Sunday, September 05, 2004

She's Had It

By all accounts, Hipteacher is a young, committed, engaged educator with a masters degree and a great attitude. She's even got good taste in music and probably connects better with kids than most teachers, but she's had it with her fourth period class. I don't blame her -- it sounds incredibly frustrating. Luckily, she's also developed an online support network through her excellent blog, with fellow teachers offering their sympathy and wisdom.

The comment I left was probably less encouraging, because her post summons all the painful reasons that I decided not to teach after five years in education. Any system that requires constant conflict and coercion to get people to do what you want has serious systemic problems. That's probably why I identified most strongly with the questions Aaron left over there:
"Maybe its time for teachers to say 'no' to an educational system that isn't set up for learning? How can we expect any given group of teenagers to 'behave', to 'sit in their chairs', to follow rules, when clearly it is not what they want to be doing? What would they rather be doing? Playing sports or video games? Learning how to make their own movies? Doing nothing? What can we do as educators to change this archaic system of education that is in great conflict with the instrinsic factors of motivation in young minds? Why should they be forcefully isolated from what truly interests them?"
All good questions, and he puts some thought into a few good answers (and more questions, of course) on his own site.

No comments: