Friday, April 6, 2012

Blog Assignment 10

This is a circle of colored pencils.
Do You Teach or Do You Educate?
After watching Do You Teach or Do You Educate?, honestly, I was a little bit irritated.  People try so hard to put labels on things.  Yes, we, as teachers, should inspire our students.  We should also be great mentors to them; however, we will not keep a job if we just mentor and inspire.  Let's be honest here:  teachers have to TEACH as well!  Why do kids go to school?  They go so they can learn information that their parents cannot teach them.  Teaching morals and giving guidance should be a job that primarily belongs to the parents.  I understand that a lot of parents don't do their job.  I also understand that teachers should be setting a good example for the students.  I just don't understand why this video acted like learning knowledge was a bad thing.  We would be very dumb individuals if all we ever learned in high school was morally and socially related.  How would a child ever learn to think outside the box if they never learned what was inside the box.  People have to know some facts to be intelligent.  Without these facts, we would never be able to learn social rules because we would not understand what the conversation was about.  We have to know grammar to speak and to write properly.  We have to know history to understand how we got to where we are today.  I just hate when people try to put down traditional teaching.  We need that tradition, too.

Getting back to the comment I made earlier about losing our jobs, how will our future principals grade our teaching performance?  The answer is tests.  If students do poorly on standardized tests, we are not doing our jobs.  How will students do better on these tests?  They have to learn information.  You would never be able to do a math problem if you did not know the formula.  I remember the first time I took the ACT.  I thought to myself that my teachers could have taught me more.  All my skills were excellent, but it wasn't because my teachers taught me so much.  Most of the information was either taught to me by my mother, or I learned it on my own.  I have always been fairly good at writing as well.  Was that because my teachers showed me what I needed to know?  No.  I learned through trial and error.  I think about my fellow classmates, and I feel bad that our teachers did not teach as much as they could have.  Some students are not blessed with a mother that can teach them things they need to know.  They get all their education at school.  I just hate that attention is being taken away from learning.  Yes, teachers should be good role models.  I believe that whole-heartedly.  That is why they don't allow convicted felons to be teachers.  All I am saying is that someone needs to be there to teach the facts.  Kids can learn the other stuff through experience.

Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home!
When I read Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home!, I was a little bit baffled.  It is strange to think that some teachers actually have this kind of mentality.  So, if bringing a pencil home causes lower test scores, we should ban pencils.  This is just weird.  I know I talked about test scores in the first section of this post, but I didn't mean that teachers should do everything including making students stand on their heads to ensure good test scores.  Some teachers do think of "learning" in this way though.  They act like learning is some sort of magic trick.  If they read an article that students who fasted for three days every week did better on tests, they would want to try it.  What happened to just doing what is rational?  Everyone tries to get around doing what they are supposed to do.  I think about someone who is on a diet.  Everyone knows that the key to weight loss is eating right and exercising, but people will try any dumb trick to get around this.  They will listen to anything they hear on television.  If a commercial says you can lose ten pounds in a day by taking a diet pill, they will try it.  We have to use our brains.

We owe our students a good education, even if that means actually teaching them.  Yes, actually finding ways to make learning easier for students might be difficult, but that is the field we are going into.  We have to realize also that creativity is a form of learning.  The woman in the blog post acted horrified because students might play hangman with pencils.  They are using their brains!  If the students like to play hangman, a teacher could use this as an educational game instead of just saying that it isn't helping anything.  Learning can be fun, too.  If we, as teachers, can find ways to get students to learn and have fun at the same time, we are doing our job.


  1. Susie, I absolutely loved your blog post. I could not agree with you more on your opinion on "teaching." Teachers need to teach! Great job!! Very well written and interesting!

  2. Hey Susanelle,

    I agree with you about the teaching, but I want to add to what you are talking about. When you mention your concerns of teachers not teaching the material needed to pass a test, I'm not sure if I understand your point. I would like to think of an ideal teacher as someone who taught me things that I can use in the real world, not useless information to spit back on a sheet of paper. I do agree that these tests are so important for college placement, but I wish a test didn't decide that fate.

    This is what you say: "All I am saying is that someone needs to be there to teach the facts. Kids can learn the other stuff through experience." I must say that if all I learned in school was facts, for 8 hours a day, I would definitely hate learning. Sure we all learn from experience, but why can't some of that experience be in the classroom?

    You have some great points about Mr. Spencer's post, but I think you missed one main part. Mr. Spencer wasn't really talking about pencils, he was talking about computers. He used the pencils as a metaphor for this post. Still, you had great comments on this post.

    Thanks for a thought provoking post!

    Stephen Akins

  3. I totally agree, thats exactly what teachers need to get back to doing is teaching! Great job and keep up the good work. Thanks Susanelle