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The education outcome we need

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Avatar for zolabundance2
Written by   123
2 months ago

Many parents today, more than their children, are grade-conscious. They're of the mindset that their kids must excel in school, get the highest marks in every test or paper, and be recognized for their achievements.

That's a lot of pressure on kids. While I agree that children should do their best in their classes, it should not take away enjoyment for learning.

After all, education is more than just studying subjects like Math, English, Science, Social Studies, and Arts. To my mind, more than simply gaining stock knowledge, children should be shown how these apply to real life.

Issue #1: Student-teacher communication

Based on my observation, students these days are too bookish, or more accurately, simply rely on information fed them in school, and worse, from the Internet. What they lack are critical thinking skills and personal development.

And I am puzzled by their reluctance to approach teachers to ask for clarification or guidance about school work, opting instead to second-guess what is required of them instead of getting clear instructions.

When I asked my niece why she or her classmates refuse to communicate with their teachers if the work being asked of them makes little sense or is obscure, she said when a student raises such concerns, teachers always take these as complaints.

And when a student complains, there are certain teachers who mark them, then eventually give them a hard time in class, including poor grades for their output. That's quite unfair, and will certainly not encourage communication between student and teacher.

Even worse are parents who also balk at speaking to teachers during conferences about valid issues as they take their children's word that they will become a target in class if they so much as raise a peep with their teachers.

Aren't parents supposed to be advocating for their children, when they see the kids struggling with school work instead of brushing such concerns aside to avoid confronting mentors?

If they truly want their kids to excel in school, then ensuring that there is clear understanding between students and teacher in class should be a priority.

Issue #2: Teachers lacking passion

I understand, especially in the public school setting (particularly here in the Philippines), how burdened teachers are with their workload. But I also believe that when they signed up for the profession (not just the job) they knew they would have to deal with children on a personal level and not just as educators.

I see teachers as second parents, as encouragers, as well as instructors. Not only do they teach specific subjects, but part of their duties and responsibilities is to look for potentials, help develop these, inspire students and push them to become good citizens and human beings more than simply excellent learners.

The problem lies in many teachers not having the heart and soul for teaching. They were either forced to take up this course in college, for one of two reasons: 1) parents believed they aren't smart enough so all they will be good for is teaching (the logic of which is totally preposterous!) and 2) because of financial opportunities open for teachers overseas.

They forget that without passion, teaching will only become a burden for a mentor because much is demanded of them, other than making lesson plans, preparing exams, thinking of projects, and grading papers and class participation.

Part of a teacher's duty is to know their students, find out why one is not doing well in class and not just dismiss them as slow learners or idiots, help them get on track, and boost their confidence so they can thrive not only in class but in life.

If their heart is not in being an educator, it will be doubly grueling to help a child become the best version of themselves because instead of going the extra mile to ensure the student learns and enjoys their time in school, they will not go out of their way for their pupils to make them feel they are being given proper attention.

But like I learned while covering budget hearings of the education department in Congress, not only is the entire bureaucracy very, very complex, education itself is, too. But that's an altogether different matter that is not up for discussion.

If it were me, knowing what I do now after so many years of real life experiences, I would settle for students to be good at reading (comprehension, too), writing and arithmetic, because everything else, subject-wise, will follow.

Basic education is what children need. When they get out of the classroom, and school, they should know how to read well, understand what they've read, be reasonably proficient at spelling and grammar, and can write even simple essays.

Math is math. Not all kids have the head for numbers and formulae to enjoy math, but there are now several ways to simplify lessons and break it down for those who don't enjoy this particular subject.

At the same time, students must be taught good work ethics, proper manners and decency, while inculcating in them a strong sense of dignity, integrity and respect.

What kids learn at home

There was a post that caught my attention about a teacher relating her meeting with a parent in a PTA conference. The mother of her student said she wasn't as interested about her child's academic performance because in time, her daughter would get all that.

What she wanted to know from the teacher was how her kid was as a person... if she was kind, helpful and got along with other students.

It was her child's character that was more important to the parent, because what she displayed in school would be a reflection of how she was brought up and treated at home.

In my opening paragraph, I pointed out how a lot of parents these days were becoming either grade-conscious or achievement-oriented when it came to their children's education.

To a certain extent, it's understandable when their kids are being sent to private schools, where costs can be prohibitive. Still, putting inordinate pressure on their children to excel in their studies is not healthy.

As much as all parents hope their kids end up with the jackpot in the intelligence gene pool so they can do good in school and get the breaks in life, what should be more important is that they develop into respectable, kind human beings.

Because ultimately, character shapes a man more than intelligence.

Images: Unsplash

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Written by   123
2 months ago
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Comments

Back when I was a student, our teacher liked it more if students had a lot of questions because they feel like they were willing to learn. Honestly, I am not the type who would raise my hand during classes because I am too shy. 😅 I really did not like any graded recitation, reporting and play. I was reslly shy that is why I would sometimes ask our teacher when I would see them in the corridors.

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2 months ago

Yes, teachers were that way before. But like I said, many teachers now are just there for the wrong reasons. So, they don't really take to heart reaching out students and see how they can bring out the best in the young and only want to get the day over.

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2 months ago

Hello interesting your post. one of the things i observe in the profession, is that teachers focus on their planning, objective is given, objective is met. Some of them, little or nothing, care if the student achieved that knowledge. the important thing for them is to fulfill their programming. Many times as an educational psychologist I have focused on guiding the teacher, instead of treating the student, because the root of all learning problems begins with the teacher, not with the student. Best regards.

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2 months ago

Hi! First, thanks for dropping by and leaving your thoughts...

How fortunate that someone like you is available to help teachers handle learning problems. I don't believe there are educational psychologists in my country, because your profession would truly be welcome to help situations like these.

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2 months ago

There's an even worst category of kids in my opinion. They lack in intelligence and character but because they are from rich families they think they are entitled and should be afforded special privileges. Sadly, no teachers can be of help to this category of kids. Those who are very passionate in imparting life skills may attempt to do something but that's a near impossible uphill task. This is because the teachers need to work on both these kid's and their parent's attitude. Half the battle is already lost there before undertaking this challenge.

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2 months ago

I agree with you, and they're the bane of society. These are people who think money is the answer to everything so what do they care if they're dumb and rude. And yes, in such instances, teachers can do very little however much they want to help to change the attitude and mindset of the children. I wonder how these parents are able to sleep soundly at night knowing they're responsible for creating notorious offspring. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

$ 0.05
2 months ago

There should be balance in everything. That's why there are lots of kids who are good academically but their attitude is sh*t. You have pointed that because of parents focusing on grades more, the kids' attitude and character is sacrificed.

$ 0.02
2 months ago

Ding! Ding! Ding! Personally, I don't care about intelligence if a child is rude, disobedient and lazy. I hate it even more that there are parents who just see pride for their kids because of their grades and academic achievements that they would enslave themselves to do everything for them in terms of the more important life skills. Tsk. Tsk. tsk.

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2 months ago

Most teachers today personally take offense when students ask questions. There are even those who take enjoyment out of humiliating students who just really wanted to understand the lessons better.

Also, there are teachers who clearly do not know their topics in depth. I am not saying this in arrogance or as an insult to the teachers. But there truly are teachers who just understand the basics of what is needed to be taught to students. Some even just read the powerpoint presentations instead of actually explaining concepts. Which would probably explain why they are offended when receiving questions. It is easier to be offended than admit you need time to research the answer.

I am aware of the existence of amazing educators out there but for every one I meet, there will be 3 to 5 other "educators" who are not clearly there to help students but instead to work only. Hopefully this changes someday.

$ 0.03
2 months ago

Your first point makes me both sad and mad, especially teachers who take pleasure humiliating students instead of encouraging them. The first thing they need to understand in teaching is that learning capacity is different for every individual.

On the second point, I totally agree. Again this is what frustrates me and makes me go grrrr! I hate that when the grading system (for public schools) shifted to performance-based, rather than tests, etc., they now demand kids to report, report, report, with powerpoint presentations or papers. My goodness! That means they don't teach and rely on what the students put out there! They have no right to be offended for being so lazy!

Yes, I know there are still educators who truly love their profession and embrace the nobility of it that's why it is their life. And it is sad there are more who have no love for it than those who truly deserve to be there for the kids.

$ 0.03
2 months ago

I can't agree more! Excellent piece for encouraging parents to focus on their children's character rather. I'll be sharing this on facebook if you don't mind.

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2 months ago

Go ahead and share. Thanks!

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2 months ago

Oh my I was quite guilty when I read that "teachers lacking passion" i also considered myself as one before especially that I only took teaching because that's what my grandparents like. But as time goes by, I learned to love the profession. It is true that here in the Philippines, some lack passion because of some reasons as well but they must not forget that there are children who needs them and their quality teaching.

$ 0.01
2 months ago

It warms my heart when someone has a change of heart about a profession they initially didn't have interest in, after it has affected them in a positive way so much so it allowed them to see they were truly made for it. Congratulations to you!

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2 months ago

I knew of many intelligent students who were not helped in school to develop their options for their future in college. Being smart kids, they lost important time and money. Going from one career to another, searching for their place in it.

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2 months ago

As much as it is both the responsibility of parents AND teachers to mold children into good people, educators have a lot of influence on their students as they spend more time with them during the day, so guidance from them is quite important.

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2 months ago