loss of focus on academics - ProTeacher Community


Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      The VENT

loss of focus on academics

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
chris/4/pa's Avatar
chris/4/pa chris/4/pa is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 111
Full Member

chris/4/pa
 
chris/4/pa's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 111
Full Member
loss of focus on academics
Old 11-02-2017, 03:08 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

Has anyone else noticed a lessening of a focus on academics? it seems that, more and more, we focus on "fluff": monthly rewards that take up 1-3 hours (or more), frequent interruptions for announcements, requirements that are more about documentation than implementation, "equity" activities, "emotional health" activities (required!), etc.
It is a bit frustrating. I would love to teach for a week, focusing on learning. Thanks for listening.


chris/4/pa is offline   Reply With Quote

dreamer456
 
 
Guest

dreamer456
 
 
Guest
You arenít kidding!
Old 11-02-2017, 04:00 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

You are absolutely right. My school is a prime example. I teach high school. We have a play tomorrow during one block and then an in-school basketball game next week and in December. We already had a homecoming pageant and an in-school volleyball game. Our students get out for every little dinky thing, like getting out of class to decorate for the homecoming dance.

Also, sports interfere with class all the time. Iíve missed 6 volleyball players the past 2 weeks. They are really good and went to playoffs and state. I still donít understand why volleyball games are in the middle of the day.

And there are about 2 or 3 field trips every week. Itís ridiculous! When I was in high school, we never had field trips nor did we get out of class for games or other irrelevant stuff. I only graduated 8 years ago! There has been a huge decline in the focus of academics and I believe that is one thing that factors into why the US is way behind other countries academically. We put sports and social stuff before the learning. Itís no wonder why the kids come to class expecting a free day every day.

And not to mention that ruins lesson plans and creates a ton of makeup work.
  Reply With Quote
Izzy23 Izzy23 is online now
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 902
Senior Member

Izzy23
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 902
Senior Member

Old 11-02-2017, 04:11 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

Oh my god, yes. Our morning announcements are 15 minutes long! And it's ALL fluff - the joke of the day, the thought of the day, etc. We get in trouble if we don't show it.

Then I have to constantly schedule breaks and rewards and "emotional" learning and everything else.

You know what would work? 45 minute lesson, 15 minute break, repeat. Give children regular exercise outside and I bet a lot of the "emotional" learning would take care of itself. And then we wouldn't have to worry about special seating, special rewards, point sheets, dojo, blah, blah.
Izzy23 is online now   Reply With Quote
allier allier is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 394
Senior Member

allier
 
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 394
Senior Member
Lots of stuff, but lots of tests too
Old 11-02-2017, 04:56 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

I sort of agree (not entirely). I've noticed a huge increase in the number and frequency of testing around here (Northeast). The kids seem hyped up and neurotic or discouraged. When I started teaching less than 20 years ago, we actually had more funding for field trips (elementary level) and music activities. Lots of that has gone away, although there does seem to be more minor interruptions for community-led activities (ie) Junior Achievement, Career Day, lawyers for reading week, etc... at least where I teach. Mercifully, our moring announcements are fairly quick, with a listing of the students acknowledged for being good citizens that week.

We certainly live in a culture of choice where we all feel entitled to what we want. I think that's feeding this beast!
allier is offline   Reply With Quote
Surly Surly is offline
 
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 21
New Member

Surly
 
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 21
New Member
I agree
Old 11-02-2017, 05:10 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

Also, I'd be willing to bet my life that most of these activities are "research-based." Of course, anybody living in the real world knows they decrease kids' academic achievement, but who are you going to believe, some university academic who's never taught in a real classroom and has a vested interest in saying that traditional practices are inferior or your lying eyes?



Last edited by Surly; 11-02-2017 at 05:34 PM..
Surly is offline   Reply With Quote
Ucan Ucan is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 72
Junior Member

Ucan
 
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 72
Junior Member
Frustrating Indeed
Old 11-02-2017, 05:42 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

For those of you who like to travel, the next time you take a trip overseas, plan to spend some time visiting one of the local schools in session. I'm sure the head master/mistress will be glad to give you a tour of the campus. Not only will you most likely be pleasantly surprised at the high quality of instruction, but you'll also be inspired by many fresh ideas for your own program!

The attached photo shows a well-known school in Hong Kong that I visited. The school consists of three buildings, including the huge skyscraper in the rear.
Attachment

Sign in to view attachment. Not a member? Sign Up FREE
Ucan is offline   Reply With Quote
eeza's Avatar
eeza eeza is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,199
Senior Member

eeza
 
eeza's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,199
Senior Member
lack of focus on academics
Old 11-02-2017, 06:37 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

I am taking a leave this year to see what I want to do with myself. Maybe I'll stay in education maybe not. What you're talking about is the reason why I am taking this leave. I feel like schools are taking on too much. We're not just teachers. We're therapists, doctors, parents, etc and it's just too much.
eeza is offline   Reply With Quote
I Hear You
 
 
Guest

I Hear You
 
 
Guest
Exactly!
Old 11-02-2017, 08:08 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #8

We are expected to be everything to all of our students and expected to teach them what they should gave already learned at home: respect, boundaries, and self control.

From the students perspective, we are entertainers and if we don't have lessons that they feel aren't "fun", then they quickly tell us we are boring them. That whole "entertain us" mentality is what exhausts me and frustrated me!
  Reply With Quote
Ucan Ucan is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 72
Junior Member

Ucan
 
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 72
Junior Member
A Slow But Steady Departure
Old 11-03-2017, 12:52 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #9

It seems that as we adopt more and more progressive ideas about how children should be taught, they are actually learning less and less! Everyone has their own opinion about what is best which is a major factor contributing to our dysfunctional education system. Instead of moving steadily upward, stats show that we're on a downward trajectory.

Here's an interesting article that helps to elucidate the current phenomenon that chris/4/pa alludes to: https://www.washingtonpost.com/poste...=.ff7a1d6fbd99

BTW, it's not relevant whether you agree or disagree with the findings of the study which have been corroborated by additional recent studies.
Ucan is offline   Reply With Quote
teacherwriter teacherwriter is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 3,905
Senior Member

teacherwriter
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 3,905
Senior Member
Agree!
Old 11-03-2017, 01:34 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #10

I am amazed at how much instructional time is lost because of all the fun stuff that's required. I'm particularly confused by reward days. If everybody gets to participate, why is it a reward for good behavior? And why are we rewarding students for doing what they're supposed to be doing anyway?


teacherwriter is offline   Reply With Quote
stickrackxyz
 
 
Guest

stickrackxyz
 
 
Guest
entertainers
Old 11-03-2017, 07:18 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #11

I have been saying this for a few years now. Students believe everything exists to entertain them. It is very hard to teach them anything with that mindset.When I was their age, I understood that there were things I needed to learn in order to get to the next grade. They have no urgency in feeling they need to learn anything.
  Reply With Quote
Hawkeyegirl1 Hawkeyegirl1 is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 58
Junior Member

Hawkeyegirl1
 
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 58
Junior Member
Let the schools do it
Old 11-03-2017, 10:22 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #12

Personal finance education....let the schools do it.

Sex ed....let the schools do it.

Even down to bike safety...let the schools do it.

We only have so much time in the day. I get so frustrated when parents don't want to do their job so they push it off onto schools.

Ugh.
Hawkeyegirl1 is offline   Reply With Quote
jady_marie's Avatar
jady_marie jady_marie is offline
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,195
Senior Member

jady_marie
 
jady_marie's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,195
Senior Member
no time for any fluff
Old 11-03-2017, 07:46 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #13

My building is the opposite. We are expected to be concentrated on academics at all times with no fluff. I would love to stop for an occasional fun activity-making pumpins to hang up or Christmas snowflakes- but we are not allowed to do anything that vears from the curriculum map. I cannot show a full movie of any sort and must get any video clips approved by my principal with the lesson plan that it goes with it.
jady_marie is offline   Reply With Quote
Summerwillcom Summerwillcom is online now
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,832
Senior Member

Summerwillcom
 
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,832
Senior Member
Amen! I started out when academics was the
Old 11-04-2017, 11:14 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #14

main focus. Now it is all about fluff and things parents should be teaching their kids. It is giving the kids choices that they are going to be dumbfounded do not exist when they go to work! Draw a picture, make a model, OR write a report? Are they serious??? How many kids will choose the report? Can you imagine the day I say, " I'd rather DRAW a report card for each child than do a regular 1?" It may happen my last yr...lol This yr, I'd be using a lot of red crayons on my report card drawings! We teach things from bike safety, computer safety, and drugs just to name 3 out of probably 100 nonacademic topics. 1st fluff to get rid of: PBIS.(Oh, I'll share the word "fluff" was used in our house as a code word for passing gas when growing up.)
Summerwillcom is online now   Reply With Quote
chris/4/pa's Avatar
chris/4/pa chris/4/pa is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 111
Full Member

chris/4/pa
 
chris/4/pa's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 111
Full Member
balance
Old 11-04-2017, 03:00 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #15

Odd, isn't it, that administrators can't seem to understand balance and common sense. WE can focus on academics AND do some fun activities. I'm sorry your school is so strait-jacketed.
chris/4/pa is offline   Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
The VENT
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:46 PM.

Copyright © 2017 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net