Thursday, February 19, 2009

Five Changes to Education

I was tagged by TJ Shay in his post Five Changes to Education--A new Meme.

His rules are: “List FIVE changes you would like to see in the educational system. Your responses should represent your perspective and your passion for learning and students…tag the following people..from a variety of perspectives. If you have been tagged, tag as many people as you choose, but try for a variety.”

Here is my list:

1. I would like to see teachers teach students according to their individual needs. I don’t mean just special education students but I mean all students. I think we need to go back to the one room school house mentality and start teaching students at the level they are at in ways that they can learn so they can be successful in the workplace. We need to stop trying to fit all students in the same mold and teach them all the same way.

2. I would like to see teachers being encouraged and rewarded (even if it means just an acknowledgement from the powers that be) for using technology in their classroom as a way to meet students’ individual needs. We need to get teachers out of the rut of doing things the same old way. By using new technology, students could learn to create, connect, and collaborate with students all around the world. Learning new skills should be exciting and motivating for teachers so we can pass the same feelings on to our students.

3. I would like to see general education and special education teachers working together more effectively to help special education students be more successful in general education classes. This would involve better professional development and training for both teachers. We need to get past the territorial ideas we have about our classrooms and work to do what is in the best interest of our students.

4. I would like to see schools cut down on waste. By this, I mean waste of resources and time by employees. I see too much redundancy in paperwork when we have computers that can generate the same reports we are expected to fill out on paper. I see too much paper being sent out in the way of memos, handouts, and useless information that is thrown away or recycled. This information could be sent out in emails or put on wikis. I also see us wasting time in meetings that have no purpose which leads to frustration and exhaustion.

5. I would like to see us go back to neighborhood schools in our area. Busing was important in the era that it was started but I don’t see a need for it anymore in our district. I’m sure there are many more districts in the same boat. This would save tremendously on transportation. It will also improve the school-community relationship. I think more families would be involved in supporting the schools this way. I could see students behaving better (you never know whose parent may be there watching) and also parents would be more willing to help out when they see the day-to-day needs.

I am tagging the following people:

Skip Z @skipz (teacher and online education guru)
Jo McLeay @jomcleay (English Literacy Coordinator)
Christine Southard @christinesouthard (inclusion teacher)
@g-teach (Enrichment teacher)
Ginger Lewman @GingerTPLC (Director of TPLC)

Original image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/spursfan_ace/2328879637/

11 comments:

joangee said...

1. if only!
I spent 30 years in education, and always wished all children could be taught according to their individual needs.

TJ Shay said...

Pat,

Your #1 is especially dear to my heart! I used to lead the "at-risk' program at my school. There is too much rigidity and not enough concern for teaching! I saw an excellent speaker last year that totally brought it home for me (Bill Page-- I have quoted him many times). He said, "It all comes down to what you believe as a teacher. If you believe all kids can learn, you teach them in a way they can learn and if they don't understand, you teach it again. If you believe some kids will never get it, you just teach and if the student doesn't understand, you move on. For example, if you go to the doctor and he gives you medication that doesn't fix you, he/she doesn't tell you that you are a bad patient....he/she gives you something different and tries to fix the problem." A life-changing thought!

Thanks for keeping the Meme going!!!

loonyhiker said...

joangee:There is always hope! :)

loonyhiker said...

TJ Shay:I love the analogy of the doctor and can't wait to share this with others. That is exactly what many do in the classroom!

def@mathholic said...

nice post...

i leave your post in to my blog, its your okey....

...have fun

Bill Graziadei, Ph.D. (e)Learning Consultant said...

Pat, glad to participate and read/learn from your post. A big TY to Elizabeth Koh for tagging me. It gave me the opportunity I might have missed to learn from you and others in the 'chain'. I posted my 5 changes (A-FACT) to education at http://bgraziadei.blogspot.com/2009/02/im-it-now-youre-it.html

loonyhiker said...

Bill: Thanks for doing this! I enjoyed your post and left a comment.

Bill Graziadei, Ph.D. (e)Learning Consultant said...

See 5 Things I Would Change About Education Wiki http://5thingseducation.pbwiki.com/.

Emily said...

Great top 5!! I think we all have the same hopes and dreams. Perhaps someday we our dreams will come true!

loonyhiker said...

Emily: Glad you liked them. Thanks for reading!

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