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On Education

Politicians are constantly going on and on about how they will improve education. Get us more teachers. Better supplies. Better surroundings. Less kids per class. They have yet to deliver.
In my P.E. class there are 45 kids. There are 9 P.E. classes in my block. That's 405 kids and 9 teachers. Now some people would say "yeah, but that's not an important class.." Sorry to burst your bubble, but if a class gives me a grade, and that grade can affect my GPA, it's important. And in PE we also have health every three weeks. So lets look at it this way. Theres one teacher. 45 kids. And we're supposed to A) Learn to drive, and B) Get Certified for CPR. You can figure it out.
My friend Emma is in Algebra II/Trig, and is struggling. She can't drop down to a lower math class (IB-Algebra II in this case) because there is no room. She has math the same block as me, but I'm in the Algebra II class. Once again, theres one teacher. But instead of 45 kids, theres 34. And the teacher is, in my opinion, an idiot. We'll refer to the teacher as Mr. J.
Outside of Mr. J's are of expertise, math, he is an idiot. Sorry to be harsh but its true. He assigned a project. How many turned it in? 12. How many actually put effort into it? 4. And then, instead of making the 3 grade project into an example, and force the other 22 kids to take the course seriously, he accepted late work.
I found out something today that really angers me. (Can't find a link) A man applied to a school to become a teacher. They denied his application because "He was too smart, and might intimidate the students". No teacher is ever overqualified. Under qualified? Hell yeah. But over? Thats an oxymoron.
Maybe if the teachers were actually decent we wouldn't have lower scores then South Africa in our math programs. Maybe we wouldn't have kids on the street joining gangs and spending the rest of their lives working in McDonald's. Maybe if our teachers were decent and didn't teach everything directly from the text books kids would be interested. Maybe we would absorb the info and not mind the homework because its interesting. Maybe we would learn more from our teachers then just the basic level info. We might learn to appreciate life better. We just might decrees the poverty levels in this country.
But how do we get decent teachers. People who actually care and will help a student to understand. Well first off lets raise the salary. The average teacher's pay is pathetic. In Hawaii for the 2003-2004 year, a teacher with a Bachelors and 6 years of teaching experience is paid $35,373. Now I may still be a bit naive when it comes to this type of stuff, but I know enough to know that that is not a good wage. No wonder no ones to teach if thats nation wide. Theres no incentive.
As an IB student, I generally get good teachers. Partly from luck, partly because all the crap teachers don't like to put forth the effort necessary to teach IB. IB teachers have a lot to account for, they have to accomplish both the county curriculum, AND the international curriculum. And it's not easy. But one of the benefits is they don't have to deal with the "Gangsta" kids who think they are bad asses and too good for school.
One of my favorite teachers taught us about the first World War in a very interesting, and to my mind fun way. She wanted us to know what it was like to be a solider in a war, so she did her best to recreate it. She split the class into two groups, Americans vs. Germans. And everyone had to take off their shoes and stand in a pan water for a minute to get our socks wet. Then when everyones feet were soaked we had to build "Trenches" out of our desks and draw cards. Depending on the card you could get a limb tied up so it was useless, you could get killed in which you laid in the middle of the floor for the rest of class, or you could get lucky and get to shoot the other side with these cheap plastic dart guns. It was fun, and you can bet everyone got an A on the test for that section.
With out decent teachers none of the modern day-to-day problems in society are ever going to change. We will forever be stuck in a state of limbo where the elite rich get all the best teachers while anyone that has the bad luck to be born in the city or rural areas is just plain screwed. We need teachers; not more regulations and standardized test.


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To true about your observations but remeber rach, someone has to serve us out big macs...


i like it...very critical...but to the school...they probably dont give a crap...if you know what i mean ^.~


Haven't yet read your entire article (gotta go to work) but I think the link you saw about the teacher who didn't get hired because he was too smart was at Zero Intelligence.

And, yeah, it's ridiculous to the highest of ridiculousivity.


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