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What Teachers Learn From Teaching
My freshman year of high school was my worst academic year of any grade. It’s not that the work was hard, or the workload was heavy, it was just that I had a hard time adjusting to life at a Catholic, all-boys, college prep school after spending more time in dance than I had in 8th grade the year before.
My mother’s decision to uproot me from the public school system (and my nerdy friends) meant that I would spend more time in books than on the dance floor. Because of my apathetic attitude, I took some courses and barely passed.
One day, while discussing homework (which I hadn’t done), my Spanish teacher and eventual mentor, Mr. Pacheco, looked me straight in the eye in front of the whole class and said sternly, “When are you leaving. Stop pretending to be so gross?”
Roughly translated it means stupid boy. I was angry at this statement.
He told me to stop wasting my mother’s money and take advantage of the opportunities he was blessed with. I was still upset.
After class he talked to me about my “attitude”. It was during this conversation that my academic fortunes changed (I ended up winning Spanish awards) and little did I know, it planted the seeds for my career as a teacher.
Fast forward many years later… I am now a college professor.
I am the one who deals with students who have addiction problems. Since “higher” education is voluntary, you assumed that the apathy I blatantly displayed as a freshman in high school wouldn’t be a problem for university students… guess again.
The sad reality is that most college students are more interested in completing a course and getting credit than what they can learn from it. For many of them, there is no difference between “B” and “A”.
I once asked my students what they felt was the difference between the two classes, and one student replied, “More papers.” What a profound statement.
Marty Nemko, a career counselor based in Oakland, California, writes in his book: How to Get an Ivy League Education at a State University “Employers repeatedly report that many of the new graduates they hire are not job-ready, lacking the critical thinking, writing and problem-solving skills needed in today’s workplace.”
Avoiding “more paperwork” seems to be habit forming.
Mr. Pacheco once told me that the real purpose of school is learning how thinking Not what to think.
Many of today’s students are not challenged to think; They are simply graded—and passed—on the basis of their ability to regurgitate or recall information on the test, which is more likely to be multiple choice or true/false (which students tend to prefer).
What teachers learn from teaching is that these types of tests only test students’ short-term memory and deductive reasoning skills. It is for this reason that I have never been a fan of multiple choice or true/false tests.
Construct tests or projects that reflect the type of work calls for the education they teach This is how teachers should assess a student’s true understanding of a subject.
It also allows us to pinpoint their ability to think in a solution-oriented way. After all, education does not become knowledge until it is combined with experience; Therefore, it is up to us to simulate the circumstances that we will encounter in real life.
Unfortunately, this is the exception rather than the norm for underpaid and overworked teachers who often administer the same exams they use year after year for convenience.
What I have learned from teaching is that students who are interested in their subject matter and have a plan to use their education for some endeavor in the near future, are those who excel academically and professionally.
Their self-interest makes them delve into and completely wrap their minds around things, causing them to become quality thinkers; Students who are degree-minded are in shorter supply and higher demand than students with college degrees.
It’s a question that today’s teachers need to be talking about – especially when you consider that the market is now saturated with workers who have degrees. Entrepreneurs rise above the ranks of thinkers, and employers love (and reward) them when they rise to the challenge. demonstrate The depth and breadth of their thinking skills.
What teachers learn from teaching is that qualitative thinkers are also happier.
Statistics show that people with college degrees earn more. By some accounts it is as much as 50% higher (depending on the job and quality). In dollar terms, that’s about $23,000 more per year. The government uses these statistics as a marketing tool for higher education; Colleges use them to promote higher attendance on their campuses.
Correlation between obtaining a degree and having a more fulfilling life as a result of the opportunities created using education Not loud enough. Teachers should do a better job of teaching students about this correlation.
What teachers learn from teaching is that our education system is designed to maintain the status quo of our nation’s disaffected workforce.
Students reflect the nation’s apathetic workforce in their mere concern for survival (survival; defined as professional and economic complacency), while only a minority engages in sufficient success (success; defined as professional and economic satisfaction).
This apathy is the reason so many people hate their jobs.
Even worse is that so many people accept and live to hate them. This hatred is partly due to improper employment or inferiority; As a result, your passions are neglected and your true talents are not used.
Somehow people are conditioned to think that if they share the distaste they have for work, it will make it easier to ignore their dissatisfaction. Those with demanding and demanding jobs predictably offer the seemingly prosaic justification of money as an excuse as they suffocate and suffer in silence.
To them I offer these simple facts:
There are 8760 hours per year. You spend 2,555 hours a year sleeping (a generous estimate based on 7 hours of sleep per night). You have 2496 hours of weekends each year. We spend 2,080 hours (or more) at work each year based on an 8-hour work day.
Is 2080 hours a lot of time to do something you hate? If you find out what you love to do as a student early When you finish, you can breathe freely everyday Once you join the workforce.
What teachers learn from teaching is that students take their time.
Time spent in college is preparation time; It’s time to prepare you for life. The classes you take, the activities you’re involved in, and the people you spend time with are investments that should be rewarded. Bad investments are hard to overcome. This results in a waste of money (a bachelor’s degree is estimated at $50,000) and most importantly, a waste of time.
Mr. Pacheco occasionally asked us to put away our textbooks to talk about “real life.” It was during these talks that we got a chance to share our life experiences with him and he in turn imparted his wisdom to us.
In retrospect, I realize that he knew us better when he looked for opportunities and different ways to break down barriers of resistance in our education. He made sure we saw how relevant and useful the subject matter was to the lives and activities of each student in the class.
Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned from teaching is that the real difference between good and great is putting in the extra effort; Which is also the difference between a “B” student and an “A” student – not papers (although there are more working involved).
Mr. Pacheco always said that “the key to excelling at anything is to ask more of yourself than you allow others to.”
It’s a proven formula for success that teachers can use to maximize their effectiveness so that struggling or average students, who—in Mr. Pacheco’s words—“pronounce the brutes,” can actually learn what they’re teaching.
May he rest in peace.
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