Education: We Need Change Not Just a Band-Aid
For years the public education system has failed to keep students testing at grade level. Let’s be serious these tests are really of the most basic level in most cases and kids aren’t making the cut. It’s not because teachers are teaching and it’s not because kids aren’t in school it’s because the education system has been putting Band-Aids on the problems within education for so long you can’t even see the basic design anymore. These Band-Aids have been layered upon other Band-Aids making it a rickety structure that’s just waiting to tumble over. To me the answer is simple, tear down the structure and rebuild with what works.
I’ve worked in education for well over a decade. I’ve had students who are from all different academic levels and have taught from preschool through the end of middle school. I’ve seen things that work and have brought students to levels I never thought possible and I have seen things fail in tragedy with student scores not even close to where they should be. The problem I’ve noticed is the things I’ve seen fail are pushed more and more. Teachers are given curriculums that teach to the test, make kids sit down more, give less choice, and take students out of the subjects they love for extra math and reading classes.
The first thing that districts, the government, or anyone in charge needs to do is allow teachers to do the job they went to school for. I have two masters degrees in education and I am still given a directive of what pages I should be on in a textbook that was chosen as a cookie cutter one size serves all curriculum set for the district. The textbook is written 3 grade levels above what I teach when my students have reading levels from 1st grade to 10 grade levels. One textbook is not a curriculum and telling me what to use instead of relying on my expertise to judge and collect resources is ridiculous. I often don’t go by district suggestions of what to use and what to teach. Using the resources just enough to say I did what they told me and even with my students with varying levels I’ve had over 90% of my students scoring proficient on tests measuring my content area.
What needs to happen in education is real change. First educators need to be treated as professionals. We are professionals and the lack of respect in this area is shown by the massive teacher shortage and drastic decline in people entering education programs in universities. Schools need to focus on having high expectations for students and have time to service students who don’t reach these heights. School classrooms need to be shrunken down to 20 or less so teachers can actually reach every student. School days need to include technical education classes and be shortened to have at least an hour a day to help students who have a learning gap from their peers. Classes starting in elementary school need to include real world topics like taxes, cooking, social skills, how to handle stress, home maintenance, and uses of technology. As a country we need to do better by our kids and we can’t keep putting Band-Aids on a failing system, instead let’s do something to create an impact on the future of our world.
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