Friday, March 3, 2006

...I just wanna TEACH! (Repost from Myspace)

I hate school, I hate bureaucracy, I hate bullshit...I just wanna teach!

Why is that so hard to do?! I am a good teacher. I have a passion for my subject, I know my subject, I relate well to youngsters, I am NEVER insulting, I don't yell, I ALWAYS encourage... Why must the educational system be so mired nowadays in political crap?

I was going to write a huge commentary on the state of over-sensitivity in this country and how the stifling of good teachers leads to boring and sub-par education by relating my recent experience in my pre-student teaching. However, that could take more pages than anyone reading a blog would ever care to read, so I'll try to stay on point and not rant too much.

I was inspired to teach by the most off-the-wall educators in my scholastic career. The ones who made the funny faces, made the occasional off-color (not lewd or offensive) joke, and made the subject fun. Stu Cook (social studies), Rick Hartsoe (vocal), Mr. Rasper (6th grade), Pete Phalen (math), were all professional heroes of mine. I can only think of one "straight-laced" teacher that inspired me: Richard Perkins, and that was because he knew his subject and largely because it was a subject that I already loved.

I didn't love U.S. Military History, Counting and Clapping tests, research reports on Australia, or algebra quizes, but those teachers kept me attentive and involved in class by their use of humor and genuine love of their subject.

My point is this: if we continue to restrict and stifle our teachers, be it with unreasonable and overly sensitive reaction to their teaching style or with rigid, formulaic, and overly "standardized" testing methods, we will end up with a nation that cannot think critically and is creatively, emotionally and spiritually dead.

Be kind to your children's teachers. Treat them with respect. Yes, there are bad teachers - God knows I've had a few - but they see your kids likely more than you do! What is needed is communication, not accusation; critical and creative thinkers, not numeric results; well-rounded and complete individuals, not testing machines and soulless automatons.

All in all, they're NOT just another brick in the wall...

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