Saturday, October 23, 2010

High School

Just a couple of thoughts about teaching.

First, I worked hard in high school. No, it wasn't college, and classes weren't terribly difficult. But I still worked. I did my homework, and I did it on time. When we had time to work in class, I worked. And the rest of my classmates worked, too. I rarely remember free time in class.

I don't know if high school has changed since I was there (a whole 5 years ago), but I don't feel like students work today. From what I've seen in my student teaching and observations at different schools, kids just don't seem motivated. Maybe Weber High was a little weird - we did have pretty dang good academics. But still. Kids just don't seem to work these days.

Most schools where I have observed have given some form of "advisory time" during the school day. This is basically makeup time where kids talk with their teachers about what they are missing or how to bring up test scores. This seems wrong to me. It seems like schools are saying, "Rather than trying to prevent this from happening, we just have to give in." I'm probably not the only one to think this, but maybe kids would work harder if they knew the first time was actually going to count? Just saying...

Another thought. I think people have a very skewed idea about the life of a teacher. They, in fact, do not live in the school. They aren't even there until 5 o'clock every night, nor should they have to be. Their day starts early, so, therefore, their day should be done early. (For example, Westlake teachers need to be at school by 7:15 AM and can leave at 2:45 PM.)

So, students shouldn't expect for their teacher to be in his or her classroom at 3:30 PM. I have been at school a little later than desired grading papers and have seen students come in at this time, asking to re-take a test which will take another half an hour or so. This is not right, folks! Teachers need to have a life, too! They already get paid way too little, so don't make them stay longer than contract requires them.

And, it's one thing for a student to do this, but I feel like parents should just plain know better. I know it's hard to get in to the school on a teacher's schedule, but don't get mad when your child's teacher is not there two hours after school is over. I have good news for you - email works pretty much just as well as a classroom visit, and I can guarantee a teacher would rather respond to an email.

Please tell me other people have noticed these things as well?


  1. Being married to a teacher, I totally understand and agree with everything you said. Many of Chad's students turn stuff in late (because they can), causing Chad to work even more hours. Not a big fan of that policy. I think schools should be stricter. And say "It's late, too bad" :)It would be better for students and teachers.

  2. We are just starting into all of this but I have to agree that there is a little too much "gimme" and not enough "give". Bunch of lazy punks!

    Good for you for putting up with them!

  3. AAAAMMMENNNN!!!!!!! Teachers are so underrated. *sigh*