April 10, 2012

Teachers Should Teach Children To Think For Themselves

There are some great teachers in this world that instill a thirst for learning in their students. Kids enjoy going to school and can tell their teacher is passionate about the curriculum and wants them to learn the material.

Unfortunately there are also a few arrogant teachers that want you to memorize what they give you and nothing outside that classroom is important.

Bad teachers do not want to be proven wrong. You do it their way and no other will work.

My second child is a free thinker like myself and doesn’t take anyone’s word for anything. He also doesn’t like it when someone gives him inaccurate information and expects him to believe it.

When he was in kindergarten his teacher passed out work sheets of marigold flowers and told them to color them yellow.

My son quietly colored his red, orange, yellow and variations of those colors. He’s always been very artistic and his coloring skills were above average for his age. I know, coloring isn’t part of the basic three R’s, but still.

She took his paper away and told him he didn’t follow directions properly, marigolds are yellow and he was supposed to color them only yellow.

He told her that marigolds are not just yellow, but also orange, red and some are even variegated. Nothing doing, she gave him an F or more than likely a U because in kindergarten you got Unsatisfactory for failed papers.

The next day he brought her flowers from our garden. At first she thought he was trying to butter her up for the bad grade but soon realized he was proving her wrong. Marigolds were not just yellow but all those other colors he mentioned. I think she would have been happier if he were trying to charm her with a bouquet. 

She wrote a note and pinned it to his shirt. When your child gets off the bus with a note attached to their shirt you know it’s usually not good news; so was the case this day.

Mrs. Cranky wanted a conference to discuss my son’s attitude and uncooperative behavior.

She begins to tell me how he argues with her during class and won’t sit quietly listening.

I can’t remember the other incidents but they were similar to the marigold situation and in those cases he was also right.

I said, “Marigolds aren’t only yellow. He was coloring them the way he sees them at home.”

“Yes, but I told him to color them yellow.”

“I understand but he assumed you didn’t know that marigolds come in many colors and he was trying to teach you.”

“I am the teacher. I am the only one that teaches in this class.”

I want to add that my son did not yell at the teacher, call names or in anyway become belligerent. He simply did what we do here at home all the time and that is communicating our views and opinions. My children were not raised to simply obey and not question. If my husband or I are wrong we admit it.

The problem with complaining to the principal about this particular teacher is that he was her husband so it did no good. It was common knowledge that she ran the school from the kindergarten classroom. In fact, she needed an aid so she could leave the room to attend any important meetings because she was the Hilary Clinton of the school if you know what I mean.

Too many schools want lemmings; they do not want children that think for themselves or question their teaching. You sit down; be quiet and listen. Those sleeping in the back are fine because they aren’t making any sound, aren’t defying the teacher’s claims or making them look inept. Having the appearance of inadequacy is a very bad thing to this type of teacher.

Bad teachers would prefer children that aren’t learning anything to ones who have an opinion.

Again, I want to add that not all teachers are like that. Over the years my kids have had some wonderful teachers. My daughter has a history teacher right now she loves.

She actually has two history teachers; one is a coach and isn’t really teaching. He spends all hour, or block in this case which is longer than an hour, talking to the guys about sports. Try reading a textbook and working on an assignment when a bunch of bulked up jocks are hooting and hollering about balls. Can you tell I hate sports? This is partly why.

Coaches should never be teachers. I have yet to see one that even wants to be a teacher. They got a degree in whatever subject they thought would be the easiest to get through so they could spend the rest of their lives playing ball, talking about sports and watching sports. That’s it. They really don’t care if your kids learn anything in their class but if your son is a ball player you can bet he’ll get a good grade because otherwise he can’t remain on the team and we all know sports is more important than academics at least in the southern states.

Teachers that really want to teach history, math, psychology or whatever, often have a hard time getting a job because some ball tosser was needed to coach their team. So our kids suffer, aren’t learning anything that hour, hour and a half because some moron warms a chair talking about sports instead of the history of our country.

I’ll step down off my soapbox now.


Peaceful Warrior said...

A thought provoking piece.
I also noticed this kind of pattern from some teachers in a few schools I worked in. I may not have been "qualified" like them, but kids understood and liked me.

A real teacher understands teachers are students too. We all learn as we go, it is a two way street. If your son wants to do what he feels is right, they should at least try to comprehend his actions rather than try to dissued his creative thought processes. Sure enough kids do need some guide lines, but she seems to have taken it personally and she is a teacher for F.... sakes....
tell her to get a life.....!!

Seriously though, explain to your son that he should ask (politely) for a more detailed description if he is feeling that she has misled him, or you should take it to the school board...PTA...

His education shouldn't be spoilt by idiots who have no tolerance. That reminds me I wrote a piece on tolerance today....

Hugs P.W.

Pamela N Red said...

She was old fashioned in her teaching and didn't think kids should question authority. Kids liking you was a good thing. I think having a good rapport with kids is the first step, it helps you sneak in some lessons when they least expect it.

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