Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Does Superman Exist

Has anyone seen it? You can view the first part of the film here. And I believe all parts are accessible on YouTube. After watching the first half here are my thoughts...

Does Superman Exist? After watching the first half of “Waiting For Superman” it makes me wonder if there really is a cure for the American public school systems? And if so where do we even begin? From a point of view outside of a teacher’s eyes I think that improving the educational system in America seems easy. All you have to do is teach children to learn certain skills. Through the eyes of a teacher that is where the problem lies, some children aren’t learning these skills. Every day I ask myself why aren’t individual students not comprehending the skills and knowledge needed to complete an assignment? I can’t even answer the question; it turns into a blame game. I wonder if it is the way I’m teaching it- Do I need to differentiate instruction AGAIN? I wonder if the student isn’t ready to move forward because the basic foundations of previous concepts were never established- Do I reteach what another teacher had supposedly taught before? Or is it something cognitive inside this child’s head that is permitting the comprehension of this topic? How do we know? That is where the problems starts.

After completing my first year of teaching I often found myself asking when is it too much time to spend focusing on a topic just because one child doesn’t understand the skill? When is it time to move on? I never want to risk leaving a child behind in learning but as a teacher with 19 other students how do we find the time to teach individual students when we usually only have at most 6 hours in the classroom a day? With this in mind an idea comes to me, what if we didn’t teach subject matter to children unless they were ready for it? If you can’t build a house without a strong foundation how can we advance children into classes where they don’t have the basic skills to build on? It makes me wonder if we are doing something wrong in the school system. If all these children are failing then why do we pass them? I’m not sure if it to avoid social embarrassment, because parents won’t allow it, or because statistically failing students’ doesn’t provide immediate results in learning. Whatever it is I’m not sure passing these students on is helping them or hurting them.

What are your thoughts?


Mrs. Lavoie said...

Hi Courtney, I completely understand your thoughts, questions and frustrations! Luckily I am in a district that is moving into Mass Customized Learning. You need to check out the book Inevitable by Garvey and Schwahn You may want to check out the following sites: http://masscustomizedlearning.com/


It is a huge undertaking but one that I feel is so over due and necessary. I hope you find these helpful. :)

The Wild Rumpus said...

Thank you for posting about thinking critically about this film. Teachers are often maligned by the public. Maligned by the same people who don't seem to question why administrators don't take action to remove the very, very, VERY small fraction of teachers fit the profile of the lazy, uncaring, incompetent, waiting-for-summer teachers portrayed in the media (In 18 years I can count the number that I have encountered on 1 hand). As an alternative, take a look at Matt Damon's response to Waiting for Superman, a documentary entitled "American Teacher" (I think). I found it on Netflix streaming. His mother is a teacher, so he knows the truth. So glad I found your blog!

The Wild Rumpus

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Miss Southern Prep said...

I took an education class last year, and we watched this film. It was SO sad--it made me feel so fortunate to grow up and attend the wonderful schools in the area that I'm from!

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