Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Teaching Kids - Part 1

It's a simple concept that can get misconstrued in any number of ways by things that happen outside of the classroom. If you ask any educator, they will agree, the number one daily priority in schools should be teaching kids. It's impossible to argue with that concept if you believe in education. But, do you believe in the educational system? That is another question. If you've payed any attention to the news, you heard about the Chicago Teachers' Union strike that kept teachers and students out of classrooms for seven school days. It was clear for those seven days that 'teaching kids' was not the number one priority for educators or the educational system. The system AND educators (administration and teachers) failed their students.  It wasn't the students that caused the strike, it was the system and people who elected to work in education that failed.  If teaching kids is what's important, then teaching kids is what will happen.

No system is perfect, especially systems in education.  If you know of a 'perfect system', educational or other, then please comment on this post or e-mail me directly.  I'd love to hear how it was developed and how it self-monitors troubleshooting, problem solving, and maintenance.  I'd love to hear about a system by which school buildings work together for educational equity for ALL students and how teachers meet students' abilities at their level and help them progress and grow from that point on every single day.

The reality of education and learning is that it is a process.  It is messy.  It taxes human emotional, brain functions, physical limits, mental capacity and pushes the limits of understanding.  It's how education evolves. It's how we as humanity evolve.  It's how we grow.  And education is what happens when a teacher is present with students, working through things together and learning.  A teacher is the single most important factor in the success of students.  That will never change.  What has changed, however, is the role of the teacher and access to information.  The job description of a teacher today is incredibly different than that of a teacher in any other generation and so is the buffet of instructional tools and information available to teachers and students.  The constant remains the same--teachers and support staff building relationships and working together with children to help them grow.  That will always be part of the job description.