Thursday, September 11, 2008

knock knock, hello?

Barack Obama is talking now about retirees and how so many of us can go into the schools and offer our knowledge and teach. I would go back as a volunteer in a heartbeat (they would never offer me "F status"... I was a maverick and never a toches lekker and lemming, hence much disliked). But, if I went back I would want to do "teacher-directed" lessons: that is be allowed to stand at a chalkboard and teach math applications. Since that is no longer part of the learning model, there is no use for me and my experience. They would not want any part of my style and what I would have to offer, and trust me.... when I taught:
- 3 2/9
all students could compute 15 = 14 9/9, and find the answer to be:
11 7/9.
If I dared to become anything more than the "facilitator" in a classroom where students sit in groups to discuss strategies to solving math problems, I would be booted right out the door.
How can any presidential candidate talk about improving the schools when they are clueless about what is going on in the classrooms with "no child left behind?" Children are not learning to read... phonics, the building block of reading instruction, has been watered down to phonemic awareness and whole language does not teach children to be excellent readers. There is no basal reader and students no longer have textbooks in the subject areas.
Only a "back to basics" approach layered with enrichment and creative lessons in quiet classrooms will give all children the education they deserve. It's time to return to classrooms where you can hear a pin drop and end the idiotic concept of "productive noise." In "productive noise" all I ever heard my students talking about was their plans for Saturday!

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