I really do love teaching but there are times when I wonder why. This month, I've been teaching an English Fundamentals class. There are times when teaching this class totally eradicates my belief in the public school system.
In Fundamentals, I teach the very basics, like nouns, verbs, and how to create a complete sentence. As I go over these things, many of them talk about how they know they should have learned this in school. It isn't just their fault though. I can't help but wonder how our society has gotten to a point where we have let people escape from schooling with no concept of how to properly communication.
I hold the bureaucracy of the system to a large part of the fault. The other part of the fault should rest on the shoulders of the parents. Parents need to support and encourage their kids to do better. Parents see it as a free babysitting service to use while they are working. How can we get our kids to acheive more when the expectations given them are so low?
It seems to me that our school system has faltered. Teachers should not be forced to socially promote students who haven't learned the material. They are forced to teach to the lowest common denominator and to teach to tests that ONLY hold the students back In Indiana, schools are required to have a certain percentage of their students pass the ISTEP or risk losing funding. Because of this, a total of six weeks of school are devoted to the preparation and taking of this test. Reading between the lines, we spend a total of 240 school hours teaching kids stuff they've already learned. And we do this to take a test that supposedly measures how much they know.
Every day I deal with the failing of the school system, people who cannot construct a proper sentence or recognize what the subject of a sentence is. When did we abandon our children to an uncertain future? And why do we, as parents, continue to let the system fail us and our children?