When students are upset, we encourage them to use “I statements.” This keeps them from talking on behalf of others or making assumptions.
Well, today I feel angry. I am angry with teaching. Not my school, not my students, teaching.
I feel that we have come to expect too much from our students. It is nothing new to hear that curriculum from 10 years ago can now be found a grade lower. What was first grade curriculum is now kindergarten, what was second grade curriculum is now first, etc., etc. In addition, the rigor the schools work towards has intensified. Suddenly, we are expecting students to learn a exorbitant amount of material in a very limited amount of time. I end most days feeling like the whole day was a blur. I feel like I have not had time to process anything that happened. Well, here’s the thing. I am the teacher, in my 20s, and already know all of the content. If I can’t keep up, how in the world are my students supposed to?
We are constantly pushing our students to do more and more. I believe that it is important to be challenged. I believe it is just as important to feel success. But students finally ace that test they’ve worked so hard preparing for and we give them a “good job, now…” From then on we have to challenge them more because if they are able to do it all it must be too easy. Reaching an end goal, a finish line is impossible. The same is even reflected in the teacher evaluation system. Teachers are told they will mostly be satisfactory and the possibility of being distinguished overall is so rare. Distinguished…”It is a good place to visit but not to live.” Once again, I believe in high expectations and being challenged, but I want a chance at getting it. I want a chance to say I worked hard and I reached the top.
Here is the good news. We are producing children whose IQ’s are on average 10 points higher than those who were born in the 90’s. The national unemployment rate continues to fall as we produce students who are better prepared to ender the real-world workforce. Even social skills seem to have improved as the incidences of violent crimes and the frequency of mental health problems have gone down. It is clear, the students coming out of this standardized, test-driven education system are just better, smarter, improved people who are ready to enter the real world.
Is you head cocked? An eyebrow raised? Perhaps my stats don’t seem to line up. They’re made up. I have no idea of exact statistics, but if you ask me I don’t know that there’s been a drastic shift in our students thanks to these changes in education. That being said…
What’s the point?