Monday, February 28, 2011

C4T #2

What Ed Said

The first post I encountered spoke of a conversation Mrs. Edna Sackson had with a teacher. According to the post, the teacher preferred to have all of her students doing the same thing at the same time. Mrs. Sackson saw the fault in this and thought to convince the teacher otherwise. She pointed out that the teacher had commented that her children are completely different. One is artistic and gets distracted easily, while the other learns quickly and is a thinker. So, doesn't that mean they learn in different ways? Yes, and Mrs. Sackson managed to get the teacher to realize this. Then, the teacher realized if it's true for her own children, then obviously it's true for all other children. Needless to say, the teacher made haste in changing her teaching plans.

Change isn't easy...

The second post I read by Mrs. Sackson was inspirational, to say the least. The whole post was full of great points, but the one that really stood out to me was that many teachers are stuck in their old way of teaching and either find it hard to change it or refuse to. As technology advances and more and more "cool" things are created, the less interesting an old book and chalkboard are going to have trouble keeping students' attention. So instead of fighting with students and yelling at them to pay attention, give them a reason to do so. Make it interesting.

Aside from that, the blog post made me think about the general method many teachers use to "teach" their students and mainly that it needs to change. Too many teachers simply shove information in their students' brains and think they did an excellent job if the students remember it long enough to take the test and do well. I was subjected to this method my whole middle school and high school career. Except for one teacher. My Algebra III with Statistics teacher was more concerned with his students actually learning and understanding the CONCEPTS of math and not simply memorizing steps on how to solve a certain type of problem. And at first it was frustrating and mind boggling that a teacher would even consider using a method like this. All I wanted to do was memorize steps and formulas to spit back on the tests.

I still don't have many teachers like my Algebra teacher, but I've had a few. I'm not balking anymore at the idea of learning and understanding concepts and ideas or even teaching myself. It's still slightly difficult for me to adjust to when I do have one of those teachers, though. Anyway, my point is that students shouldn't be in my situation; they shouldn't be having issues adjusting to these two methods at the same time. In fact, they shouldn't be adjusting to methods at all! Every teacher needs to be like my Algebra teacher.

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