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Old 10-16-2022, 10:41 AM
 
670 posts, read 337,849 times
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I didn't want to drag down another thread with this, so I started one here. How would you fix it education in the USA if you were totally in charge?

If I were king, making rules for how education is handled, I would really emphasize the early years. I want the kids to like school because a good experience makes them want to keep coming. I also want them to learn how to behave appropriately. My former brother in law was an elem teacher and he said Kindergarten is a really big deal for that reason: they need to get the kid in "school mode," if you will, before they can teach them anything. Pay the elementary teachers well, support them, and get results. It's critical.

And I think we've reached a point where we can't teach the kids until/unless we teach the parents. One principal I worked for would use part of her discretionary budget to buy hamburgers and hotdogs, plus chips and sodas etc., for Open House or Meet the Teacher nights. Basically she used them as a bribe to get poor families to come. It was also good in the sense that it meant that they didn't have to spend the time making dinner after working all day AND find time to come to school. Some of them had the attitude, "Well, I never finished school so I think they'll be ok if they don't, either."

And I'd offer parenting classes. For many, parenting has to be the hardest job nobody ever trained you to do, and there's no shame in getting help. I'd especially focus on the teenage years (or as I call them, the werewolf years) when they can change moods instantly and you wonder how they went from loving you to hating you instantly. Give the thing a different name than parenting classes, something more positive? Yeah, probably.

We need to make home visits, see how they live. Let's go Maslow's hierarchy and see if they're safe, have enough food, and so on because nothing else works if they don't. I talked to the principal of Mt Pleasant High many years ago. He said one of the big drains on his time was visiting homes and persuading parents not to let their kids drop out in order to work at the local chicken packing plant. This site says you get two free reads, so hopefully you can access it.

https://www.ishn.com/articles/110268...ing-operations

“There can be workers from countries all over the world, and they need training in the language that they speak,” Leibler said. “Sometimes that’s provided, sometime’s that’s not provided.”

Severe workplace injuries — “crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns or blindness” — can result from moving machine parts that workers use, according to a 2016 GAO report. The report mentioned one meat and poultry worker who lost most use of her arm after her apron “caught in a machine, which pulled her arm in before the machine could be turned off.”

Almost two-thirds of cutters and over half of all deboners and hangers reported being injured on the job, according to a report by the Northwest Arkansas Workers Justice Center examining working conditions in that state’s poultry processing plants.


In many cases we need to persuade them that education is important. I used to work with this special ed teacher, D, and he was something else. One of his kids wouldn't behave so he visited the kid's home. The parents were selling drugs when he arrived. They hurried him out of there and he NEVER had a problem with that kid again.

And I would really look at squeezing what we can out of computers. Take math, for instance. The traditional thing was for everyone in the class to have the same textbook. Some were bone-dry: calculate this for this shape and don't ask why. Others gave a scenario in which the concept might be useful. Still, I'd see classmates reading a problem and say, 'But I never plan to do that...'

Suppose Billy is interested in architecture, wants to design buildings. His computer has a math problem: "If a living room is 15 x 20 feet, how many two foot square tiles will be needed to cover it?"

Meanwhile, sitting next to Billy is Emily. She's interested in fashion design. Her computer has a math problem: "If you have a piece of cloth 5 feet inches x 12 feet, and your design calls for 6 square feet of fabric in a dress, how many dresses can you make?

The problems require using the same math concepts but they show why it's important and how it will be used in that student's chosen field. And all the problems apply, not just a few. Texts always used a variety of professions or applications in their word problems, but we don't have to print textbooks any more. The computer lends itself to some really big advantages, IMO.

First, when Emily comes in and announces she doesn't like fashion design any more but rather, she wants to be an architect, she can keep on with the math (or science or other subjects) that would apply to her. If she gets stuck maybe Billy can help. The next week she decides she wants to be a doctor? OK, change her settings again. She'll learn the same concept but it'll show the importance to her currently desired field.

Second, some kids will get a concept quickly but the teacher has to tread water till the others can do it. Smart kids get bored, make trouble or generally stop trying. A computer, on the other hand, could feed extra practice, then offer enrichment, thereby challenging kids that are brighter. Meanwhile, the ones struggling can have time to learn it at their own pace. Or you could set it to let smart guy continue to the next chapter...maybe he'll have a tough time with the next chapter, so let's not waste it if we'll need it later.

Third, there's continuity. If Billy ended on Chapter 10 last year, we can see how much he gains or doesn't this year. If Emily only got to Chapter 9, she can catch up before moving on. A program can crunch the numbers for each one's progress, report to parents if desired.

Fourth, there's accountability. You can accuse the math teacher of incompetence if Billy fails, but what if the computer shows Billy isn't even logging in? A few years ago we had some professional development videos and it was set up so that you couldn't fast forward through it and you couldn't switch to a different window...the video would pause and you wouldn't get credit until and unless you watched the whole thing.

I've also seen is students logged in for two hours, yet somehow didn't do a single problem. Hmm. It *could* be legit. Let's have be a button: "Please give me an easier problem." And another: "I need to review the initial lesson." And "Please give me a hint." If a student's really trying, great. If he isn't, software could automatically trigger an email (or text or robocall) to the parent.

But a lot of times we credit them with more cleverness than deserved. A fellow teacher, K, told her students to do the online review before an exam. Some failed the test and then realized they'd lose their eligibility for sports. They assured her they had tried and claimed they'd done the online review...easily disproven.

What if the parent doesn't care? I have literally had parents tell me in May that they haven't seen a report card all year. Um, your kid is disappearing them. As technology has marched forward, I remind them that they can log on and look at the current grades at 3 AM on a Thursday if they want to. "I don't know how to access that." Just have your kid access and show you. Instead we get these parents who say they didn't know their child was failing, which sounds like willful ignorance in many cases. IDK...just don't blame the teacher for it.
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Old 10-16-2022, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
45,038 posts, read 19,726,795 times
Reputation: 29728
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILTXwhatnext View Post
I didn't want to drag down another thread with this, so I started one here. How would you fix it education in the USA if you were totally in charge?

If I were king, making rules for how education is handled, I would really emphasize the early years. I want the kids to like school because a good experience makes them want to keep coming. I also want them to learn how to behave appropriately. My former brother in law was an elem teacher and he said Kindergarten is a really big deal for that reason: they need to get the kid in "school mode," if you will, before they can teach them anything. Pay the elementary teachers well, support them, and get results. It's critical.

And I think we've reached a point where we can't teach the kids until/unless we teach the parents. One principal I worked for would use part of her discretionary budget to buy hamburgers and hotdogs, plus chips and sodas etc., for Open House or Meet the Teacher nights. Basically she used them as a bribe to get poor families to come. It was also good in the sense that it meant that they didn't have to spend the time making dinner after working all day AND find time to come to school. Some of them had the attitude, "Well, I never finished school so I think they'll be ok if they don't, either."

And I'd offer parenting classes. For many, parenting has to be the hardest job nobody ever trained you to do, and there's no shame in getting help. I'd especially focus on the teenage years (or as I call them, the werewolf years) when they can change moods instantly and you wonder how they went from loving you to hating you instantly. Give the thing a different name than parenting classes, something more positive? Yeah, probably.

We need to make home visits, see how they live. Let's go Maslow's hierarchy and see if they're safe, have enough food, and so on because nothing else works if they don't. I talked to the principal of Mt Pleasant High many years ago. He said one of the big drains on his time was visiting homes and persuading parents not to let their kids drop out in order to work at the local chicken packing plant. This site says you get two free reads, so hopefully you can access it.

https://www.ishn.com/articles/110268...ing-operations

“There can be workers from countries all over the world, and they need training in the language that they speak,” Leibler said. “Sometimes that’s provided, sometime’s that’s not provided.”

Severe workplace injuries — “crushed fingers or hands, amputations, burns or blindness” — can result from moving machine parts that workers use, according to a 2016 GAO report. The report mentioned one meat and poultry worker who lost most use of her arm after her apron “caught in a machine, which pulled her arm in before the machine could be turned off.”

Almost two-thirds of cutters and over half of all deboners and hangers reported being injured on the job, according to a report by the Northwest Arkansas Workers Justice Center examining working conditions in that state’s poultry processing plants.


In many cases we need to persuade them that education is important. I used to work with this special ed teacher, D, and he was something else. One of his kids wouldn't behave so he visited the kid's home. The parents were selling drugs when he arrived. They hurried him out of there and he NEVER had a problem with that kid again.

And I would really look at squeezing what we can out of computers. Take math, for instance. The traditional thing was for everyone in the class to have the same textbook. Some were bone-dry: calculate this for this shape and don't ask why. Others gave a scenario in which the concept might be useful. Still, I'd see classmates reading a problem and say, 'But I never plan to do that...'

Suppose Billy is interested in architecture, wants to design buildings. His computer has a math problem: "If a living room is 15 x 20 feet, how many two foot square tiles will be needed to cover it?"

Meanwhile, sitting next to Billy is Emily. She's interested in fashion design. Her computer has a math problem: "If you have a piece of cloth 5 feet inches x 12 feet, and your design calls for 6 square feet of fabric in a dress, how many dresses can you make?

The problems require using the same math concepts but they show why it's important and how it will be used in that student's chosen field. And all the problems apply, not just a few. Texts always used a variety of professions or applications in their word problems, but we don't have to print textbooks any more. The computer lends itself to some really big advantages, IMO.

First, when Emily comes in and announces she doesn't like fashion design any more but rather, she wants to be an architect, she can keep on with the math (or science or other subjects) that would apply to her. If she gets stuck maybe Billy can help. The next week she decides she wants to be a doctor? OK, change her settings again. She'll learn the same concept but it'll show the importance to her currently desired field.

Second, some kids will get a concept quickly but the teacher has to tread water till the others can do it. Smart kids get bored, make trouble or generally stop trying. A computer, on the other hand, could feed extra practice, then offer enrichment, thereby challenging kids that are brighter. Meanwhile, the ones struggling can have time to learn it at their own pace. Or you could set it to let smart guy continue to the next chapter...maybe he'll have a tough time with the next chapter, so let's not waste it if we'll need it later.

Third, there's continuity. If Billy ended on Chapter 10 last year, we can see how much he gains or doesn't this year. If Emily only got to Chapter 9, she can catch up before moving on. A program can crunch the numbers for each one's progress, report to parents if desired.

Fourth, there's accountability. You can accuse the math teacher of incompetence if Billy fails, but what if the computer shows Billy isn't even logging in? A few years ago we had some professional development videos and it was set up so that you couldn't fast forward through it and you couldn't switch to a different window...the video would pause and you wouldn't get credit until and unless you watched the whole thing.

I've also seen is students logged in for two hours, yet somehow didn't do a single problem. Hmm. It *could* be legit. Let's have be a button: "Please give me an easier problem." And another: "I need to review the initial lesson." And "Please give me a hint." If a student's really trying, great. If he isn't, software could automatically trigger an email (or text or robocall) to the parent.

But a lot of times we credit them with more cleverness than deserved. A fellow teacher, K, told her students to do the online review before an exam. Some failed the test and then realized they'd lose their eligibility for sports. They assured her they had tried and claimed they'd done the online review...easily disproven.

What if the parent doesn't care? I have literally had parents tell me in May that they haven't seen a report card all year. Um, your kid is disappearing them. As technology has marched forward, I remind them that they can log on and look at the current grades at 3 AM on a Thursday if they want to. "I don't know how to access that." Just have your kid access and show you. Instead we get these parents who say they didn't know their child was failing, which sounds like willful ignorance in many cases. IDK...just don't blame the teacher for it.
One of the best posts I've read in this part of the forum! Particularly the sections I bolded.

As I have explained several times, the school where I was principal was very diverse, particularly in terms of income level. High government officials (including the governor and former first daughter), embassy types, etc....as well as some pretty low-level apartments over at the edge of boundaries, which was where most of our Latino and Black kids came from. I used to occasionally make home visitations over in the poorer area of our community, and remember one of our Black students telling me, "Just don't ever come over here at night, Mr. Victor. There's a lotta drug dealers here, and you might get shot". And when I would tell our teachers about some of my home visitations in that neighborhood they were stunned that I would dare go there (although to be honest, it was nothing like the gang neighborhood just 3 miles away or the city of D.C. or parts of the inner-beltway areas of Prince George's County. But when you have minority students who live 7 miles from the National Mall, and you take some of them on a little field trip into D.C., and they don't know what the Washington Monument, White House, or Capitol Building are...and them you've got other students who summer in France...you've got a lot of disparity, adding another layer of complexity on the issues in a school.
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Old 10-16-2022, 11:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
I used to occasionally make home visitations over in the poorer area of our community, and remember one of our Black students telling me, "Just don't ever come over here at night, Mr. Victor. There's a lotta drug dealers here, and you might get shot". And when I would tell our teachers about some of my home visitations in that neighborhood they were stunned that I would dare go there (although to be honest, it was nothing like the gang neighborhood just 3 miles away or the city of D.C. or parts of the inner-beltway areas of Prince George's County. But when you have minority students who live 7 miles from the National Mall, and you take some of them on a little field trip into D.C., and they don't know what the Washington Monument, White House, or Capitol Building are...and them you've got other students who summer in France...you've got a lot of disparity, adding another layer of complexity on the issues in a school.
I salute your efforts to visit them, and I'm glad you survived.

D, the special ed teacher, got home one day, saw that someone had broken in and went charging in. Unfortunately the intruder hadn't yet left, met him on the way out, and stabbed him in the belly. Related to the drug deal I mentioned? I don't know. Luckily it wasn't fatal. Remember the photo of LBJ showing off his scar?

https://photos.com/featured/presiden...-bettmann.html

He was showing everybody, just like a little boy in a way. What an enigma...I don't think he was the smartest in a book sense, but that didn't matter. He was a total bulldog, not willing to settle for student excuses and so on. I have a ton of respect for him.
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Old 10-16-2022, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
45,038 posts, read 19,726,795 times
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Originally Posted by ILTXwhatnext View Post
I salute your efforts to visit them, and I'm glad you survived.

D, the special ed teacher, got home one day, saw that someone had broken in and went charging in. Unfortunately the intruder hadn't yet left, met him on the way out, and stabbed him in the belly. Related to the drug deal I mentioned? I don't know. Luckily it wasn't fatal. Remember the photo of LBJ showing off his scar?

https://photos.com/featured/presiden...-bettmann.html

He was showing everybody, just like a little boy in a way. What an enigma...I don't think he was the smartest in a book sense, but that didn't matter. He was a total bulldog, not willing to settle for student excuses and so on. I have a ton of respect for him.
I thought of another situation.

We had a PTA that was mostly into fundraising. For the most part, except for one year before I became principal, they didn't get into any of the controversial issues that often come up in a school. One year they decided to have a 'drive' to help the homeless after they found out that, egads!, there was a homeless shelter just outside our boundaries by about 3 miles. They did a good job collecting stuff -- second hand clothing in good condition, new clothing, winter gloves, socks, canned food goods, etc. And then they came in and said, "Oh Mr. Victor you can take the stuff over to the shelter now". I said, "Oh no. Mr. Victor will go with you to deliver stuff to the shelter. We can put a lot of the stuff in Mr. Victor's van. But it's your drive, not Mr. Victor's. Some of you PTA parents and some of your kids need to go, too...make it a learning experience". They were aghast. But finally surrendered. And I think that maybe the only thing that made it work was that the small shelter was in a strip mall where there was a Chinese restaurant that -- despite being very out of place -- George HW Bush often went to. These PTA parents were scared to death. So much of a gap in culture.
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Old 10-16-2022, 08:59 PM
 
5,298 posts, read 2,584,919 times
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Originally Posted by ILTXwhatnext View Post
1. My former brother in law was an elem teacher and he said Kindergarten is a really big deal for that reason: they need to get the kid in "school mode," if you will, before they can teach them anything.

2. And I think we've reached a point where we can't teach the kids until/unless we teach the parents.

And I'd offer parenting classes. For many, parenting has to be the hardest job nobody ever trained you to do, and there's no shame in getting help. I'd especially focus on the teenage years (or as I call them, the werewolf years) when they can change moods instantly and you wonder how they went from loving you to hating you instantly.

We need to make home visits, see how they live. Let's go Maslow's hierarchy and see if they're safe, have enough food, and so on because nothing else works if they don't. I talked to the principal of Mt Pleasant High many years ago. He said one of the big drains on his time was visiting homes and persuading parents not to let their kids drop out in order to work at the local chicken packing plant. This site says you get two free reads, so hopefully you can access it.

3. In many cases we need to persuade them that education is important. I used to work with this special ed teacher, D, and he was something else. One of his kids wouldn't behave so he visited the kid's home. The parents were selling drugs when he arrived. They hurried him out of there and he NEVER had a problem with that kid again.

4. Second, some kids will get a concept quickly but the teacher has to tread water till the others can do it. Smart kids get bored, make trouble or generally stop trying. A computer, on the other hand, could feed extra practice, then offer enrichment, thereby challenging kids that are brighter. Meanwhile, the ones struggling can have time to learn it at their own pace. Or you could set it to let smart guy continue to the next chapter...maybe he'll have a tough time with the next chapter, so let's not waste it if we'll need it later.
First, success in kindergarten is depended upon the vocabulary of the incoming students. Teacher pay has nothing to do with it.

Quote:
“The word gap of more than 1 million words between children raised in a literacy-rich environment and those who were never read to is striking,” says Logan.

Plus, it’s not just the words kids hear during storytime. Parents usually talk to their kids about the book they’re reading, or add their own details to the story. This added talk reinforces new vocabulary words and may introduce even more words.
https://www.thebump.com/news/kids-re...ion-more-words

Second, "I think we've reached a point where we can't teach the kids until/unless we teach the parents." A lot of those parents have more education than the teachers. I wouldn't take kindly to a young 25 year old teacher lecturing me about my children when I was a decade older than him/her.

Third, as for home visits - no. My children are not the wards of the state. I am responsible for them, not the nanny state. It's creepy.

Fourth, you can't have class discussion if the entire class isn't on the same level. If a student can't keep up with the English readings, then the entire class can't go on to the next concept. You can't have a student still on The Great Gatsby and begin a classroom discussion for the more advanced students on Fahrenheit 451. Then what, do you repeat the lectures for the slower students after finishing the book. Does the advanced students have to hear the lecture repeated? It makes no sense.

If you think teaching is sitting students down in front of a computer, that's really not teaching. Teaching is about lectures, homework assignments, and classroom discussions. Lectures and classroom discussions also teach social skills - taking turns in speaking, allowing differences of opinions, and listening skills - none of which is learned when sitting in front of a computer.

Last edited by YorktownGal; 10-16-2022 at 09:08 PM..
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Old 10-16-2022, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
45,038 posts, read 19,726,795 times
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Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
First, success in kindergarten is depended upon the vocabulary of the incoming students. Teacher pay has nothing to do with it.

https://www.thebump.com/news/kids-re...ion-more-words

Second, "I think we've reached a point where we can't teach the kids until/unless we teach the parents." A lot of those parents have more education than the teachers. I wouldn't take kindly to a young 25 year old teacher lecturing me about my children when I was a decade older than him/her.

Third, as for home visits - no. My children are not the wards of the state. I am responsible for them, not the nanny state. It's creepy.

Fourth, you can't have class discussion if the entire class isn't on the same level. If a student can't keep up with the English readings, then the entire class can't go on to the next concept. You can't have a student still on The Great Gatsby and begin a classroom discussion for the more advanced students on Fahrenheit 451. Then what, do you repeat the lectures for the slower students after finishing the book. Does the advanced students have to hear the lecture repeated? It makes no sense.

If you think teaching is sitting students down in front of a computer, that's really not teaching. Teaching is about lectures, homework assignments, and classroom discussions. Lectures and classroom discussions also teach social skills - taking turns in speaking, allowing differences of opinions, and listening skills - none of which is learned when sitting in front of a computer.
Too much emphasis on a talking head (lectures).
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Old 10-17-2022, 03:45 AM
 
Location: midwest
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Off with his head.......!
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Old 10-17-2022, 06:24 AM
 
670 posts, read 337,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YorktownGal View Post
First, success in kindergarten is depended upon the vocabulary of the incoming students. Teacher pay has nothing to do with it.

https://www.thebump.com/news/kids-re...ion-more-words

Second, "I think we've reached a point where we can't teach the kids until/unless we teach the parents." A lot of those parents have more education than the teachers. I wouldn't take kindly to a young 25 year old teacher lecturing me about my children when I was a decade older than him/her.

Third, as for home visits - no. My children are not the wards of the state. I am responsible for them, not the nanny state. It's creepy.

Fourth, you can't have class discussion if the entire class isn't on the same level. If a student can't keep up with the English readings, then the class can't go on to the next concept. You can't have a student still on The Great Gatsby and begin a classroom discussion for the more advanced students on Fahrenheit 451. Same for chemistry, one student is on Structure and the rest of the class on Forces and Interactions. If you think teaching is sitting students down in front of a computer, that's really not teaching. Teaching is about lectures and classroom discussions.
First, I wanted extra pay for elem because it's critical and will take overtime to ensure the students have success. Your million word thing goes to show the gaps that teachers will struggle to close, for instance. We need excellent outcome for each student early on.

And I'm not sure about other states but I think Texas limited elem class sizes to 24. I'm willing to lower that, maybe to 18. I expect fellow teachers to say, "But there won't be enough classrooms...our schools are already full." Luckily I'm king, so I'll build more. Later on they'll be in upper grades and I want their behavior to be really good before we get there. I also plan to get limit middle schools to 600 and high schools to no more than 1000 students. I want to give the teachers a real chance to know their students so they don't fall through the cracks.

Second, I don't want teachers lecturing parents. We used to say that the parents we met at Meet the Teacher Night or Open House were never the ones we needed to see. Their kids were usually making A+ grades for the same reason the parents attended the event: the parents already valued education. If you're willing to come to school like that, home visits are possibly not necessary. But I think the last time we had one I had a very few parents (3-4?) for 100+ students.

What to do when the parent doesn't answer the phone or come up for meetings or...anything....and the kid's failing half his classes? I never pursued an administration certification, so maybe it's just my ignorance but I never understood it. If I had to call a parent, I would check the system, dial, and sometimes discover that we didn't have a working number for the parent. Um, what? I imagine a scenario where a kid is badly hurt at school, they rush him to the hospital, and a life or death decision has to be made.

Anyway for parents who won't come to us there's still the option of going to them. The old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." I'd like to be able to say, "We bent over backward, really reached out...and if they didn't want our help, ok. But don't tell me we failed or didn't try."

Third is like second. During COVID we had people from the school going out and checking up on people. It was not supposed to be adversarial. Another concern is kids who rack up lots of absences. I remember seeing a program on TV some years ago about a judge (in Ohio I think) who ruled on truancy cases. It got so bad that he was fining the parents and they set up a deal: if your kid is skipping, you tell the judge. If you don't, you're going to jail. And sure enough, some of the parents reneged on that promise and ended up in jail.

There's a big function of schools, IMO, which is to get involved when parents aren't doing their job or family units aren't functioning etc. Child comes in with mysterious bruises? Child's parents kicked her out of the house because she's pregnant? Teacher finds student forcing herself to vomit lunch in the restroom? I had a student who carved a pentagram into her leg with a razor blade. We're social services...see something, say something.

Fourth, instead of letting the brightest students go faster, have them go deeper. I just subbed in a class where the teacher had students doing multiple reading assignments. You can have subgroups within a class. One group is on Gatsby, and they have their circle. Another has Fahrenheit and they have their circle. But yes, you can coordinate for the works that you think are most important so you can have a (whole) class discussion as well.

Sitting in front of a computer and doing work is absolutely a valid activity in a classroom. It doesn't mean it's the only thing they ever do, however. Lectures, discussions, field trips, projects, papers, labs, skits, diaramas, and more can provide stimulus variation and should also be part. You also mention homework---I posted elsewhere that it had disappeared from sight but I totally agree it should be part of school again. All that said, I think computers can enhance a lot of learning by offering more personalized curriculum as I described, and I think we need to harness them.

But it's also the accountability part I mentioned. I think teachers get blamed for a lot of things that aren't their fault. "Billy says he logged in and did the work? Let me email you a screenshot that shows he hasn't been on the site in two weeks..." I would think people who are "sure" teachers are not doing their job would welcome an opportunity to prove it. "Here's Billy's screenshot showing the work was completed but you didn't enter it in the gradebook," for instance. Since school began, teachers have told the parents one thing and students have claimed another.
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Old 10-17-2022, 08:17 AM
 
10,188 posts, read 3,919,820 times
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Originally Posted by ILTXwhatnext View Post
First, I wanted extra pay for elem because it's critical and will take overtime to ensure the students have success. Your million word thing goes to show the gaps that teachers will struggle to close, for instance. We need excellent outcome for each student early on.

And I'm not sure about other states but I think Texas limited elem class sizes to 24. I'm willing to lower that, maybe to 18. I expect fellow teachers to say, "But there won't be enough classrooms...our schools are already full." Luckily I'm king, so I'll build more. Later on they'll be in upper grades and I want their behavior to be really good before we get there. I also plan to get limit middle schools to 600 and high schools to no more than 1000 students. I want to give the teachers a real chance to know their students so they don't fall through the cracks.

snip
The Texas classroom size limit is 22 through 4th grade, but that is frequently waivered to a higher number due to unanticipated growth or a lack of teachers. A lot of the waivers are for 2 or 3 kids per class where there are 5 classes for a grade level, and 15 kids more than than the nominal class size would allow, ie nominal limit is 110 kids, but there are 125 enrolled in the school. That's not enough kids to hire another teacher, and some schools don't have enough space to add a class in any case. Nor, even if you are king, is there space to build a new school.

1,000 student limit in HS? Bwahahaha.(sorry, not laughing at you). Allen HS in the Dallas area has 7,100 students, and is a major reason people move to the area. There are 15 schools that are 4,000 are more. The HS enrollment report for athletics has 14 pages of schools over 1000 students, with 41 schools per page(the data is somewhat skewed, because magnet schools with smaller enrollments get placed in with much larger schools for athletics). This was the quickest report I could find that was useful http://www.uiltexas.org/files/alignm..._Rank_1_26.pdf

Overall, I like what you are saying here. Parents have to be engaged, or schools have to spend more to teach their kids. School can't be a one size fits all sort of environment, either. I do think there are some traditional things that need to be resurrected, like elementary schools teaching the addition and multiplication tables by rote - have the classes repeat in unison 1+1=2, etc. Bring back emphasis on spelling and grammar. Use phonics as the basis for teaching reading. Quit trying to look for the next greatest thing and use techniques that work.

And, no teaching to a standardized test. It's mind numbing and a waste, especially in places like Texas where the tests are inappropriate, not designed for the grade level, and mostly useless.
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Old 10-17-2022, 09:07 AM
 
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I think the main period is the period BEFORE kindergarten. If you have kids in homes with limited resources, they won’t have access to stuff like books and other enrichment before they reach public school. Many states already offer some sort of free preschool, but this should be universal for all kids, and pre-k and kindergarten should be full time. I know in some school districts, even kindergarten is part time, and that isn’t going to be enough to help kids catch up. You can’t really blame parents if they are a single parent and have to work two jobs just to pay rent and put food on the table. However, providing free preschool and kindergarten (full time) can help a lot.

I’m not just talking head start, but for every child. The income limits for head start are VERY low, and at least where I am, I think a person making minimum wage would exceed it. That’s not a meaningful limit. Also, this discussion of “addition tables” by rote. I am not even sure what that is. I think r4t wrote in another thread that she never used them, and I didn’t either. I learned the multiplication table, but that’s it. Otherwise I just learned how to add, subtract, and do division.
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