid today tell me that Paris is in Italy. He's 16 years old and has been in school for at least 10 years. He's a good kid but no one can make him learn geography. We can teach it and we can test it but we can't make him actually learn it. Students have to take some responsibility for learning by studying and doing the homework.

    I'm also offended by some of these posts on here. I'm an educator not a babysitter. My kids are constantly challenged and asked to evaluate and analyze. They are consistently writing persuasive/argumentative pieces in which they have to really apply their knowledge. This isn't just skill and drill or plug and chug. My kids analyze speeches and op-ed pieces so they can learn how to think for themselves and not just believe whatever they are told. My kids read a variety of literature so they can learn about life in other parts of the world. They know about suffering still going on in our world today.

    My kids do all of this and then they go home and work on farms. They participate in sports and other clubs at school. They complete community service hours. They help with their churches. They help raise their younger siblings so their parents can work. Is every student going to become a contributing member of society upon graduation? No. But I'm doing my best to make it so as many of them as possible have the tools they need to be successful.
    I don't think the poster that commented about the day care was referring to the teachers attitudes. There are many "parents" around here that do use the school as a day care and a way to get their kids fed without them having to do it. Unfortunately, the teachers are the ones who get stuck with that, and all yall are trying to do is educate kids.

    When Katrina hit, the GA governor mentioned going to a 4 day week to conserve gas etc. People hit the roof. They posted online, called into talk shows, etc. Their complaints were not about lost education time, but about the problems of finding a babysitter.
    http://community.webshots.com/album/548368465RfewoU[/url]

    She may not have changed the stars from their courses, but she loved a good man, and she rode good horses….author unknown


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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnalli View Post
    I don't think the poster that commented about the day care was referring to the teachers attitudes. There are many "parents" around here that do use the school as a day care and a way to get their kids fed without them having to do it. Unfortunately, the teachers are the ones who get stuck with that, and all yall are trying to do is educate kids.

    When Katrina hit, the GA governor mentioned going to a 4 day week to conserve gas etc. People hit the roof. They posted online, called into talk shows, etc. Their complaints were not about lost education time, but about the problems of finding a babysitter.
    Yes, I knew what she meant. However, I also know there are people out there who see us as babysitters so I was simply reiterating the point. When I taught in urban schools it was clear to see the parents who considered schools babysitters.

    I also wanted to add I do know firsthand how difficult it is to teach kids about proper grammar and "old" literature when they don't know where they're sleeping that night or where they're getting their next meal besides at school. These kids just aren't concerned with learning why you should use apostrophes and I don't know that I can blame them.
    No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
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  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by dghunter View Post
    Yes, I knew what she meant. However, I also know there are people out there who see us as babysitters so I was simply reiterating the point. When I taught in urban schools it was clear to see the parents who considered schools babysitters.

    I also wanted to add I do know firsthand how difficult it is to teach kids about proper grammar and "old" literature when they don't know where they're sleeping that night or where they're getting their next meal besides at school. These kids just aren't concerned with learning why you should use apostrophes and I don't know that I can blame them.
    Please don't think I was disparaging you, because that is not how it was meant. I know teachers are not baby sitters, and the hard row you have to hoe. My comments were made as to how the so called parents behave.
    http://community.webshots.com/album/548368465RfewoU[/url]

    She may not have changed the stars from their courses, but she loved a good man, and she rode good horses….author unknown


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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnalli View Post
    Please don't think I was disparaging you, because that is not how it was meant. I know teachers are not baby sitters, and the hard row you have to hoe. My comments were made as to how the so called parents behave.
    Oh, I definitely don't think anyone here feels teachers are just baby sitters! Sometimes I know I get my feathers a little too ruffled. Living in Ohio some wounds are still a little sore, so I know I can be a bit abrasive about it! I know the BF gets tired of my teaching stories sometimes
    No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
    For Hope, For Strength, For Life-Delta Gamma
    www.etsy.com/shop/joiedevivrecrafts Custom Wreaths and Other Decorations


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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5 View Post
    Warning this is a vent but I think I have a point.


    Children are not that stupid, Are they teaching in intentionally confusing methods to stretch out the learning process?

    And why are 99% of the tests scan tron fill in the bubble? Real life isn't multiple choice, real life is a figure out the solution.

    I'm referring to Kalifornia public schools. Not real impressed with what I see graduating nowadays. At a cost of 30K, per student, per year, I expect a better end result.

    And our taxes are goingup to pay more for it. Hooray.

    This is what students used to know in 6th and 8th grade in 1890.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...nihJ-xk6blepnQ
    Since you cited this article, you've had a chance to refresh your memory or research questions you may not know/may have forgotten. When you first saw this, would you have passed it yourself?



  8. #48
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    Jul. 19, 2007
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    The unions are a problem for public schools, mostly in the sense of making it hard/impossible to get rid of bad teachers. Even when I was in high school, we the students had that figured out--the teachers we LIKED (the younger ones, who were still enthusiastic about their subjects, though there were a couple tenure types who were more into it than others) were on eggshells because the rules were absolute, last hired, first fired, if they had to make cuts, while even if there were complaints about them the school couldn't fire teachers who had tenure. Eventually they'd bribe them with buyouts.

    And God help you trying to teach kids whose parents don't care. My parents not only made it clear my JOB as a kid was school, and anything else (horses, theater, music, etc) was secondary, but that even if the teachers WERE in fact not the sharpest knives in the drawer, they were still authority figures and I had to respect them.

    And as for that sixth-grade test (my guess, btw, would be Michigan as it gets referenced a couple times a bit obviously for some odd reason if it's NOT from Michigan) I'd ace history and geography, bomb math, and probably swing a 70% on the grammar. But as far as math goes, I was taught with the University of Chicago series textbooks. I'm lucky I can do basic arithmetic. (That was one case...Dad, an engineer, could NOT understand why I couldn't learn geometry until went to Open House and sat through my Geometry class's presentation and looked at the textbook. He said afterwards "NOW I understand why you hate math.")



  9. #49
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    Hm. Well, so much to respond to. As said, one of the reasons we need to take time is the development of the brain and certain ages not being able to understand some things yet because their brains aren't developed.

    There has been a big push here to get most middle school kids into algebra, which is ridiculous, because about 2/3rds of them do not have the brain development to do it.

    The other part of the equation is we are dumbing it down, big time, and the focus has been on getting better grades and placating psychotic parents who threaten to sue and harass if their child doesn't get good grades. We should have a LOT more kids failing if we are assessing honestly, but there is not outcry about this. It's ALL about why aren't more kids passing.

    I am SO annoyed today because I have kids with NO skills (in 8th grade) who cannot think beyond finding and matching, let alone write in a sentence with a capital at the beginning. In history I wrote VERY clearly on an assignment that they HAD to write in sentences, and that sentences do NOT start with "to" or "because." (Yes, they can, but this is geared towards most students who can't capitalize.) I had to go and point out the directions again, which told them to HIGHLIGHT that if they had trouble, and they were writing "Because they were scared." I asked how they can be passing in 8th grade and not be able to do this. "I'm getting good grades in all my other classes."

    Argh!!!!!

    They are!! Other teachers just "find" a way to assess them with no real checking of anything that is correct, demanding, or grade level. And guess what? NO PROBLEMS. NO ONE--parents, kids, administrators---get after these teachers who do nothing and lie to their kids with grades. The only people who want them to do their jobs are the teachers who have to get the kids after them with no skills.

    The problem is, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and the lazy, whiny kids and parents squeak. Well, me and the parents and kids who want an education need to squeak back. A girl with REALLY low skills from doing nothing for years is in my class, but she will get to grade level with hard work, was whining about how it was SO much work to do and her mother thought it was so. I sort of snapped back (I like her and she likes me, so it's cool) that that was great. They should advocate for tracking classes for low level students who do not intend to graduate high school, because I'm preparing kids for college prep classes to get in college.

    I always read this to my kids. Some are in horrid situations, but that is not an indicator of success--character is. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun...l/me-harvard20

    And this is my other new quest. It sort of focuses the ideas I've known for a long time. We don't need better grades, we need toughness and the ability to thrive despite hard situations. The biggest factor in success for kids is grit, the ability to fail, keep going, and learn, not good grades.
    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/rock-cent...02614#49202614


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  10. #50
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    Oh, unions. Necessary evil. They would NEVER get rid of the bad teachers who teach nothing. They would get rid of the teachers that get complaints, and the ONLY teachers that get complaints are the ones with high standards, honest grades, and actually TEACH your kids.


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  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    Hm. Well, so much to respond to. As said, one of the reasons we need to take time is the development of the brain and certain ages not being able to understand some things yet because their brains aren't developed.

    There has been a big push here to get most middle school kids into algebra, which is ridiculous, because about 2/3rds of them do not have the brain development to do it.

    The other part of the equation is we are dumbing it down, big time, and the focus has been on getting better grades and placating psychotic parents who threaten to sue and harass if their child doesn't get good grades. We should have a LOT more kids failing if we are assessing honestly, but there is not outcry about this. It's ALL about why aren't more kids passing.

    I am SO annoyed today because I have kids with NO skills (in 8th grade) who cannot think beyond finding and matching, let alone write in a sentence with a capital at the beginning. In history I wrote VERY clearly on an assignment that they HAD to write in sentences, and that sentences do NOT start with "to" or "because." (Yes, they can, but this is geared towards most students who can't capitalize.) I had to go and point out the directions again, which told them to HIGHLIGHT that if they had trouble, and they were writing "Because they were scared." I asked how they can be passing in 8th grade and not be able to do this. "I'm getting good grades in all my other classes."

    Argh!!!!!

    They are!! Other teachers just "find" a way to assess them with no real checking of anything that is correct, demanding, or grade level. And guess what? NO PROBLEMS. NO ONE--parents, kids, administrators---get after these teachers who do nothing and lie to their kids with grades. The only people who want them to do their jobs are the teachers who have to get the kids after them with no skills.

    The problem is, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and the lazy, whiny kids and parents squeak. Well, me and the parents and kids who want an education need to squeak back. A girl with REALLY low skills from doing nothing for years is in my class, but she will get to grade level with hard work, was whining about how it was SO much work to do and her mother thought it was so. I sort of snapped back (I like her and she likes me, so it's cool) that that was great. They should advocate for tracking classes for low level students who do not intend to graduate high school, because I'm preparing kids for college prep classes to get in college.

    I always read this to my kids. Some are in horrid situations, but that is not an indicator of success--character is. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun...l/me-harvard20

    And this is my other new quest. It sort of focuses the ideas I've known for a long time. We don't need better grades, we need toughness and the ability to thrive despite hard situations. The biggest factor in success for kids is grit, the ability to fail, keep going, and learn, not good grades.
    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/rock-cent...02614#49202614

    I have many friends that are teaching or retired recently from teaching and they reflect those words.

    On teacher's unions, no one is happy with them, even those that have positions in them.
    I wonder, why do they don't do something about it then?
    The answer I get, everyone doesn't like them, but when anyone wants to complain and make changes, everyone comes in the defense of how things are and swinging.



  12. #52
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    I just became a union rep because they HATE me. I can be a thorn in their side, show up to all of the meetings, and hold the lies out to air. Some things need to change, but they are needed, or the power to control teachers would be the "buyers"--the students and parents, and very few would demand higher standards and more work.

    I don't know how else you would do it. It also helps with things like making sure the mold in the classroom gets taken care of (one teacher was sick for two years) and doing something about 42 kids in a class built for 28 and not just having to "deal."

    We all voted to take a 1% pay cut plus furlough days, so essentially a 6% pay cut, the last few years so we could all make a little less and keep more teachers employed and smaller classes. That's what unions can do.



  13. #53
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    First off... why were kids in the 1890s taking the same exam two years apart? For all the failings of modern education, I was not re-tested on material I already mastered... Weird, and further suggestive this document isn't quite to it claims to be.

    Back in the day, NOT going to school was a suitable, viable option! Too dumb or restless for traditional academics? To the fields/apprenticeship with you! Don't graduate school? That's okay, only a handful of jobs require a high level of academic achievement (and, truly, if you're charismatic enough you could get by without the paper in some contexts!).

    I'm really glad that, though I may not be able to pass this test entirely, I was exposed to music and foreign language and art and psychology and all sorts of other interesting classes.


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  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    And God help you trying to teach kids whose parents don't care. My parents not only made it clear my JOB as a kid was school, and anything else (horses, theater, music, etc) was secondary, but that even if the teachers WERE in fact not the sharpest knives in the drawer, they were still authority figures and I had to respect them.
    I completely agree. I don't have children but I get EXHAUSTED when I think about all of the shuttling around I see a lot of parents doing for their kids when it comes to sports and extracurriculars. Growing up I was in and out of private school (I thrived in the private school atmosphere--lots of dedication and time given by teachers--you get what you pay for) but my horse activities were not more important than homework or school. My siblings have played sports their whole lives but only focused on one sport a season or year. My parents still did plenty of shuttling but it wasn't because we "needed to get ahead in life"--it was because we enjoyed it!

    I would consider homeschooling my kids or sending them to private school if I could afford it, public school not so much...

    And I commend the teachers who have commented here about how hard they work. I know it can't be easy having to teach kids who have little to no support at home. My grandmother was a substitute teacher for almost 30 years and she always had LOTS of good stories for us about the changes she's seen in education over the years....



  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5 View Post
    Why does it take 12 years to give a child a basic education?
    Because we have to take 3 months off during the summer months to put in the crops and help around the farm. Oh wait, we are no longer an agrarian based society... Um, then I guess, I don't know.

    I'm not a parent and I have very little knowledge of today's school system, but I do know that I spent an awful lot of time just hanging out doing nothing. I imagine a large part of it is that there is a lot of time spent "babysitting" so parents do not have to find child care during the day, and there is a lot of time waiting around for certain age/maturity levels to be reached.



  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    Oh, unions. Necessary evil. They would NEVER get rid of the bad teachers who teach nothing. They would get rid of the teachers that get complaints, and the ONLY teachers that get complaints are the ones with high standards, honest grades, and actually TEACH your kids.
    Sadly true. I didn't understand until my neigbors, both of whom are teachers, explained how the unions work. Teachers are not required join in TX. However, any student can make any complaint about a disliked teacher, and that teacher is gone (school doesn't want the liability) unless they have the legal support that comes with having a joined a union. But on the flipside, the teachers with legitimate complaints against them are difficult to remove because of the unions.

    We had this discussion when my SD was in 6th grade because her math teacher was so bad. Every parent we knew had the same complaints we did. Parents who were teachers pulled strings to keep their kids out of this particular teacher's class. After DH and I met with the principle just trying to get SD in a different class (denied), my question to my neighbor was why, if this chick had so many complaints against her, was she still teaching?!? Answer: Because she'd been there 10+ years and was too difficult to fire.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it." - Agent K, MIB



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