Sunday, December 24, 2006

I want to spend a few more minutes talking about teaching. As you can see from the posts below, I had an excellent example in my mother of what a good teacher could do, but for a number of reasons, I never thought I would want to teach. One of those reasons was that I saw clearly from my mother's example how much effort was involved in it. Another reason was that I saw that schools were changing, becoming more regimented and more oppressive. Even when I was in high school, the industrial arts classes were where difficult students were placed in the hopes that the firm and often harsh discipline of the industrial arts teacher could turn students around. It was only when I was presented the opportunity to work in the loving and respectful environment of Clear Spring School that I began to see the possiblility in my life of being a teacher. At the time we started the Wisdom of the Hands program, there were no public schools in Arkansas that had enough imagination to envision the possiblilities and even now, due to certification requirements, I would not be allowed to teach in them.

Before I drift too far from the subject of "life interests" as presented by Harvard Psychologists Timothy Butler and James Waldroop in the list below, I want to spend just a few moments on the narrowing of the life interest fulfillment possibilities available to teachers in public school. The No Child Left Behind Act placed all public schools under mandate to do one thing, improve test scores. It didn't offer any increased funding to make changes in curriculum or teacher salaries, or to hire better teachers or improve their training. If you scroll down to the article below which lists the life interests, you will see that improving test scores fits only one area of possible life interest fitting the needs of very few teachers, that of "Quantitative Analysis." I would like to point out that that area, "quantitative analysis" is the area that best fits the teachers least like my mother. That is one of the reasons that our nation's schools are in serious trouble.

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