I’ve said several times that IMO Chicago public schools are the worst in the nation. Here’s one more case to prove it.
Chicago is infamous for all their corrupt politicians. Obama must be proud.
It’s not just the politicians. The entire school system stinks with rot and has for decades. BO just added a little “fragrance” to the already putrid mix.
The kids must work very hard at “not learning”. I would think any classroom would have something from which they can learn.
I remember in fourth grade (or something) we had a substitute, and she gave us free time in the classroom to do anything we wanted. Some of us made a game out of looking up words in a dictionary. Not to read what it meant, just who could get find it first. We had no clue we were actually learning something.
Kids don’t need to “work hard” at not learning. It comes naturally. Kids are naturally lazy. In addition, the atmosphere in public schools is not conducive to learning. Teachers rarely do any real teaching. They are concentrating on getting through the day with minimal hassles. Public schools don’t work anymore–they haven’t for decades. I advocate for shutting them all down, with the only exception of some of the charter schools. There is much more that has to be stopped and done over. Our children are the victims in this putrid system.
What you described as happening in your 4th grade classroom is something that is totally acceptable in the classroom. However, it cannot replace rote learning of basic skills. Children also need to learn the basics in reading, phonics, math, composition, etc. They’re not getting it in public schools. They may be able to go outside and observe plant life and animal life, but they don’t understand what they’re seeing outside of it being pretty or funny. There has to be EXTENSIVE practice of analytical inquiry in as early as kindergarten and first grade. Otherwise, having fun looking up words in the dictionary doesn’t tell children where the words originated, how they are pronounced properly, or how to identify parts of speech.
I’d say kids are lazier now more than before. I came up in a Catholic boarding school. If you showed any sign of laziness the nuns would go after you with a paddle!
I didn’t go to a boarding school, but I did go to an all-girls’ Catholic high school and from grade 1-3 in a Catholic elementary school. In my first grade classroom, there were about 60 kids and one young nun (Sister Mary Lynn) and she had complete control of the classroom. No child would misbehave–at least, not for very long. And, despite the horror stories which abound about Catholic schooling, corporal punishment was never used while I was there. One sour look from one of the nuns put you back on the righteous path! In high school, I had nuns as well and they were just as demanding of respect from us. My high school was/is a college prep school, so the curricula was very challenging. There were NO sports in the school back then outside of “gym class”. There is NO excuse for why our tax paid schools aren’t doing their jobs properly except for one simple reason: CORRUPTION within the system to the very head of the beast. Until that beast is dug out completely, it will continue to encourage and support the marxist ideologies spewing forth from it.
This is just an opinion, but I think it has SOME validity. Urban schools are failures for one, simple reason. Someone, back in the 60’s, decided that minority children couldn’t learn from non-minority teachers because they couldn’t “relate” to one another. Stupid, I know, but that was talked about a lot on “news” programs back then. As a consequence, there was a scramble to replace white teachers with minority teachers–but there weren’t all that many minority, QUALIFIED teachers so they stooped to hiring as teachers any minority with a degree in ANYTHING, qualified to teach or not. Over time, these teachers acquired tenure and seniority and began to be elevated to administrative control of the schools. They’ve been going downhill ever since.
Yes, I totally agree with that. However, the corruption of government schools began even before that. It started at the turn-of-the-century with John Dewey throwing away the successful phonics-based reading programs with his invented “whole language” program. Interestingly, whole language had been (and still is) a great method for deaf children to learn to read. This was such a success that Dewey thought it would work equally well with normal hearing children. It didn’t. It still doesn’t. Before Dewey, children learned to read and write with McGuffey readers. They were thrown into the fire after Dewey.
My point is that the corruption of the education of children in the United States started way before the 60’s, although it certainly was powered on by the nonsensical blather of the leftees of the 60’s. The system is beyond repair. It needs to be completely dismantled along with the teacher unions & federations, NEA, school boards, etc. You have heard this rant of mine before. What happened in the 60’s certainly lent to the infiltration of colleges and universities with radical leftists in the hallowed halls of departments of education across the country. And, it still is that way, although some schools have abandoned some of this nonsense.
I have often heard teachers complaining about the size of the classes. Even FC’s kindergarten teacher, with a whole 15 youngsters said she couldn’t give any personal attention to any of the kids because she had so many.
Now, I - who am not teacher material at all - as a substitute teacher once taught for two weeks in a Catholic school. Third grade, which is certainly not my best group for teaching. Fifth grade, I think, was my best group to relate to. Anyway, in this Catholic school, I had 31 third graders. I didn’t keep quite as strict discipline as was expected in the Catholic schools, but they were never completely out of control.
Edit: I liked the kids and they liked me. And although the discipline was very strict within the classrooms, on the play ground, they were the noisiest bunch I ever heard.
Most Catholic elementary schools still hold strict discipline. And, I would expect most other private/parochial schools do as well. Any TRUE educator knows you can’t educate if you don’t have the children’s attention. DUH! The teacher sets the tone of the classroom. Kids will only do what you demand of them. If you expect little, you’re lucky if you get that. You have to set your goals high so that kids can REACH up to meet those goals to the best of their ability. Anyway, I don’t mean to go on. I’m glad you had a positive experience, Susanna. And, I don’t believe you don’t have the “materials” to be a teacher. Just because one does not have a teaching degree does not mean that they can’t teach. I’ve seen teacher with advanced degrees with teacher certification who should have never been allowed in the classroom. I’ve seen teacher (mostly teacher aides) without a degree who are superb teachers. Teaching is a vocation, not a career. Until the educrats realize that, we will continue to see the dismal results in American kids’ standardized testing scores.
Here’s something to ponder: Before the mid 90’s, standardized tests were kept under lock and key by the principal. Teachers were not allowed to discuss the material on the tests or to try to prepare the students for the tests. As a matter of fact, a teacher could lose her/his job if he/she did so. The scores of standardized tests were not that good, but they weren’t that bad either. Fast forward to today, not only are the standardized tests openly discussed in the classroom, they have “sample” tests for the kids to take. There is material for the teachers to use in order to ensure that their students perform better. Standardized tests in the last 20 years have plummeted even with these efforts. What does that tell you?
True, but I was educated using phonics and not gestalt reading. Of course, I started reading LONG before starting public school, but I don’t recall ever even seeing gestalt techniques being used and this was between 1947 and 1960 which were my K through 12 years.
I taught for 5 years–but at the Jr. College level, so for the most part my students WANTED to be there and I didn’t have ANY discipline problems, plus they were mostly adults. The only “kid” I had in one of my classes was a cute little girl who seemed to think she could pass my course by flirting with me. She didn’t pass, in part because she turned in her hand-written term paper in handwriting that was obviously not hers and using language that I doubt she could have read herself…let alone written.
I can’t explain why you didn’t experience it in your teaching. All I can say is that as the years went by and reading scores plummeted, the educrats had no intention of aborting their little pet theories. That would mean that they didn’t have all the answers to all the problems of the universe. AND, money depended on it. So, they used what lefties have always used: new names. “See-Say”, “look-say”, “whole language”, etc. When they change the name, people are stupid enough to think the whole program has changed. That’s how they’ve been able to keep parents and students STOOPID. That’s also how they have managed to infiltrate schools with marxist-commie ideologies. And, there are now public schools teaching the wonders and glories of islam. I just read where a teacher somewhere is teaching her children about Isis. Nice, eh? Your tax dollars at work.
It may very well be that, in MY experience, I was taught phonics by those who taught me to read–an aunt, my great-grandmother, grandmother and mother while Dad was serving in WWII and that I merely continued my “reading” education that way DESPITE what schools were attempting to do, or I IGNORED their reading methods and continued to learn my own way. Frankly, I don’t remember. I DO recall that in the first grade we used those “See spot run” books, which I thought were silly because I was reading 'WAY past that level by then. I also recall attending a “pre-school” for about half a year prior to starting kindergarten. Several neighborhood kids and I were there and it was run by, of all people, the Salvation Army. I’ve got a class picture somewhere of that group of kids with me and my “Buster-Brown” haircut.
I think we must have had the “see-say” method when I was in grade school, because I don’t remember them teaching phonics (in the '40’s). But I wanted to learn to read, so if I didn’t know a word, I asked the teacher.
Actually, if you know the alphabet, you already have acquired a minimal amount of knowledge of phonics.
One of my cousins was complaining about not really learning to read in school, and she thought that my mother, a former teacher, had taught us. She didn’t - although, I can remember on a few rare occasions - well, maybe just one, she was giving an example of how to pronounce the letter “f”. She used a cat’s hissing, as saying “fffffft” - or something like that. But I think in my family, we all learned to read because we wanted to read. When we talked to my older cousins (of the same family of the one above) about books we had read, it seemed that they had read only one book, because that was the only one they ever talked about. They did learn to read the Bible, I’m sure, but I suspect their parents gave them information there - not phonics, just what the words were.
I learned to read in the first grade at a Catholic school. It definitely was a phonics-based reading system. Because of this, and the fact that we were taught the “rules” of the English language, I have always been an excellent speller. And, because I was also taught syllabication, I could properly read and pronounce words I had never seen before. High school students today would not be able to do that. I also learned how to write cursive in first grade, second semester. We cheat our children when we say, “Oh, they can’t do that at that age.” When we lower educational standards to the lowest common denominator for the sake of “feel good” policies, our children suffer for it. When children accomplish goals they didn’t think they could, they feel good about achieving those goals righteously. They don’t feel good about themselves simply because someone tells them to. Ah! I could go on and on, but I’m sure you know all of this, Susanna!
I don’t remember how I learned to read. I do remember struggling with reading in second grade. During the summer before third, I became determined to read a book all by myself without any help. I did it, sounding out the words, and rereading them over and over. It seemed that must have been a turning point for me, as reading and spelling was never a big problem after that. I always seemed a llttle behind in the early grades, but I had started school at age four. Most of my peers were almost a year ahead. Had just turned 17 when I graduated HS.
Excellent, Cruella! See what can happen when children are challenged? I started school at 4 as well and graduated at 17. I struggled with math from 5th grade on up until I went to college where I majored in science with a minor in math. Go figure…
I ALWAYS “struggled with math.” Still do to some degree. The worst grade I received in college (a C) was in Freshman College Algebra, though I got B’s in Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry.