Our schools are doing a lot that is right. I read that the USA holds 85 to 90 percent of all the patents in the world. If that be the case, our schools must be better than China's or Japan's.
Our local school district has curriculum micro-managed that makes approximately a fourth of its teachers happy - the ones with a square personality who love to make lists and check them off. They also love to dump their work on others.
Our curriculum is driving the other three-quarters of our teachers up the wall. These teachers are the circles, triangles and squiggle personalities. Also, the children that are circle, triangle and squiggle personalities are not having their needs met. The circles are the teachers who love the most, who serve the best, and who have the noisiest classrooms. The squares have classrooms that are so quiet and orderly that one can hear a pin drop. The triangles are your strong teachers and the squiggles are your artistic teachers.
When interviewing a teacher, one might as well ask what shape they like the best - a square, a circle, a triangle or a squiggle and just hire the ones who say a square. The squares will have quiet classrooms and check off their lists of tasks and be quite happy. In this scenario, I hate to think of all the unhappy children.
Remember the quote, "He loveth best who serveth best all things both great and small" Your circles love children the best and serve the best. The squares dump their work onto the circles. The circles love and serve.
This district needs a curriculum that will serve all their personality types. We need all types of teachers to teach our children. Most little boys need more circles as teachers as most little boys like noisier classrooms.
When a teacher receives her class list, she has the reading levels, math levels, and all the scores of her children. They are in the computer. At the end of the year, the progress during her year with them is recorded in the computer. It is impossible for children to fall through the cracks now. It is impossible for incompetent teachers not to be discovered. Knowing this, it is time to turn the teachers loose to teach their own individual teaching styles. They are already held accountable.
It is not necessary to send spies from the district office. Three observations a year is ample and should be done in school by their principal and direct supervisor. The spies in the district office should be relieved of their duties. Their help is not needed. Our principals are fully capable of nurturing their teachers and providing the help they need.
Our teachers are trained professionals. They need time in their schedules to tailor their class's needs to the curriculum.
How do we do this? When God made time, he made plenty of it. We prioritize. Six hours a day for 180 days is plenty of time for the children to learn the skills at school. The state and county are requiring "too much stuff" in their curriculum. For instance in my 71 years, I have never needed to know where the Nile originates, or in what direction it flows. If I need to know that, I can Google the information. We are not educating the children to play "Jeopardy" but to know life skills, how to cope in the world, how to think, how to solve problems and how to make decisions. We can prioritize these standards and find time for the children to learn keyboarding in fourth grade, cursive handwriting in third and play kickball on Friday.
Our children need time to play. After having worked all week, the children need the last hour on Friday to play kickball in grades K-5. This free play develops the right brain of the child. The child learns to bond with his peers in kickball. I always rewarded my children with one of three things - a kickball game, a popcorn party, or an ice-cream party. My children usually voted for a kick-ball game.
Our children are loaned to us from God and are made for a specific reason. Teaching is an art as well as a science. Curricula should meet the needs of all students and use the abilities of all teachers.