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Old 09-16-2011, 03:26 PM
22 posts, read 16,105 times
Reputation: 13


If you are so certain that you are doing your jobs and doing them competently, why are you all so defensive? I don't find much confidence in any of the rhetoric, just a scramble to justify blaming everyone else for kids not learning.

Old 09-16-2011, 03:46 PM
2,113 posts, read 2,241,612 times
Reputation: 1758
Originally Posted by companykeeper View Post
If you are so certain that you are doing your jobs and doing them competently, why are you all so defensive? I don't find much confidence in any of the rhetoric, just a scramble to justify blaming everyone else for kids not learning.
Maybe because teachers are being blamed for every academic failure?
Old 09-16-2011, 04:04 PM
12,454 posts, read 27,069,551 times
Reputation: 6946
Originally Posted by companykeeper View Post
If you are so certain that you are doing your jobs and doing them competently, why are you all so defensive? I don't find much confidence in any of the rhetoric, just a scramble to justify blaming everyone else for kids not learning.
I am not a teacher but I am getting very tired of remarks such as this. If I saw a thread that said that people in my profession were to blame for something that was out of my control, I know that I would stand up and point out the flaws in that argument.

I see no discussion or friendly dialogue in this thread, just more teacher bashing. I know that many people do jobs where they might not agree with a certain procedure, but do it anyway because that's the way it is, but the outcome does not usually affect 20 - 100 people a day. Teachers nowadays are mandated to teach in a pretty rigid way and they get to do it over, and over and over again. With the standards in the classrooms, teachers have to cover certain material at a certain pace whether all the students are up to speed or not.

I might make a mistake at work but I don't have a roomful of students that will tell their parents (who think they are my boss) all about it that night over dinner. I would hope that same child would tell the parents about the cool experiment or an interesting tidbit they learned too, but it's human nature to complain I think. And that's often the things we remember.
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Last edited by toobusytoday; 09-16-2011 at 05:03 PM..
Old 09-16-2011, 04:05 PM
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,346,783 times
Reputation: 48613
Originally Posted by Felix C View Post
I recollect quite well my 4th thru 12th grade teachers and do recall the poor, average, and outstanding ones. The outstanding ones did motive me to further read in the subject they taught.

But the critical motivator throughout those years to do well in school was my parents as they were present day after day, year after year. It is the overwhelmingly the parents in my opinion. There may be exceptions to the case but there it is.

Really cannot understand in this current and previous era of extensive contraception measures why folks would have children if they did not intend to dedicate themselves to raising them properly.
This reflects my experience, as well. My excellent teachers had a profoundly positive impact on me. My so-so to poor teachers, no impact to speak of, one way or another. My parents and their attitudes about learning, as well as their teaching me, were absolutely the crucial factors in all of this. My attitude toward learning was was vastly more strongly shaped by my parents than anybody else.
Old 09-16-2011, 04:30 PM
Location: New Mexico
8,388 posts, read 8,097,812 times
Reputation: 4070
Default Teachers continue to do poor job

Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
SAT Scores Decline as More Students Take Test - Bloomberg

This article states "The average reading score of 497 marked the lowest since data became available in 1972, according to a report released today by the College Board, which administers the exam".
The teaching establishment has had it's own way too long, and the evidence that their way, is the wrong way is overwhelming.
It is time to go to a voucher system and bring some competition to education.

And some folks are just plain no good at comprehending a situation.

The College Board noted that the decline in average SAT scores could probably be explained by the increase in test takers from varied academic backgrounds. The board said the scores did not necessarily represent a decline in performance, and it reported more high-performing students among the Class of 2011 than in previous years.

As Number of Test Takers Rises, SAT Scores Fall Slightly - Students - The Chronicle of Higher Education

In 1972, something like the top 30% of HS grads took the SAT. Now, a considerably higher percent of students take the SAT because we're now in the mindset that "everyone should go to college."

Comparing the test results from "everyone" to the test results of the top 30%, anyone with normal analytical skills would expect to see a slip in average scores.
Old 09-16-2011, 04:42 PM
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,346,783 times
Reputation: 48613
I teach all my students in whatever manner best allows them to learn to their fullest capabilities (this goes for students with or without IEPs, for what it's worth). It's the beauty of being a good teacher, rather than one who "does a poor job," to bring the thread back around to its original purpose.
Old 09-16-2011, 04:51 PM
2,920 posts, read 2,906,882 times
Reputation: 3504
Originally Posted by tgbwc View Post
You quoted my comment about not getting automatic raises and free healthcare. I would like to point out that it was not a complaint, but rather a rebuttal to an earlier comment. I have never once complained about my pay.

I find this happens fairly often. A teacher doesn't even begin the conversation, but someone will make an initial comment they believe to be true, such as, "Teachers get 100% of their healthcare paid", or a comment about hours. Then, when a teacher points out that it's not the case, he/she is met with a response telling him/her to stop complaining.
I'm not sure, but isn't that the definition of a troll? Maybe that's something else, but there's a term for people who bait people on forums.
Old 09-16-2011, 05:28 PM
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 8,247,672 times
Reputation: 4872
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
BS-there are PLENTY of kids that never take prep classes and do just fine. The prep classes MIGHT give you VERY SLIGHT edge but not enough of a difference to go from "poorly" to getting a top score. Being able to read fluently in 3 languages really has no bearing on doing well on the SAT or not. Like you said, it tests critical reading skills and how you APPLY what you have read. Comprehension is a very different skill from reading.
I completely disagree. I know more people whose scores improved b/c of test prep courses than I do people who took the test on their own and did just as well or "fine." However, the score that the OP mentioned for reading is actually just below the average, which means that most students in MN are doing "fine" on it on their own but will probably need to take a test prep course to do very well on it b/c the test is asking for material that, while related to a high school education, is not directly covered by it. That's hardly evidence that teachers are doing a lousy job.

Moreover, reading in a foreign language--or any language--entails comprehension; someone who can't understand something written cannot comprehend it, it's that simple.

Furthermore, if you are going to even begin to tell me that I only have a superficial understanding of the foreign languages that I speak and read fluently, and that I do not think critically in those languages, well, then you know nothing of language majors; in our foreign language classes, we have to read literature in the target language and then write lengthy, critical analyses of them in which we cite research as well as the text itself. You cannot do any of those things if you do not possess critical reading skills. And, yet, if I took the SAT tomorrow, I would probably do "terribly" on it.
Old 09-16-2011, 06:29 PM
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 8,247,672 times
Reputation: 4872
Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
Thank you for proving my point. It is impossible to teach critical thinking when you cannot do it yourself.
Instead of breaking the issue down and analyzing it, you jump to the unfounded conclusion that the lack of book sales translates to people thinking reading is invaluable. The fact that people spend massive amounts of time on line (where they are spending the majority of their time reading) and that the evolution of the 2 family income along with extended work hours, in your limited view, have nothing to do with people not buying and leisurely reading books.
Perhaps if we all had the time off that teachers enjoy, we could all read a good book.
By the way your analogy makes no sense, it is not a police officers job to prevent crime, it is to investigate and make arrests after the crime has been committed. When a teacher fails to teach, they have not accomplished their directive.

Let me get this straight. It is the teacherís job to teach students to read. They are given 6hrs a day, 5 days a week, 9mos a year, for 12 years to get this fairly simple task accomplished, and yet when they fail to get it done, it is the parents at fault. The next time I fail to get my job done, I will have to remember to blame it on my boss, I am sure that will work for me.

Unless someone is afflicted with a learning disability, reading is simply a matter of spending enough time working on reading exercises. There is no reason for someone who does not have a learning disability, not to achieve basic reading competency by the 12th grade. Third world countries seem to be able to achieve this without much more to work with than a few books.

You are joking right, did I just read that you think a thread proves something? If a standardized test taken worldwide is not an indication of what you have taught your students in that subject, what the hell is?
And while you are at it, kindly explain why kids who test fairly well in 4th grade continue to test lower in middle school and even lower in 12th grade.
Standing in front of a class and regurgitating what ever is written in a lesson book is not teaching. Teaching is doing what is necessary to educate.

Oh I see now, the tests are really a trick, they are not designed to test your ability to read and comprehend, they are designed to trick you and make you appear to be stupid. There are special unknown secrets to reading that people who do not attend classes that show you how to pass, will not know and will then do poorly, and then go on to be teachers who cannot teach.
I never said anything that you aparently think that I said; go back and read my post b/c your inferences are ridiculous. I never stated anything that could even remotely imply that the test "tricks" people to make them appear stupid. Yes, it is impossible to teach critical thinking when you cannot do it yourself.

I love how you choose to disregard any and all points that I made that effectively counter your argument as well as the article that addressed the complex nature of the issue citing many of the factors that I have already mentioned that contribute to poor reading skills and that have absolutely nothing to do with teachers. Did you even read the Post article? I doubt it.

Furthermore, while you may think that book sales statistics are meaningless, they are actually quite meaningful: we live in a capitalist society and people's buying behavior reflects their priorities. How you cannot see how book sales *might* be related to a decline in reading and poor reading comprehension is beyond me.

Do you *honestly* think that people are reading War and Peace online? I can assure you that, if the majority of what people are reading consists of online material, then you've answered your own question as to why reading comprehension is low. As you have pointed out, the majority of online info is not of the best quality. Hence, if this is where most students are practicing their reading--rather than by picking up and reading the books that they are assigned in their lit classes--then no wonder their reading comp ability is low.

Critical reading skills consist of much more than reading a few paragraphs, and the reading comp exercises on the SAT and other standardized tests need to be prepped for if most students want to get an above average score b/c the tests are asking for specific answers that are not part of an average high school curriculum. These tests are also timed, which means that students must comprehend quickly and effectively, not just well. While some students may have severe learning disabilities and might never do well on these tests, still others would do better on them if they had more time to think about and answer the questions. In fact, many students who score low on standardized tests (like the FCAT) are allowed to retake the test untimed b/c it has been shown to improve scores. One thing that a prep course does is prepare students for what will be on the test by showing them what to expect so that they can answer questions well and quickly.

Why do you think that teachers are given 6 hours a day to teach children to read? Language Arts is one period of many throughout the school day, which means that teacher's have an hour a day to *specifically* focus on reading and readin comp. Hence, if reading is not encouraged and/or supplemented in the home, then that student will not perform as well as other students who are supplemented by their parents in the home.

I also pointed out in another post that the score that you quoted was actually just below the average SAT score for Critical Reading, which proves exactly what I've been saying: teachers will be able to get kids to an average but it is up to the parents after that. A slightly below average score is hardly indicative of poor teaching.

Why do teenage students' scores decline? Have you ever been to middle or high school? At the average school, grades are the last thing on which teenagers are focused. For most, their social lives and pop culture take center stage, and cell phones et al. have become a distraction and disruption to their learning.

I also know very few teachers that simply regurgitate material from a text book. Also, applied skills are more indicative of learning than a standardized test; if you actually *read* some of the threads that have discussed standardized tests, you might begin to understand why they are so problematic. And what I meant to say was that the observations posted on the threads re: standardized tests have discussed many of the problems with the tests and why they are not always an indication of academic achievement and ability.

Lastly, if crime increases in a city does this mean that police officers are not doing their jobs? Because the converse is the exact argument that you are applying to teachers: low test scores = poor teacher performance. And it's a completely simplistic argument. I think that you could actually state this with some authority if the teachers you were attacking were teaching an SAT prep class, but you are attacking every teacher of every subject ("teachers") for low reading comp scores, which is just plain ludicrous.

If you are so disappointed with teachers and their job performance, then start your own school and show everyone just how easy it is.
Old 09-16-2011, 07:12 PM
8,240 posts, read 14,896,860 times
Reputation: 3651
Originally Posted by Dressy View Post
You know I was always thinking that the teachers are not to be blamed...I thought - school administration is at fault...
until I personally met
1) Literature teacher. Who spends time in the class reading a book out loud.. Some kid's book.
2) Math teacher who did not know which variabe is dependent and which is independent in y=ax+c.
Now go figure who is to blame...
How about the administrators who HIRED THEM????
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