Monday, June 27, 2011

bad teacher...

Bad Teacher Movie Boasts Bad Taste It seems that battering teachers is not bad enough when it is being done by politicians. Now Hollywood is getting into the act with a movie whose trailer states, "Some teachers just don't give an F." I'm sure the movie, starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal will be funny as it explores the notion that "the United States used to have the number one educational system in the world and we now rank 17th." But for most Americans, what administrators, state and federal regulations and politicians have done to American education is not all that funny.

With my wood shop lessons complete for the time being and 12 hours of tape off to Taunton for editing, I return to the subject of education. How do we restore common sense? I'll ask you to reflect on your own experience. Is it true that some school is boring? Is it true that some teachers are boring and that that some students sleep through classes in which the subject matter and teaching style offer no interest to them? Can it be that some teachers deliver the same rote textbook lessons year after year, and have no greater interest or enthusiasm for the subject matter than their sleepy kids? The forced use of text books can turn teachers into information delivery automatons, and it was said by Arthur C. Clarke, "a teacher who can be replaced by a machine should be."

Can I take a moment to offer advice in the face of what we know to actually be true about American education? When you put the hands to work in learning, students won't be asleep during their lessons. When teachers are challenged to make lessons hands-on, they will not be repeating themselves from last year's notes. Students will have greater interest, attention and participation. It is a simple, old as ages but revolutionary notion that I call the strategic implementation of the hands. Where the hands are engaged, the attention and intellect follow. If we have become a nation of knuckle heads, we'd best not blame our nation's "bad teachers," but rather the unreasonable expectation that learning can be hands-free, for it is by neglecting our hands that character and intellect are diminished.

Make, fix and create.

1 comment:

Chris Sagnella said...

Things like selfishness, apathy, greed, fear, confusion and purposelessness are accepted in our society. In my opinion, the extent of these qualities makes me wonder if they become instilled incidentally or intentionally. As a teacher, I have the right and the freedom to not impress these qualities, or anything even close to them, on my students. I take that right, and I reject the temptation to not care. This is all that I can do. If any of the critics of the teacher want to help- look me up on e-mail- I could use the support.