Do any of you have to teach

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by GTB4GT, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Aug 15, 2015

    a curriculum and/or standards that you don't agree with or buy into?

    Background - Recently our district just switched to a more "integrated" math curriculum as well as the state adopting new standards that could best be described as a "hot mess". My issues with it is that it appears to be a hodge podge of seeming unrelated topics and does not have the natural flow and progression of the old curriculum.BTW, I do not teach an EOC course and my classes are not affected by these changes - I have all the "other stuff" that the more senior members of the faculty declined (more preps and/or uncomfortable with the material).

    My colleagues are a hugely demoralized by the change (as I would be too). Although they are professional enough to be doing their best, you can tell they have little or no passion for this new curriculum and standards. (And these are people who I respect btw.)

    So, the question to you is - are you or have you been in the same boat? How do you handle teaching standards that you don't buy into?

    Some possible responses are -
    a) "fake it 'til you make it"
    b) "I am paid to teach x,y and z so what I think doesn't really matter"
    c) "I know what's best for my students and I will teach them accordingly"
    d) "it's just a job and I only have x number of years until retirement"

    any other thoughts. TIA, I am keenly interested in this topic.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I don't love some of the CCSS math standards. I am obligated, however, to teach them so I find ways to break down the standards in ways that my kids understand. I have been teaching long enough to know what standards really need the most attention (and time) in the grand scheme of things, but I hit them all.
     
  4. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    thanks,czacza. I suspect that this is the approach my colleagues are taking. However, I can sense that have little or no enthusiasm for the endeavor and and am left to wonder how much this consciously or unconsciously (sp?) carries over into the class. Let me reiterate, I have a great deal of respect for my colleagues - they are (or were) passionate and effective teachers.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The one constant in education is change. We need to do the right thing by our kids and are obligated to teach the curriculum. There are always creative ways that we can do that without sacrificing our dedication and passion. Kids know when you're faking it and they are influenced by teacher attitude. If we as the professionals cant (or refuse to) adapt, how can our students?
     
  6. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I am judged as a speech and film teacher by how well my students do on the reading section of ACT family tests. So I have to include a certain amount of test prep in my courses, which makes no sense. I'm able to integrate it pretty easily into speech, but not always film. This year I found some books and twice a week we are going to learn vocal words from famous movie scenes. Cheesy, but hopefully it will be enough.
     
  7. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    thank you for the reply, MissCeliaB. This part of your quote is what is most intriguing to me...how much time are teachers spending doing "what makes no sense to them"? and how they deal with that dichotomy in a way that is productive to them...or, more importantly, their students? The intriguing question that prompted me to post...can a teacher be effective if, deep down inside, they are teaching material or curriculum that makes no sense to them?

    I certainly appreciate the mindset of those who take the task at hand and go forth and give it their best. Reminds me of the quote, "mine is not to question why, mine is but to do or die". I have a great deal of respect for those who can soldier forth with this mindset.
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I tell my students that I think it's silly, but required. I also tell them that their test scores and important, and list a number of reasons why. Then I tell them that I'm going to make the requirements as interesting and as related to the course as possible. I think I teach the material effectively, even if it's not exactly how I would like to be teaching my course.
     

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