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?