Why Your Child is Not Learning

3 min

I am not important. I am not a veteran teacher. I don’t have 20+ years of experience. I haven’t won any awards. I don’t have a golden apple or teacher of the year award. I do not serve on any committees. I am not a union delegate and if I spoke no one would listen, just ask my students.  So, now you ask well why am I reading this?

While I might not be a lot of the things I mentioned earlier, here is what I am: I am a French Teacher, a soccer coach, a counselor, a doctor, a lawyer, a mechanic, a copy machine technician, a security officer,  a mentor, a father, a brother, a mother, a sister, a friend, a needed hug, a pat on the back, a pain in the ass, and sometimes even a slap on the face and that is just a start. I am the person your son/daughter spend most of the day with. I am the person you entrust your most precious with. I am the person who sees them laugh, cry, complain, and complain some more. I am the person who sees their first break-up and first make-up and counsels them in between.

Basically, I am in the front lines. I deal with students, administration, other teachers, and parents daily. I am in the classroom pacing back and forth.  I don’t have a doctorate degree, or am I sitting behind a desk crunching numbers and analyzing data from far away. I see that education is slipping or has been slipping for many years. According to a study done by the Council on Foreign Relations, “the United States has slipped 10 spots in both high school and college graduation rates in the past three decades”. I see that every day I know that students lack reading and writing skills, lack grammar skills, cannot tell the difference between “your” and “you’re”,  don’t know where Rome is, let alone the geography of their own country! And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

The truth of the matter is I am not having fun anymore. This is not the career I signed up for. I wanted to teach, motivate, inspire, guide, and help students in finding their futures. But, now I am teaching to tests, filling out pointless paperwork, going to pointless meetings and filling out more paperwork. I have to write reports about talking to parents and when and where and how. Teaching as a profession is on the verge of extinction. Not because teachers will be replaced by robots but it has become obsolete because as we stand we really have very little education going on. Sure, you will ask yourself ‘ so what you have to write reports and attend meetings? Big deal what are teachers crying about?’ You will think that you have to do the same for your company or business. True, but teachers do not work in companies or businesses. They work in schools.  Teachers teach and that is the only thing they should be focused on.

Teachers should not be worried about documenting everything being said or not so they can “cover their ass”. Teachers should not always be on the defensive. Teachers ARE experts and their words should be taken respectfully and without any hassle. If you take your son or daughter to the doctor and the doctor tells you that your son is suffering from a disease of some sort, you are not going to attack that doctor and call them biased. You’re not going to think s/he has a secret agenda against your child or that s/he doesn’t know what s/he is talking about. Why is that? You take the doctor’s words for granted because you respect that profession. The worst you can do is to go ask for a second opinion or even switch that doctor completely.

Now, what happens when a teacher tells you that your child is not doing what he is supposed to be doing in class or is not studying or not doing the homework or is not focused. What happens when a teacher tells you that your child might be suffering from ADD or ADHD or any other issue? You as a parent may feel like your child is being attacked and you have to defend them. Some parents go on the attack and try to recruit other parents to attack the teacher, as well. They argue, they meet with the principal, they yell, they insult and threaten without stopping for a second to look at their own child or realizing that this teacher is just trying to help. So yes, parents are a problem but don’t get mad yet because I blame everyone (including teachers).

In the next series of posts, I will discuss many issues that education is facing today and what in my humble opinion should be done to fix it. I may not have all the solutions but at least I am willing to point out the obvious and that is we have a problem!  This problem will continue to grow unless we intervene and make some crucial changes.

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