We have a strange relationship with intellect in our society. We view intelligence as something you either have or you don’t, so when we see someone act more intelligent than we feel, we see them as inherently “other”. But “smart isn’t something you are, it is something you get” as one of my professor once said. We can gain more knowledge and we can gain the skills of logical discourse, which are both components of intelligence.
Of course, the brainwashing method mostly succeeds. I cringe in workshops reading words like “love” or “beautiful,” but I can’t help but wondering if that’s just psychosis talking, and not aesthetics.
I remember in fifth grade getting one of my first interpretive questions on a reading quiz. The question started with the wonderful words “why do you think…?” In my mind at the time, I felt that there was no possible wrong answer. My thoughts were my own and could be anything. Turned out I was wrong. Even though the question asked what I thought, it was just trying to figure out if I thought what the teacher wanted me to think.
Why can’t parents channel the collective anger and outrage they can generate over their children having to accommodate children with severe allergies toward something more worthwhile, like the removal of tracking from schools? We all obviously care about the well-being of their children, however, we are stuck competing with each other.
A recent study by a Roland G Fryer says paying teachers for higher test scores doesn’t raise test scores. I’m going to refrain from saying…
Whenever the words No Child Left Behind are uttered, every educator I have been around rolls their eyes, at best. The constant discussion in my…
Everyday, this teacher faced a class of students who regularly greeted her with profanity (“big fat bitch” was a favorite I noticed during my brief observation). Words were not the only thing they hurled; she told me that she’d ducked water bottles and other sundries during her time teaching. She hated CPS. She hated her school, and she hated her students. She blamed her recent cancer on her job.
Much talk about “deficit spending” focuses on the issue of “teacher pay”, especially in a dairy-related state a little north of my home. The argument states that paying teachers upwards of 50K a year is destroying America. We need an alternative solution that solves the budget problems while preventing teacher morale from descending to new, painful lows.
As an aspiring educator, I’m supposed to help students get to a cognitive level that allows them to grasp abstractions. Ironically, since we cannot see an immediate product, we will continue to kill our educational system by inches.