Would you mind taking this quick survey about your experiences in school and how you feel it has affected you? Academia Revolution is collecting stories to help explain to people how school can be a toxic environment.
Feedback from a nice teacherSome constructive criticism from a teacher.
name = Lisa
email = Anderson
I've been a teacher for 17 years, and I decided to try to figure out how it is that my students, who never STUDY, actually manage to do so well on their tests. I fully intend to print out parts of your site, to use as evidence against them.
I also noticed the quote at the top of your page, that schools merely operate on fear, and not on the foundation that their goal is to educate their students. You are obviously intelligent, capable, and articulate individual(s), and I don't understand WHY it is necessary for someone who can draw such a conclusion, however sadly come by, to have such an opinion. No one becomes a teacher because they want to scare their students. But some of them harden and after a while, the fear that they know their students might have becomes their basis for classroom management because, actually, the teachers are afraid themselves. If you're scared of failure, then the truth is that your teachers have failed, and they know that. Believe me, it has always been my goal to allow a trusting environment in my classroom, and I believe that it has worked as long as I've been teaching. In my 17 years, I've failed 2 students, (for cheating)because I don't believe in failing in education, and neither should you.
If I were you, the first thing I would do is go to a teacher who attempts to establish a relationship with their students, someone young who still has something with you to relate to, and say exactly what the quote at the top of your website does. Say it honestly, and without anger, though you certainly have the right to be angry with a system that has demoralized you. It takes true courage to be willing to admit to fear, to being at someone else's mercy, but if you tell someone that you are in such a position, their first instinct will be to put themselves at yours.
Don't sell yourself short. Because there are too many things that I can tell you're good at, without even knowing you, that mean you're capable of doign so much more than just showing other people how to "escape", or how you escaped. You're worth so much more than that.
"I fully intend to print out parts of your site, to use as evidence against them."
That's fine, you're not the first teacher to do that. I fully anticipated this would become a popular place for teachers at some point. ;)
"that schools merely operate on fear, and not on the foundation that their goal is to educate their students. No one becomes a teacher because they want to scare their students."
I'm sure they don't. That thing about fear wasn't aimed at teachers. It's about the way the whole system was set up - to churn out obedient little workers, rather than encourage kids to think and question things. Not all teachers enforce this system, in fact many oppose it, and rightly so. It's not the teachers specifically that most of us are upset about, its the system and the administration of it. I think if you look around at other things written here, you'll understand what I mean.
"But some of them harden and after a while, the fear that they know their students might have becomes their basis for classroom management because, actually, the teachers are afraid themselves."
That is perfectly understandable. It must suck to have to teach people things in a place where many/most of them would much rather not be. Just like it sucks to have to be in this annoying place called school, where everyone expects all these things of you, and won't let you follow your own heart.
"I don't believe in failing in education, and neither should you."
I don't see schools as places of education. Let me rephrase: I don't see compulsory public schools as places of education. Private schools of your own choice, maybe. Homeschooling, maybe. But not a place that you only attend because a law forces you to.
"Say it honestly, and without anger, though you certainly have the right to be angry with a system that has demoralized you."
Yes... I don't know if you have any idea how many kids have sent me feedback on this site, telling me how frustrated they have been at school for so long, and how glad they were to finally find out that they are not alone. Imagine how many of them will never find out, and will go through the years thinking they're a reject because they don't "fit" in the school system. I wouldn't wish that upon anyone.
"you're capable of doign so much more than just showing other people how to "escape", or how you escaped."
Not too sure what you mean by "escape", but if you mean cheating to avoid memorizing stuff you don't really care about... then... I'm not stopping :) Don't get me wrong, I'm all for learning new things, interesting things, not stuff that's been regurgitated over and over and organized into little thought bubbles, ready to be memorized so that you can be tested on it. That's not learning.
I'm not criticizing the way you teach, because I don't know how you teach, and with the system set up the way it is, I guess it's pretty hard to bend the rules and do things differently.
Lisa, if you ever read this, thanks for the email... It's always great to get some constructive thoughts from an actual teacher, instead of "hate mail" and other random insults I normally get from teachers. Please use the form again and tell me how I can contact you... :)
Written by: SoulRiser
24 March 2005