Blaming Teachers is not a Solution

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Teachers Wanted

 

Blaming Teachers is not a Solution.

Blaming teachers is not a solution. Using students’ test grades to evaluate teachers seems to be a questionable thing at best. Its motive, it would seem, is to get students to pass by laying that responsibility on the shoulders of teachers. The teacher evaluation then becomes a means of pressuring the teacher to get the student to pass.

One huge problem that I see with that is a moral one, for it releases the student, and here we can think of the high school student, from taking an active role in his school performance. He is not urged to go home and do his work, nor is he asked to go beyond what the teacher has given him. Putting such responsibility on the teacher allows parent and student to place blame on the teacher even when they did not do their part. It is possible that the student ends up improperly prepared for higher education because his teacher bore too much of the effort to get him through school.

The matter of the parents attitudes is of paramount importance, and not peripheral, although the present system seems to sideline it. We could ask if parents provide a quiet space for the student to work after school. Has the parent tried to establish a homework habit in the student from the early years? Is the student spending enough time doing his work, research and practice, after school? Does he have a schedule of work he does after school. Indeed raising children is a task fraught with difficulties and trying to load so much on teachers, while ignoring the vital role of parents and home is irresponsible. While the teacher’s role is an important one, there are many factors which affect the performance of the student, and putting it off on teachers is shortsighted.

Another problem is that teaching for successful performance on tests is different, in just about all subjects, from the normal teaching for learning purposes. It takes valuable time from the teachers.  Preparing for tests is something which the student needs to learn as he moves through school and is not something which should be left to the teacher.

Some of the people who are so critical of teachers, and here we are talking about the ones in official roles, seem to be taking the lazy unthinking route to improving education. If year after year teachers are being blamed, then it would seem that addressing the teacher preparation system should be given serious consideration. To continue criticizing and not addressing the training system seems to be a waste of time.

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