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Has Teaching Changed for the Better?
Old 10-21-2009, 06:18 PM
 
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I am new to education as an educator, but I remember very well how things were done over the last 30-40 years.

What do you think our profession does better now?

What things do you think have changed over the years that probably should not have?



Last edited by ovrjoyd4u2; 10-21-2009 at 06:28 PM..
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changes in teaching
Old 10-21-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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I taught elementary school for seven years. This last year was my last. I pretty much quit for the simple reason that this profession got progressively more stressful to the point where I couldn't deal with it anymore. As far as how this profession has changed, in my opinion it has not changed for the better. While I do think the whole standards and accountability thing helps gives teachers the scope and sequence of what needs to be taught, I think that the biggest thing that's happened in the constant assessing that higher ups say is necessary. The students are being tested to death and being pushed to the near stress levels teachers are. I think the kids are being turned into clones because of the constant assessing. The higher ups are forcing each student to try to achieve the same result in the same time frame regardless of the needs of the students. Everything is all about test scores and like it or not teachers are being asked to teach to the test, even if the higher ups say that's not the point of NCLB. If the goal is higher test scores, how can you not teach to the test? Students are being pushed harder than necessary, teachers are not getting paid for the extra things they do, and more is being asked of teachers each year. Kids are not enjoying school the way they used to. When I was in school, we didn't have power standards, and benchmark tests every quarter, and I still learned the things I needed to. I enjoyed some of the learning. The worst part of school for me was having to deal with mean kids picking on me. I think that the higher ups have good intentions for education, but their method for going about it is wrong and it's ruining education.
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Major Issue
Old 10-22-2009, 09:42 AM
 
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One major issue with testing is that we expect all students to achieve to a certain mark, when we know that is not possible. When we will figure out how to measure growth in an individual student. We as educators must differentiate for students everyday, and I think some higher ups need to experience that in our testing methods. I do think technology has been a great addition to education, so I still think education changing can be a good thing for our students.
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Ditto
Old 10-22-2009, 11:00 AM
 
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Ditto X 2 . I have been in for 34 yrs and what is deemed as progress is actually regress. I remember walking into a class room here is the manual here are the kids TEACH. And you did and the kids learned. Just this last week I had a very weak reader whom I let read the whole story ... sure there were alot of mis read words but I didn't stop him everytime. At the end the child said out of no where.."Thank you for letting me read.." To me that is learning for a life time not just to test on what is basic. BASIC to who? I tell my new teachers all the time ...this is what the mandates say this is how you can teach but how would you teach it if nobody looked over your shoulder? IF you feel good about it and can prove that it works go for it and deal with the yadda yadda later. Top priorty is kids LOVING to LEARN for the sake of learning not because if you don't score master you are a nobody. Sorry this is my soapbox issue

Last edited by readerabbit; 10-22-2009 at 11:36 AM..
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busier isn't better
Old 10-22-2009, 11:15 AM
 
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we are required to do more and more and more and with the state budget cuts now, with fewer and fewer dollars.

we are the babysitters, the nurses, the restaurant for breakfast, day care afterschool.
Although I think early intervention is great, I am not crazy about preschool. It is a vicious cycle where the parents expect us to parent, and we do, and then we cannot get them to parent or take responisibility. It is the parents responsibility to care, feed and nurture their children and some just are not.

This hit a nerve, esp trying to service some of the families in our community. The house may be over run with bugs, but they will not accept help. The children come to school smelly, and they refuse help again. But a free lunch at school? heck yeah.

I understand the Ruby Payne philosophy, but that doesnt' stop my blood from boiling when talking about parents who dont cant or wont parent.

The supportive parents are getting fewer and fewer.


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Changes in Teaching
Old 10-22-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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I agree with all of the posts above. It seems that each year I teach, things get a little worse. When I was in school, the things that go on today would never have been tolerated back then. Children were actually afraid to get in trouble, and doing well in school and behaving while you were there was expected. Now it seems that parents just send their children there to get rid of them for the day. It is a sad day when you have a parent conference (if you are even lucky enough to get them to attend) and the child listens to their teacher tell them to do something, but completely ignores their parent. I have even had to get a child dressed each morning because the parents couldn't get their child to cooperate and put on his clothes.

On top of this, as teachers, we are expected to handle discipline, hungry kids, sick kids, and still continue to teach somewhere in between. Then, we are also expected to practically put on a 3-ring circus to try to capture the attention of these students so they will want to learn. What happened to wanting to learn because you were curious or because that is what you were supposed to do when you went to school. Yet, the administration doesn't seem to care or see what is REALLY going on in these classrooms. They seem to have lost touch with what that is like. It is always the teacher's fault if someone doesn't behave, learn, or anything else. What do they think we are...super heros? In my opinion, if things continue on this downward spiral, not only are we going to end up with a bunch of children that will basically have no future (due to failing or dropping out of school) but we wii have a bunch of teachers that no longer want to teach and will either quit or not care anymore.
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Teaching these days
Old 10-22-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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I agree with all of the posts too. I have been teaching for 27 years. I need to complete 3 more before I can retire. I don't know if I can make it. Teaching has changed so much. I used to enjoy going to work every day. Sure, I had a few students that were challenging, even 27 years ago, but it was something I could handle. Now, we have students that don't care and will tell you shut up, the f-word, try and run out of the building to go home, etc. It's so different. Parents used to support the school. Now they are too busy running there kids to every event under the sun to help with homework or to talk to their child. The assessing is really out of control. I value assessing to guide instruction and accountability as a teacher, but we have gone overboard. We can't do anything "fun" anymore with the students. I miss the days when I could make a batch of "Stone Soup" with the students or take an hour to make an art project that was seasonal. Education is almost ruined because of the NCLB and the pressure and stress to do well on the test. All of the RTI, differentiated instruction, etc. There will always be high, average and low abilities, no matter what we do. This is my soapbox too, so I will sign off for now. I can't wait to do my 3 years and get out it. I will miss teaching, but will not miss administration!
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The last 42 years
Old 10-22-2009, 04:39 PM
 
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I remember starting school and what it was like. My generation has done very well with the education we received. I know my teacher didn't put an "agenda" on the board. I know she didn't have to post the objectives on the board. I know we didn't take standardized tests until we were in the 6th grade and then they weren't "high stakes" and the teacher didn't have to teach to the test.

I remember color sheets, holiday craft projects, field trips to dairies and museums. I remember teachers reading aloud, fun packets to do when you finished your work.

I don't remember stickers and rewards (except honor roll and perfect attendance)

I don't remember teachers putting up with behavior problems. I remember a couple of times when a student would be called to the office because their parent wanted to "talk" to them. I remember the principal had an "electric paddle" in her office

I must be getting old, because I remember "the good old days"
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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I just came home 6:44 just running around doing school work, meeting with parents, planning, etc. I absolutely agree with all that have been said. We are extremely busy but I don't think the quality of education is any better. Moreover, I feel that students are checking out of school even in the elementary level because they are so done with all the incessantly amount of "assessments" we do. I think we are dumbing down our future generations.

It was just a relief to read post like these that expressed my very thoughts. Thank you.
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Teaching Now and "Then"
Old 10-23-2009, 02:32 AM
 
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I agree with all of the above. Really, our classrooms are a microcosm of our communities and society as a whole. Most of my students and parents are fine, but there is an ever-increasing self-centered orientation on the part of the parents and children. Thhis presents itself in children having no self control in talking out, waiting their turn, doing what they are asked without negotiation, parents thinking they can change appointments at their whim etc, thinking their child is our only concern-"its a'' about me" really is the name of the game for many and this hurts all. We are such a no conflict world now with so many lawsuits, everyone is afraid to set what would have been considered "normal" limits and honestly just plain old good manners. Manners(civility) are lacking and not being taught at home- these are just courtesy and respect for all, including teachers.The children would be a lot less stressed if their parents took full responsibility and set clear guidlines so the children know their role and can be children, not negotiators. Administrators equally passes on much to us as teachers, afraid of their own liability. It feels more and more like it filters to the teacher no matter what the issue. Nonetheless, I still love to teach, because children are children and will not let these other factors break my spirit! (Yet!)


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Some things I think are better....
Old 10-23-2009, 03:50 AM
 
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Use of technology in the classroom. Webpages/internet linking classroom to home.

Authentic literature and small group instruction encouraging higher order thinking.

Inquiry based instruction.


Somethings that aren't working ( in my opinion)

That we teach more for breadth of knowledge than for depth of understanding.

Decrease of arts education, especially at the elementary level

Lack of physical ed or enough time for physical release of energy for the younger kids.

Too much time and focus on struggling students sometimes leaves you with little to offer kids at the gifted end of the spectrum


Too much high stakes testing at the earlier grades.

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Wow!
Old 10-24-2009, 05:58 AM
 
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It is wonderful to hear others that are in the boat. My blood pressure has gone up, as well as my weight, and I am always having female problems, all related to stress from school. I am only in my early thirties for goodness sake! We are required to document this and document that, send a form in for this and one in for that, be here and there (anywhere but where we need to be - in class), work your back-end off to make the lessons more engaging but they can't have recess or pe, oh I could go on and on... BTW, I did and stuck it on the Vent page so you aren't subjected to my personal therapy! Ha! But seriously, we aren't allowed to do our jobs. Teaching is our craft or art, and they have tied our hands behind our back.

I really hope this last statement is true for most of us, because I have children in the public school system and they deserve the best education. Was that an oxymoron? I think it may have been...

Oh and Fiona you sound just like a lady I went through school with... She was an ex-attorney from overseas.
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