Thursday, October 27, 2011

teacher. tells. all.

Hi divamoms & divas,

I hope today is a terrific Thursday for you. I’m excited about my night. My “other” mom & I are going to the Improv to see Kevin Hart. I haven’t really watched any of his performances on tv so I’m looking forward to getting out even though I have to work tomorrow. Let’s cross our fingers that he’s funny and I get in some much needed laughs. I need to release some of these work concerns.

Lately I’ve been a bit irritated with what education means today. You may not have ever entertained any of the thoughts I’m about to share but I have and I need to vent. What better place to do it than on my blog with supportive readers. HINT: I really hope you will be J

I realize teaching isn’t about saving the world but shaping lives and encouraging each student to become his or her very best self. One of my problems is we (the educational system and those who work in it) are lying to most of our kids as a whole. We’ve taken on this mentality that every child can succeed (they can) and that we shouldn’t crush anyone’s hopes or dreams. Yet I often ask why are we agreeing 7th grader Sam can become a doctor when he can’t read or 8th grader Shayla doesn’t know her multiplication tables. THEY CAN IF THEY HAVE BASIC SKILLS TO BUILD ON TO ACQUIRE MORE COMPLEX SKILLS. Yes I’m screaming.

There are instances where we need to draw the line. Before you unfollow my blog keep reading. This doesn’t mean I will tell ANY student EVER that he or she doesn’t have the ability to become a contributing citizen to society. What I do find myself doing is keeping it real. I share stories about kids not getting into college because they couldn’t pass the math entrance exam. We teach and allow our students to test with a calculator. I know students who can’t use the calculator appropriately because they don’t know the math steps. I also know some colleges don’t  allow the use of a calculator on the entrance exam. Why don’t our students know this?

Let me give you an example. I’ve seen regular educational tracked students placed in an inclusion class and they don’t need to be there because the student is either being held back or singled out because they are achieving faster than a student with more needs. This can be the result of a teacher who isn’t willing to have multiple assignments in the class (too much work for some) or the kid becoming comfortable with having to perform at a lower ability and earning an easy grade that he or she become complacent.

I am all for an inclusive education but we need to look at each student’s academic ability and attempt to group them in close range. We also need to respect the recommendations of the teacher. If you don’t think the teacher know his or her students shame on you for allowing them to be over children every day! There is no reason to schedule a nonreader (yes we have nonreaders in middle school) with a student who reads at or above grade level because he or she isn’t successful on the FCAT. There I typed it! All the levels on the test are grouped together. This one piece of data is the determining factor for so many things regarding a student’s learning track.

The other issue I’m frustrated with is our willingness to play hush hush with parents. Tell them the truth. Find out what you are working with and make decisions from there. Don’t assume every child in a single parent home has a guardian who is too busy to support you. Don’t assume every child living in a gated community being dropped off and picked up by a parent is brilliant. Don’t assume a parent knows his child is being disrespectful. Don’t assume all children of a teacher are geniuses. Don’t be afraid to suggest to a parent to request a different academic setting for a child if any of the above things are of concern.

Necklace was thrifted for $8!

I see kids daily who are hungry for knowledge. They want ot become better readers and writers and learn math. there are so many dynamics that can hinder them. Teachers need to be prepared to deal with those things or at least be able to identify concerns and refer the child to a guidance counselor. Case in point, I get really pissed when I see too many African American & Hispanic students kicked out of class.

I’m not saying other ethnicities don’t have issues but we tend to be the poster children for everything wrong and it gets magnified. Instead of saying Jose or Juan or NyShakira or Alfred is just plain lazy, dumb and unmotivated ask the kid what’s up. Most of the time they will tell you. Offer them the opportunity to speak with a guidance counselor or someone the campus they trust. Set a time limit and get that child back in class. Truth is if you did that as a teacher you should pack up and look for a job because no instructional time is to be waster. Yet we really are wasting day after day after day when a child sits in class physically but isnt’ engaged mentally.

I could go on and on about how to fix them. And yes I know I made the problem seem simple to solve. They aren’t! Our educational system is so wack!!!!! Yep, I wrote this too. I just believe that we can fix what is broken one teacher, one child, one classroom at a time. I’m thinking I should do a workshop entitled Lies My Child’s School Tells Me. Ugghhh L

The reading teacher who is also a ~dIvAmOm~

P. S. I wore this dress to church not work.


GlamourFanatic said...

I absolutely agree 100% with everything you said. Luckily my son has a teacher who pushes, challenges, and encourages him to be greater each day and he is soaking every bit of it up. I do m part at home as well.

P.S. - Kevin Hart is tooooo funny! You are going to have a blast!

Style & Poise said...

You made some very great true! LOVE LOVE that dress, the fab! Oh and you will laugh when you see Kevin, he is hilarious!!!!

SAT said...

Great points. I agree!
Enjoy the show tonight.

Tyra said...

Boy am I glad to have read this post!! I am a former middle school teacher who stopped teaching because of the very frustrations you write about. It's like you took the words right out of my mouth.

It's an exercise in futility everyday when you are working in a school where the administration isn't supportive. The truth is, a lot of the problems are easily fixed if EVERYBODY is doing his or her part!

I, too, believe, that honesty is the best policy when dealing with students, especially at urban schools because they can smell bull@#%$ from a mile away. Anyway, great post and beautiful blog :-)

LV said...

I agree with you. I am so concerned about the educational system as I prepare my son to enter kindergarten. Debating on public vs. private school...

I love your colorful dress and those shoes are killer! You always look amazing!

simplychic said...

I am loving the colors and that gold necklace!

P.S. I recently bought a dark red revlon lipstick that I love! Now I just need to show it off on my blog...

mispapelicos said...

You are so wise and so wonderful.
I love your dress and that gold clutch.

Chandra MoMoMod said...

AMEN!!!!!! I agree 150% with you! Well, 100% with you (150 is exaggerating. LOL). We are too willing to sugarcoat information and play pattycake games with students and their parents. I ask my little 2nd graders about their hopes and dreams; I have them write about their goals. Then I tell them the harsh truth: YOU WILL NOT SUCCEED IF YOU DO NOT KNOW YOUR BASIC MATH FACTS AND IF YOU CANNOT READ! Call me harsh. Call me rude. But let's face it: life is hard and these kids need truth. They need facts. They need honesty. I try my best to make sure these kids know that they aren't going to make it if they cannot read, write, and complete basic math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).

Ps. I love the dress and shoes.


Anonymous said...

TRI-IN-TEE 5:7 song Over & Over Again Over the years, God has instructed me to always include mercy(compassion) with the truth. Jesus who was the greatest teacher of all because of his message of truth included forgiveness, love, mercy,grace, & patience.Honestly, I complained & was frustrated from August until last night with my students lack of motivation. This morning, I ask God to guide my words & thoughts. I desire to teach with forgiveness, love,mercy,& patience like Jesus. His grace makes things available we don't deserve like the song states Over and Over again. Everyone didn't accept Jesus teaching even with all the love and blessings he provided. Students who desire to learn will learn & the students who don't .....well let's just pray for them.:) KP

Full Figured Diva said...

That dress is beautiful! Love the pattern and all the purrrttty colors....OH and those shoes are tha bizz-nezz!!!! Love em!


Anonymous said...


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