Sunday, June 22, 2014

Once Lost a Student Can Never Be Recovered

Permit me to explain a non-state-teacher's-union-leftist-education-degree-approved real world, private sector observation about education:

Once I lost interest in school, I never gained it back.  And that wasn't just me, but what I'd estimate to be about 95% of boys and about 50% of girls.

Once we lost an interest in school, it was damn well near impossible to ever get us excited or interested about it again.

Notice I say "school" and not "education," because what goes on in the public schools really isn't education but baby sitting, indoctrination and keeping talentless people employed as they hide behind the guise of children.  But regardless of the political machinations of what the public schools really are, it is sad because it wasn't until I was about 35 did I take an interest in education or things like reading.  School was a chore, all the way from my second day of kindergarten to my last day of college.  17 years of what was no less than a mental prison for an industry that managed to siphon off around $250,000 from me and my parents when it was all said and done.  So when it was all said and done you basically had a boy sitting, nodding his head, sometimes barely staying awake, just to jump through one ass big hoop while I learned little to nothing along the way (except a seething hatred of teachers). 

And that is the true tragedy of education today.  Because just imagine if you, me, and every other boy and girl out there was not forced to go to this mental prison, but were rather invigorated, excited, and MENTALLY ENGAGED their entire K-college education?  17 years of actually looking forward to school like you do today reading a good book or studying something on teh interwebz.  17 years of not just stimulating your mind, but pushing it towards new horizons, exercising it to take on and understand new concepts.  We'd have a country full of creative and literal geniuses and nowhere near the financial problems we have today.

Sadly they key vital ingredient to getting students excited about school and mentally engaged is missing - interesting, exciting, and passionate teachers.

Oh, I know, I know.  Little Suzy McSuburbaniteprincess at the age of 17 declares her education major because she's "passionate" about education and wants to change "children's lives."  The truth, however, is borne out in the classrooms.

Boring
Incapable
Uninspiring
Stupid
Politicized
Adult children

posing as "educators," inspiring excitement in their students about as much as Whoopi Goldberg inspires an erection.

This is the real problem - a lack of inspiring teachers.

Not to brag, but when I taught (be it economics, finance, or ballroom dancing) I made damn sure my students were intellectually entertained and engaged.  I had students screaming in a mock-stock market exchange.  Curmudgeony old men who came to dance class kicking and screaming, dipping their wives an hour later.  And once performed an economics sermon for my class from the top of my 1985 Cutlass Supreme about the evils of brand new cars.  This isn't because I'm a genius or have some kind of natural gift for teaching, I just remembered how boring it was sitting in school and couldn't dare to punish hundreds of students I had nothing personally against.  Ergo, I took the time to think my class through, think the lesson plans through and create an EXPERIENCE that my students would enjoy and learn along the way.

Sadly, that's too much to ask of people who belie their laziness when declaring education majors.

The truth is that if we really cared about the children, if we really wanted them to get an education, we'd pretty much fire all the teachers, get rid of something as stupid as an a "Degree in Education," and hire people with real world experience, who also have the capacity for empathy of their students.  People who just don't mouth the words "I care about the children" as they go and protest Scott Walker, but people who actually DO CARE about the children, enough to ensure those children are never bored, intellectually disengaged, or disincentived to pay attention.  People with real world experience that enables them to directly tie in what's on the board to the real world and explain to the students' brains why it's pertinent to their lives, not a 23 year old child spouting off leftist talking points about global warming.

Of course this is laughably impossible in today's political climate.  The sheeple believe there's no such thing as too much money for education.  And the vile thieves of the democrat party posing as teachers are masters at extracting nearly a trillion a year from these rubes in exchange for the shittiest education in all of Western Civilization.  Worse still, they've now had nearly 50 years brainwashing "educating" three generations to think a certain way, protect the hive, and vote socialist.

All I ask is that society wake up and at least admit that nobody really enjoys school and the primary reason why is we have arguably society's worst and most incompetent people posing as "teachers."

23 comments:

Jose Romero said...

Good Morning Cappy!
Being a parent of a twenty year old i could tell you the stories on how my kid would be so bored that she would fall asleep in class and complaining how she is not really learning anything as all they made them do is take exams for the state.

Which is what they concentrate on these days.

In my time I can only remember a few no less than five teachers who actually taught and cared for their students.

I'm 43 now and i could see them in my mind. The teachers were mostly in Science, History, Electronics and English! Those men as they were male teachers were the ones who put this kid from the Bronx on a path of progression!

From what I see now a days these type of teachers are very rare in the system. I think current politics and Unions are choking out these guys from rising up to greatness!

It going to take a great upheaval in order to shake the snakes in the basket!

Great Post Cappy!

Heroditus Huxley said...

A big part of the problem is that teacher education programs suck the joy and life right out of the people majoring in education. The hoops they set up for potential teachers to jump through are far worse, more tedious and mind numbing, than what teachers set for their students in school.

As a result, you'll find that the people who stick with (or switch to) the teacher ed program are the dumbest of the dumb, because they're the only ones who can tolerate the BS.

RobertW said...

Most of my kid's friends say they want to become teachers. That is because (a) there are very few well paying jobs out there and (b) they know can't be fired.

Re: changing the system: it will never happen until the system completely collapses. The State needs a steady supply of docile, malleable, uncurious worker drones. The last thing the Hive wants is to teach these kids to think for themselves.

Charlotte said...

I used to teach 3rd grade and was once a 1st grade teacher assistant, and your assessment is spot on. The majority of teachers come from the bottom third of their high school class and it shows in the mediocrity of their teaching abilities. Plus, being a career dominated by young women, there are a large number of teachers who do it simply to bide time until they get married or until they figure out what career they really want to do. It also means almost none of them are considering the needs and interests of boys, and only use educational methods that work best with girls simply because they are the ones that worked for them when they were in school.

kurt9 said...

The travesty is that there are a lot of retired or semi-retired business and professional people who would love to teach if they had the opportunity. Many retired engineers would like to teach math and science classes and I think retired lawyers would be interested in teaching civics, english, and other such classes. It is the teachers union, a parasitical institution if there ever was one, that actively works to keep these people out of the schools.

The teachers union needs to be broken up.

Kristophr said...

Get the government out.

Once the educational welfare stops, private schools will need to hire teachers that can keep parents happy.

Grizzly said...

I considered a teaching career when I was doing my GE in college. At the time, I was working at Blockbuster and got to talking to a lady who taught middle school in Watts right after the riots. She had some real horror stories! She told me that every Wednesday they would have what they called the "Noon Movie." They would take all the kids, herd them into the gym, put a movie on the projector, and turn out the lights. Of course, the moment the lights went out the kids started having sex. The administrators knew full well what these kids were doing, and actually did this on purpose. The idea was that since the kids would be tired from having sex, they would be calm enough to pay attention for at least half a day once a week.

She also told me another story, which happened right before she retired. A coach gave one of his athletes a ride home after school. Later that week, the boy decided to go and claim that the coach molested him. Although the boy later admitted he was lying, that coach's life was almost destroyed. He had a young wife and a new baby.

I decided not to become a teacher right then and there.

John said...

Devil's Advocate here

What if it is school's job not to entertain your child? Why is it that students of Asian descent especially, then whites do well in this boring school systems? And more than that, they thrive?

Yes teachers have problems but so do the attitudes of children learning. Their parents never taught them the value of respecting teachers, and learning by listening. Trying to make the curriculum super interesting is a kindergarten tactic. I went to elementary school where I was one of 2 white persons in the classroom, the rest were black or hispanic. No matter how interesting the teacher made the lesson, the rest of the class would always do badly, never pay attention, interrupt the class. Why? They were never instilled the importance of academics and learning quietly from a teacher. Their family didn't value nerds, didn't value academics. The teacher made games, tried interactive things like your stock market game, and many more things, yet the kids would rather play Yugi-Oh!, ignore the teacher, talk about other shit and etc. If that respect and love for academics and learning is not instilled by the parents, then it is really silly to blame it on the teachers.

My biology and math teachers were boring as fvck yet they taught me the most. Most of engineering professors are boring as fvck yet they give the skills for students to easily get and maintain good careers. Less could be said for the entertaining professors. The interest has to be something the child develops at the home.

John said...

Devil's Advocate here

What if it is school's job not to entertain your child? Why is it that students of Asian descent especially, then whites do well in this boring school systems? And more than that, they thrive?

Yes teachers have problems but so do the attitudes of children learning. Their parents never taught them the value of respecting teachers, and learning by listening. Trying to make the curriculum super interesting is a kindergarten tactic. I went to elementary school where I was one of 2 white persons in the classroom, the rest were black or hispanic. No matter how interesting the teacher made the lesson, the rest of the class would always do badly, never pay attention, interrupt the class. Why? They were never instilled the importance of academics and learning quietly from a teacher. Their family didn't value nerds, didn't value academics. The teacher made games, tried interactive things like your stock market game, and many more things, yet the kids would rather play Yugi-Oh!, ignore the teacher, talk about other shit and etc. If that respect and love for academics and learning is not instilled by the parents, then it is really silly to blame it on the teachers.

My biology and math teachers were boring as fvck yet they taught me the most. Most of engineering professors are boring as fvck yet they give the skills for students to easily get and maintain good careers. Less could be said for the entertaining professors. The interest has to be something the child develops at the home.

Anonymous said...

You are failing to see what the "education" system is really about, it's a protection racket.

"They" can't have people actually growing up and challenging the power structure.

The teachers are doing exactly what they were trained to do, destroy a child's innate curiosity and desire to explore and learn new things.

Doug Cranmer said...

Charlotte said...
"The majority of teachers come from the bottom third of their high school class and it shows in the mediocrity of their teaching abilities. Plus, being a career dominated by young women, there are a large number of teachers who do it simply to bide time until they get married ..."

A friend of mine in graduate school had a very cosmopolitan wife, born and raised in the middle east and then Eastern Europe. Very bright, very well educated. She came to Canada and expected to teach while her husband was finishing his doctorate in engineering.
The Canadian teachers drove her crazy with their lack of maturity and professionalism.

As stated, most are just biding their time until they can get married and then teach part-time. This was public school, mind you. I suggested to her and her husband she look at private schools to teach in. She'd fit in much better. So she applied to a few and was working at one in less than a month. She loved the environment. Of course parents were paying $10,000-$15,000 a student a year and teachers were seriously evaluated by the school every year.

Kristophr said...

John:

When the kid is living with his parents, the school's job is to see to it that the parents feel they are getting good value for their money.

When the student is an adult, the schools job is to see to it that the student feels he is getting good value for his money.

Easy.

tgreese said...

IMO the main problem is that the public school system is a protected monopoly. We all know how a protected monopoly fosters excellence (not).

Issue vouchers to parents of eligible children. Stop the public subsidy of schools. Let parents decide where to send their children based on the merit of each school and their teachers. Schools could chose to be unionized, or not.

John said...

Interesting /=/ value. Like I said engineering professors are the most boring and kill curiosity yet almost all engineer graduates from my university started with 70k jobs after graduating. That's pretty strong value in a depressed economy. But yes they weren't interesting lol.

heresolong said...

Read my latest blog post for the hoop I am currently jumping through to keep being a math teacher

http://heresolong-voices.blogspot.com

That being said, I wish I could figure out a way to keep 32 students, many of whom are over their heads due to the graduation requirements, entertained enough to learn math during the daily class period. Sometimes you have to grind through some dry stuff to get to the interesting stuff. I don't stand up front and lecture in a monotone, but you still have to get through it. The reality is that basic math isn't that fun, it is a tool that you have to learn.

Lorenzo said...

If kids were really interested in learning they would figure how to pick up knowledge themselves rather than bellyache about teachers not "inspiring" them.

They have no initiative and just wait for teachers magically to spoonfeed them knowledge, then whine when it doesn't happen.

There are way more crappy students than crappy teachers.

Anonymous said...

I was so bored I spent 18 years reading and napping. And not a damn thing to show for it that I couldn't have learned on my own.

I just came here to say what Kristophr has already said.

Kristophr said...

John:

True. Value does not always equal interesting.

But if you just want interesting, you can hang around Campus, pretend to be a student, audit only classes that are fun/interesting for far less than full tuition, and attend student parties for almost nothing.

Anonymous said...

At a community college I currently attend, a General Chemistry class required a 52% in order to pass.

Let that sink in for a bit.

There are classes that give so much extra credit it's ridiculous. Workbooks that have most of the notes done for you. It really encourages you to not care. I got B's in certain classes by extra credit, open book quizzes, and even test retakes (if you mess up on one test you get to take it again).

I've found more joy out of just educating myself. Learning for my pleasure alone, not for an arbitrary letter grade.

newrebeluniv said...

The funny part is that schools use expulsion and suspension as punishments for misbehavior. As if most students wouldn't rather stay home.

Goober said...

Heresolong - that's the point, though. Where does it say that learning math has to be super-duper entertaining, or you're doing it wrong?

Where is the understanding in these kids that, regardless of whether it is entertaining or not, that htey need to learn this stuff?

Where is the understanding in these kids that life isn't always about being supremely interested and entertained, but rather is an uncomfortable amount of slogging through stuff you might not rather do, but know you have to in order to be a successful human being?

I hated math class as a kid, but I learned math and was damned good at it. Not because it was entertaining, but because even at 7 years old, I knew that if I was going to be anything other than a loser, I'd better learn math.

Anonymous said...

I am a conservative surrounded by a sea of liberal educators, and, Cappy, you sound damned liberal in this post. Teachers aren't entertainers and academics isn't all fun and games. The old-fashioned way of learning is high standards,combined with demanding parents and teachers. Regardless of your sob story about being bored in school (do you think you were the only one?), you obviously learned what you needed to learn. Nowdays, you wouldn't.

Bah. I am heartily sick of the responsibility for learning outcomes laid exclusively at the feet teachers, as if students (and society at large) have nothing to do with it. I subbed a couple of days at a kindergarten class a couple of years ago. Sweet kids, but only 2 out of 25 had any knowledge of any nursery rhymes or traditional stories. When you reach the age of 5 without someone at home telling you the story of Goldilocks or hearing Mary Had A Little Lamb, you have no educational capital to start your life. That deficit keeps on growing.

The problems are way deeper than one anecdote from kindergarten, but this touchy feely "oh, the teachers must CARE," needs to go. You disappoint me.

Jones said...

I bailed out of my last year of university, in STEM curricula, after I'd learned everything I needed and I was left with large double-digits of "core credits" courses.

My ride through STEM World was a fully paid ride, yet I still left over money.

Instead of sucking up another couple of years of "core credit" nonsense, I started a company. I learned more in the first three months than I'd learned in the three years leading up to that decision.

I REGRET NOTHING.

Neither should you.

For what it's worth, I came back to the "liberal arts", but as a tourist, not as an indentured serf ...