Sunday, May 15, 2011

Challenge Yourself.

... I just saw the most interesting news story on CNN entitle #DontFailMe. After watching this article i've come to the realization on exactly how education works in the United States.

    I've decided to challenge myself with the support of my students, my loved ones and random Facebook homies. It's not easy, but i've done it because i've got adequate support. The support may not always be to my liking, but that's what makes a challenge a challenge, not getting what you're used to. I haven't ordered my drink in two weeks and I could care less. My challenge hasn't always been so easy, but it wasn't the gargantuan challenge that I thought it would be. I have been affected by my challenge, but depending on your viewpoint, the change could be viewed in either a positive or negative way. I choose to look at it in the positive light. I could be grumpy and angry ranting about how boring I am.... or I could look at life in a healthier, less sugar filled way.

.... this leads to public education... promise.
Students nowadays are not challenged appropriately, well... most aren't. We are producing a very intelligent breed of adolescents who are so technosavvy, it's mind boggling. But what's more mind boggling is that many normal, average students are being pushed into credit recovery programs because they're falling behind in their classes. This isn't just a phenomena unique to San Bernardino, but in many other parts of SoCal and throughout the nation. The expectations set by teachers is not aligned with todays adolescent way of thinking. When the student doesn't get what they want, or suffer from a trial or tribulation in academia, they shut down and give up. Somewhere down the line, a happy medium needs to be met between teacher expectations on how to stimulate a students mind for success and a students behavioral and academic expectations. Students are not challenging themselves to take higher level courses (calculus, chemistry, physics, AP/IB English & history) because they don't want to take a 'hard' course. Rather than challenging themselves, students would rather focus on sports or something they're good at to prevent challenging their minds.
... teachers are no better (well most aren't). As a public educator, i'm finding more and more ways to challenge myself to deliver information better and more efficiently. I give students an opportunity to prove themselves by bending over backwards for them. Some other educators use their grading system as a method of punishment if a student fails to conform to their behavioral expectations in the classroom. By not copying sentences out of a book (aka vocabulary), students lose points towards their grade, but what kind of education value is in that? Very few people learn from copying stuff out of a book, I know I didn't. I went to school in the 'olden days', and those education tactics didn't work then.

Students should challenge themselves.
Teachers should challenge themselves.
I've challenged myself.
You challenge yourself.

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