Sunday, April 22, 2012

How Boring Teachers Destroy Education

This is a very long piece, but of the many lessons to pull from it, one of the primary ones is that boring teachers should not be allowed to teach.

However, this is what happens when your primary source of labor for teachers are idiotic 23 year olds that managed to get a state certification to teach.  NOT those professionals who have been in the field for 25 years who:

1.  KNOW what they're talking about.
2.  Have a PASSION for what they do and can therefore convey that passion into interest for the little kinder.
3.  Are at the forefront of the discipline and can therefore teach it accurately.
4.  CAN MAKE IT PRACTICAL to the little kinder.

I didn't realize it till later, but when I was a student the reason I was a "bad" student was because school was SOOOOO BORING!  Not because school "is" boring, but because most teachers cannot make their subjects interesting or relevant to the young child.

Then again, education has never been about the chillllldreeeeeennnnn.

Oh, yeah, buy my book!


Anonymous said...

Humbug. Ever hear of a "library"? Most colleges have them. Why expect wonders? Only the most expensive schools can afford to hire Nobel Laureates to teach first year. But anyone can read the works of said Laureates. Your teachers don't motivate you? Then motivate yourself, and don't whine about it.

heresolong said...

Maybe part of the problem is that we teachers are expected to put on a dog and pony show to "entertain" kids for 180 days per year. We are competing against TV, the internet, and video games. We have no authority to remove students who are disruptive and no support from many parents who don't expect their darlings to do homework (ie practice) the skills we have taught (even when we do manage to entertain). When we do manage to entertain them enough that they actually pay attention, that doesn't carry over to the next day. Half the time they don't remember anything except the entertainment because they have been brought up to have an attention span of about thirty seconds.

Sorry, but the problem is not boring teachers. I am teaching a complex subject (math), I work very hard to involve the students in each and every lesson, yet half of them can't answer a question when we just discussed the answer five seconds earlier, a third of them don't do a single practice problem, and many can't remember a simple concept from day to day. Even when we do come up with an engaging lesson, half the kids are tuned out because they don't want to learn math and won't see the benefits no matter how "realistic" we make the questions.

I refuse to shoulder this burden. I teach because I love it, but the problem is NOT that teachers don't entertain enough. Sometimes it just isn't possible to compete with the distractions and all we can do is our best.

Captain Capitalism said...


I would only add that I presume you are teaching in a grade after 5th grade. At that point most of the kids, if they had any talent, have tuned out.

Consider something (mythical and impssible like Hogwarts) where the kids are more or less engaged the entire time. By the time they hit "high school trig/calc" they're probably completely involved in their studies and raring to go.

But for the average public school, those kids entering the 5th grade are drones, zombies, automotons. Even the most intelligent are probbaly beyond salvage.

Don't blame yourself. Blame the baby sitters...err..."elementary education teachers" for the mindless robots you have now.


Oh-look up "Clown days" on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Damn straight. I'm sorry that you too had to suffer through boring crap for 12+ years. Sadly, people who have been teaching for 25+ years may be just as boring - thanks to tenure, a normal grade teacher can do almost nothing and get a fat paycheck. Even if the kids didn't know that George Washington landed on the moon to kill the Indians, but was stopped at the last minute by uncle Joe Stalin.

Seriously, they have to crush the unions and their stranglehold on education. No chance until then

Anonymous said...

The author's suggestion to get into labwork as soon as possible strikes me as the modern equivalent of the master/apprentice education model used for thousands of years before educational theorists started creating abstract programs in artificial settings.

Arch said...

They also need to discriminate against hot teachers. Seriously.

If you're a healthy teenage male sitting in a class with a hot teacher maybe a half dozen years older than exactly are you supposed to concentrate?

At my highschool in the 90s we actually had a hot teacher quit because she didn't have the backbone to stand up to all the male students hitting on her. I don't know if any of them were successful, but she couldn't control the classroom.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Modern teachers are a joke.

sisterbrat said...

Thank you Aaron for posting the link to this blog. In the future Iam planning on transferring to a 4-yr institution and majoring in some sort of science/math/computing major/double major/minor frankenstein combination. This blog you linked to has hit the spot for me this morning. Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

My father was a teacher with a degree in nuclear physics from Oxford. He taught advanced classes in a private New Zealand school for 10 years, one of his students went on to become a Rhodes scholar. At one stage he investigated teaching at state schools and was astonished to discover that he was unemployable because he was considered unqualified as he had no teaching qualification. Those idiotic 23 year olds you speak of were far better qualified in the eyes of the state.