When I was in school I started out with a passion and drive to learn. I soaked in everything like a sponge. Slowly as I went down the line it seems the system lost its glamour. They get you all excited with activities and reading to only throw you into repetition and droning. I learned very little from 6th grade on. It was always just the same repetition taught by a different person every year. Occasionally you would run into a teacher that would teach with a deep passion. I would come away from their class with a deeper understanding of literature or history. The next year it would be the same old same old. I graduated, though I can't tell you what I learned the last 4 years of school. I mean, at all.
Then there was my youngest brother. It was suggested to my dad that he just drop out and get his GED. The school counselor and principal KNEW my brother was a bright kid. They knew what he was capable of. They just didn't want to take the time out from their cookie cutter programs to give him the education he deserved. All through my brother's education by dad called teacher, he spent late nights after long days at work, working with my brother on reading, math, or grammar. Only to be thwarted with notes from teachers about how my brother doesn't pay attention in class or how he never gets his work done. They didn't know how to teach him. They didn't know how to reach his brain. Maybe they chose not to? Maybe they weren't allowed to? Whatever the case may be, my brother's second Freshmen year of High School, he dropped out of school. He was then taught by my father. He passed his GED test and is now working in construction helping a good friend of his design and build a grocery store. After the store is built he will then be the assistant to the Vice President and CEO. I know with every fiber of his being and my dad's they would love to go back to that school and say, "In your face!" Wouldn't you?
"Mission Possible, written by Founder and CEO of the Success Academy Charter Schools, Eva Moskowitz, and literary expert, Arin Lavina, offers practical, classroom-tested, ideas for dramatically improving teaching and learning. Through detailed descriptions of how to keep students challenged and engaged, how to ensure that the adults are constantly learning, and how to use the Success Academies' THINK Literacy program. Moskowits and Lavina describe what can be accomplished when schools shift their focus to improving the adults' performance."
When thinking about my brother's experience in school and talking it over and over with my father we have always come up with the same conclusion. Some of the teachers may not have been the best. But the other just weren't ever equip with the resources to teach every kind of child out there. Sadly they came from close to the same system we did. They were taught the cookie cutter curriculum. Then taught how to teach that way. They were not given the resources to learn how to teach better. I believe even if they wanted to be better teachers unfortunately, on the salaries they are paid, without help or resources from the district, they don't have the money to receive that education.
Alot of teachers are parents like us. Yes, it is their job to teach your children while you work to support your family. But at the same time it is your responsibility as a parent to be involved in your child's education. Read with them, quiz them, and help them. Also, get involved with their teachers. Know what's going on in the class room. Know what you can do to help further your child's education. If all parents would help alittle more and not give all of the responsibility of educating 25+ kids a year to 1 person I guarantee, not only will the students respond better, but the teachers will perform better.
In Eva's Success Academy Charter Schools the teachers are learning every day. They are learning from each other. They are given 15 days during the school year to further their education. As well as 4 weeks during the summer at a Teacher's Success Academy. The teachers also work closely with the parents. The parents come in after school, are allowed to visit during class, and come for a Saturday Academy.
I would be excited to send my children to Success Academy Charter Schools. Their system is fantastic and engaging. Their kindergartners dissect books in ways that some High School public school kids can't. Sadly, there are no free Charter schools like that in my area that I know of. That is one of the many reasons I have chosen to be part of the 1.5 million parents that is homeschooling my children so that they won't become part of the one in four teenagers that drop out of high school every year. But I will sure be using the detailed outlines of the Success Academies' THINK Literacy program. It's AMAZING!
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