Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Little Disturbing

My mom is a junior high teacher's assistant and works in the study hall room.  We were talking the other day and she told me the students are no longer required to memorize their times tables, most don't know how to tell time unless it's on a digital clock, and all students are allowed to have a calculator at all times so they don't know how to work out math problems on paper.

Does anyone else find this a little disturbing?  I asked why they weren't teaching these basic things anymore and she informed me they were teaching it but due to the state exams they need to pass, they were called proficiency tests in my day, they don't have time to spend teaching one topic if everyone doesn't pick it up immediately.  This is just sad to me.  I remember learning my times tables, and I don't think it should be necessary for a child to use a calculator to figure out that 3x4=12, and not everywhere you go will you find a digital clock.

 It concerns me that if teachers don't have time for kids to really learn these concepts, due to the focus that's put on state testing,  what else are they not having time for.  Is passing a state test so important that we should skip over these basic things, and will this not hinder them in the future.  When I took my State Boards for nursing I don't remember being able to use a calculator and there were many tests in college I was not allowed to use one either.  How are they going to be able to succeed in some areas later down the road if they don't know these things?

I have a great respect for teachers and I think most of them do a great job with all they are given now a days.  My uncle is a principal and was an amazing teacher for many years.  I don't think our educators are given enough credit for all they do and put up with, nor do they get paid what they are worth, and now they aren't even given enough time to teach kids how to tell time.  .

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