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Forum Post: It is time we stand with all TEACHERS. The students will learn some new lessons!

Posted 8 years ago on Nov. 24, 2011, 12:26 p.m. EST by newearthorder (295)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I am all for an ever widening consensus, but, go to a Tea Party Rally sometime and a supporter what they think about public school teachers. You will witness so much hate spewing from their mouths you won't believe. They hate ALL public school teachers. The teacher's union is evil, they are making twice as much as they deserve, they all live in gated communities, they don't have to work hard like regular folks,..etc, etc.

Mostly they just parrot the talking heads they listen to, but I think we can do better.

Support your local public school teachers!



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[-] 1 points by beamerbikeclub (414) 8 years ago

Thanks! I'm a public school teacher and OWS supporter. Bring it on Tea Party, I would be happy to "educate" you too!

p.s. OWS, we need to reach out to the Tea Party. They too are the 99%.

[-] 0 points by newearthorder (295) 8 years ago

I watched the video post below,...I was wondering what an actual educator thought about it. Also, do you know of an curriculum where kids as young as 3rd or 4th grade could begin to understand critical thinking?

BTW, I assisted at a local school for a year where my Psych. Professor was the admin. It was a school for middle school and HS students who were kicked out of regular public schools, mostly for behavioral troubles. Pretty challenging, but very rewarding. I've always thought the first thing we need to do in education, after kids obtain a basic skill set of reading and writing, is to teach them to think for themselves.

[-] 1 points by beamerbikeclub (414) 8 years ago

Thanks for the Q. I agree that critical thinking is essential. I teach English and I joke that my job is easy because my students already speak English! Really what that means is that I teach critical thinking. The PUBLIC school I am in now (in a very mainstream, mall-culture suburb south of Seattle, WA) has a strong emphasis on critical thinking. At least it tried to, but honestly it's easy for teachers to lose site of this focus because they feel overwhelmed trying to teach the "content" of their "subjects"-- the so-called "No Child Left Behind" nonsense and hysteria did not help in this regard.

I can go on and on and on about teaching and public education...

No, I'm not familiar with specific curricula for young kids but I work with teenagers and I don't doubt that small children can think critically... I would even say that their ability to think imaginatively, as well as their innate curiosity, and their propensity to as "Why...?" makes them naturally strong "critical thinkers" and that schools just need to nurture this.

As for the video... sorry... I began watching and didn't get far. I find it to be conspiracy theory drivel/ Right wing propaganda. Though I don't dispute the problem. I agree; there IS a problem in education in terms of the lack of critical thinking students are asked to do, and the amount of "conformity" that the pressure of school exerts. But this is nothing to do with some kind of government conspiracy. It is more to do with local school boards being squeamish about what texts they allow, and also about the overwhelming pressure on teachers to "shove" enough "knowledge" into their students in order to pass standardized-tests (which most teachers to their credit dislike and find counter-productive). I am sorry to say also, that it is about the lack of critical thinking skills many teachers have. I don't malign my colleagues. They are dedicated and intelligent and skillful. But with starting salaries where they are, the "best and brightest" do not go into teaching in mass numbers. How much "critical thinking" does your average police officer do? Relatively the same pay (though teaching has many other benefits).

So the video correctly identifies a significant problem-- lack of critical thinking and creative thinking in our schools--- but seems to be heading towards the absolute wrong answer... we need MORE and BETTER PUBLIC schools (more funding, better pay, smaller classes, more & better books). Not, as the Right wing cynically calls for, an end to "government" schools. Public schools are controlled very locally by school boards, and really they are controlled by parents, teachers and administrations. And in my humble opinion, most of them do a remarkable job, under the circumstances!

Happy to say more if you have questions or challenges... I obviously have a lot to say on this subject, so again... thanks for the question.

[-] 0 points by newearthorder (295) 8 years ago

Well done, agreed. It's been a while since I was in school, but I remember some things, and can look back now and see what could help.I always hated to do a presentation in front of the class. It was very stressful for me. I have a daughter who recently graduated from HS and we worked on this together. I think that overcoming the fear of speaking in public is one of the most powerful things any kid can do.

I was a pretty shy kid, but i enjoyed making my friends laugh. When I was 39 I got a job at a local radio station doing overnights, (midnight to 6am, & if you think teachers aren't paid enough, try this,..$4.25 an hour in 1994-1996.)

All of the Djs here at my statation had to go to Nashville, Indiana, (not Tennessee), where they had a 2000 seat theater every summer where country music artists would play. Country music would not be my first choice, but I respected many of the artists I met, especially Loretta Lynn, who I met.

Anyway, this shy kid was talking to upwards of 100,000 people every night, and on weekends, telling jokes in front of a live crowd of 2000 every Saturday. That was when I learned how powerful that ability was, when my daughter was 4 & 5 years old.

I know that 'show & tell' is the kids version of 'communications 101', but can't we do better in this area? It is so powerful and gives kids so much self-confidence, we need to make this a priority from the beginning.

What do you think?

[-] 1 points by beamerbikeclub (414) 8 years ago

2 for 2!

I really make an effort to get my students in the habit of speaking. I don't really assign presentations... it's a daily and continuous practice of "speaking to the group", "speaking so that everyone can hear you and is listening".

do you get a chance to use your speaking skills and experience to speak to OWS down on the Streets?


[-] 0 points by Renaye (522) 8 years ago

There is a wonderful teacher by the name of Charlotte Iserbyt and you should get to know her. Prepare to have your foundation rocked.