What did you HATE or (just dislike) most about school?
Include teachers styles/personas, curriculum issues, irritations and serious complaints. (And don't say you were dead and don't remember ...
unless of course, that's true.)
… also improvements that could be made.
In first grade, we were under occupation of The Hungary and I disliked being forced to learn this funny language; besides writing and rereading was going on i my native Slovak and the official Serbo-Croation all on daily basis. (Welcome to the world of confusion.)
Teachers who talked endlessly about their personal lives irritated me.
These were usually the English teachers trying to fill in time, it seemed, and bored with their day.
Creative writing stopped in sixth grade.
Grades given for understanding other authors instead of fostering creativity and self-expression.
… because you can't grade self-expression and self in-tune-ment?
Proper grammar, spelling and editing should be stressed by English teachers through writing rather than through reading, in my opinion.
I learned to write by keeping very detailed journals as a child, teen and beyond.
Writing is thinking slowly and clearly.
Writing leads to reading and not the other way around.
… and this understanding is helpful in teaching the very young to read.
They need to learn how to write first.
In fourth grade, my elementary school offered music lessons. Of course, I wanted to play the cello.
was I allowed?
NOOOO! - well, that instrument IS a little big for a ten year old.
My complaint is that no one duly noted and facilitated my interest in learning to play music.
Why was I not allowed to take music lessons?
Because my grades were not all A's and B's. However I believe music lessons can help all children become better students.
All children have a natural interest in music and enjoy singing tunes. Eventually, I found a great piano teacher and I am learning to play. I have discovered a technique of learning/ teaching music by depicting the notes in color and having students write their own music. Writing music notation enables them to learn easily/quickly to read music and play notes. And of course, depicting the notes in color is what enables easy writing and then reading/playing. (Literally based on the chromatic scale, where A is violet.)
I always enjoyed group choral practice in elementary school. My sixth grade teacher had us putting on plays where we painted scenes for the back drops, designed costumes, and sang songs. She was exceptional. She allowed us to bring home the auto-harp, taught us ukulele, introduced percussion techniques/rhythms and choral singing. She immersed us in the creativity and beauty of art and music along with academics.
This was good. What is not good, is as a sub K-12, I do not see this kind of teaching today. Maybe the district does not allow/facilitate it.
For obvious reasons,
Right now, as I keyboard, millions of children are stuck in school. Every single day they get up and drag themselves (or are dragged) out of bed. They obediently go through the morning rituals and eventually find themselves in their classrooms listening obediently to their teachers. They try their best to do assignments which today are generally too advanced. Mathematic Concepts are expected to be absorbed and retained minus the background/basis of the Concrete Realities of Arithmetic:
"College professors are distressed by the low level of understanding of Algebra and Arithmetic by large numbers of White as well as Black students as they enter college -- even students who have taken calculus in high school. This concern prompted the local college math professors' professional association [ the MD/DC/VA section of the MAA] to issue its statement "ON MATHEMATICS PREPAREDNESS" College math professors decreed: "Students should be able to perform Algebra and Arithmetic calculations, without the assistance of calculators." This is the opposite of the MD HSA on calculators-based Algebra, which effectively mandates the exclusive use of calculators for Algebra."
Also from the above report:
“Children who have been mathematically abused () are much less able to benefit from mathematically competent teachers when they finally reach them. One lesson our current elementary school teachers convey powerfully is that math is too difficult to understand. Because knowledge of mathematics correlates strongly with economic and political achievement, the mathematical education of all elementary school teachers is the paramount equity issue. As Will Rogers said long ago, ‘You can't teach what you don't know any more than you can come back from where you ain't been’.”
Back then, I remember being often confused when presented with math concepts. In first grade, my beloved teacher, in front of the whole class room explained in great agitation: "You have two cookies and if you eat one how many are left!?"
"Oh!" I said, "One. "
"Well, that is subtraction!"
Why didn't she say so in the first place?
Today it is even worse. Children are taught horizontal style algebraic equations before basic vertical style arithmetic starting as early as first grade.
Children need to understand why we use math and how it applies first and foremost. I was finally introduced for the first time to the number line, (neg and pos numbers to either side of the middle zero,) in college!!! Was I the victim of of "mathematical abuse?" (or what could that term actually mean?)
What was expected as we went through school? Sitting very still and listening quietly. And we adapted. We learned to be obedient to the teacher, listen blindly to concepts and regurgitate them on tests for the purpose of being graded ...
Section FOUR: Valuing the Now!
Teachers teach usually for the purpose of some future result, such as grades or tests. They do not allow students to enjoy NOW in learning.
I remember sitting at my homework desk at home. I had to define English words. I had to learn how to spell them ... for fun? for creativity? For some present time literary purpose?
No, for a test! Sometime in the FUTURE.
What is the point of homework? (I ask as a kid.)
We do not know or care. This is because we kids do not develop our frontal lobes, where the sense of time is, until about twenty four! Teachers need to teach to the now in us. Contests, games, classroom challenges, group projects would be stimulating and enable us to experience (and therefore retain,) our academic lessons in present time. To sit there class after class listening to YOU trying to literally cut open our brains and stuff (whatever YOU deem to be pertinent) info into them is hard for us to handle ... Yet you did and still do.
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