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Teachers who know too much

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#21 Broph

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 06:10 AM

I wonder if we should worry about tact, though - maybe we really need a wake-up call. When kids today can't find the United States on a globe, that's a problem.

"fool" is a pretty common term - its meaning may have changed over time, but it's always interesting to know the source of the word.

Almost everyone who has learned anything about Catholicism has heard of the "Immaculate Conception", but I'd bet that 80% of those people couldn't tell me correctly the name of the person immaculately conceived.

#22 Drew

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 07:12 AM

Broph, on Jun 9 2004, 06:08 AM, said:

Almost everyone who has learned anything about Catholicism has heard of the "Immaculate Conception", but I'd bet that 80% of those people couldn't tell me correctly the name of the person immaculately conceived.
Well, I always thought it referred to Jesus, but some Catholic friends of mine tell me that it actually refers to Mary--the idea being that the only way Mary could have borne a child without sin was that if she, herself, were immaculately conceived.

But that's a discussion for a theology thread.
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#23 Drew

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 07:13 AM

White Tiger, on Jun 9 2004, 02:00 AM, said:

Una...what does "temerity" Mean? and are U just showing off?;)
Ask a teacher! If the teacher knows the answer, complain to the administration!  :cool:
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#24 gadfly

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 07:51 AM

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On the specific topic of this thread however: I would advise against taking these at face value. As plausible as these sound, they are strictly anecdotal and one-sided. There's no way for us to get the other side of the story, so to speak. I also think Nick did a great job of demonstrating how complex these situations can be..

What Rov said.  I'm assuming there's a lot more to this story than is being told.  It's extraordinarily unlikely that, in this time of need to hire qualified teachers, this person was fired for merely answering a question in a knowledgable and/or tacky manner.   She would have to have a documented history of such behavior as well as other evidence to suggest that she's more trouble than she's worth.  And then, for her to go on line and b*tch about it is about as non-professional as you can get.  It sounds as if she's figured out that she doesn't belong in the teaching profession anyway.  I say it sounds like the district did her a favor.  She'll make more money in the end anyway.

Just because someone is knowledgable does not make them a good teacher - teaching is a skill despite what those who've never stepped foot in a classroom will tell you. Please excuse my bitterness. I do believe that you need to know your subject matter and know it well but you do need to have some tact when dealing with students of any age or you risk alienating them to the point that all that they're doing is sitting through your class.  Now that's productive isn't it?  :wacko:

As someone who's taught kindergarten on up to post bacc students, respect for the students as learners and individuals is a prerequsite to good teaching regardless of subject manner.  If the phrases that teacher used to describe the reasons why she wasn't granted tenure are true to what the district used then it is entirely possible that she made no effort to connect with her students and that is her job - not just to be a walking encyclopedia.  

You can teach subjects that are not encouraged in the community, remember that you are teaching within a community and that you are contract bound, yes I said contract, to uphold the standards of the community, as long as you do so in an appropriate manner. I managed to teach about Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Judiasm in a town considered the buckle on the Bible belt without one parent complaint.  It's all a manner of method, thought, and respect in my opinon and experience.

#25 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 08:06 AM

Una Salus Lillius, on Jun 9 2004, 01:30 AM, said:

Well said LOTS!    :cool:
Thanks.  :)
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Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

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#26 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 08:09 AM

Drew, on Jun 9 2004, 07:11 AM, said:

White Tiger, on Jun 9 2004, 02:00 AM, said:

Una...what does "temerity" Mean? and are U just showing off?;)
Ask a teacher! If the teacher knows the answer, complain to the administration!  :cool:
LMAO! :lol:
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

The Left is inclusive, and tolerant, unless you happen to think and believe different than they do~ Lord of the Sword

Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” ~Thomas Jefferson

#27 Drew

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 08:21 AM

All good points, gadfly, yet the initial incident mentioned above still troubles me. The administration told her to pretend she didn't know something in order to avoid offending a student. I suppose it's possible that the administration was freaking out that the discussion involved religion, and that was what they wanted to avoid. Although it's impossible to discuss literary classics without bringing in the Bible because of all the Biblical allusions one finds. If that's the administration's problem, perhaps they should stop teaching literature altogether.
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#28 gadfly

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 11:01 AM

^ I agree, if that was truly the administration's response.  We don't know if that's truly the case or not.   It's not beyond the realm of possiblity, I'll admit, for admins to be so fearful of suit that they tell their teachers to pretend ignorance but it is not the norm, I would guess although I admit I've been out of public K-12 education since 2000, and it bothers me that one questionable incident can cause people to question public education in general when, if this person's account is accurate, the school district's administration should be scrutinized instead.

I do believe that public ed needs to be reworked as it is based on an outdated philosophy but I think this particular issue, if true, stems from the American obsession with suing over every little thing so that most teachers will not teach without membership in some union - not for pay raises and such but for legal protection if sued.

#29 Drew

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 11:29 AM

Oh, you'll find a similar kind of thing in private schools as well. The parental influence is often felt more keenly because these people are paying customers.
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#30 G1223

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 11:52 AM

gadfly, on Jun 9 2004, 03:59 PM, said:

I do believe that public ed needs to be reworked as it is based on an outdated philosophy
Which one? that if we teach the child about multicultrualism rather than reading and writing he will be a better person who cannot read,or the teach the child to read and he will grow up culturally lacking?

That to me is what messed up education. It took away from the basic thing of teaching. Add in the need for schools to have athletic programs? Why do the kids go back to school two weeks before labor day if they are going to be cut loose  for a three day weekend right after starting up school? So that the school system can have football in warm weather and make money from the attendees.
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#31 the 'Hawk

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 11:58 AM

Two things:

1) Nothing scares me more about teaching than an administration which lets itself be cowed by parents.

2) Everything I learned about teaching, I learned from one man. Elim Garak. It's all about making yourself look like something *other* than a sanctimonious, self-righteous twit. People hate that. Especially parents. If anything, you do far better by trying the plain, simple method. Just do what the career teachers apparently do: fill out the attendance sheets, put the lesson on the board, and read the paper. Any questions? Ask the smart kid. Not the teacher. They don't fire smart kids. Unless they become teachers.

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#32 StarDust

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 11:58 AM

It's funny and sad.

The teacher did nothing but relay facts.  She didn't appear to make any judgement calls at all.

All of those things are fact.  That's why such and such was said, x is in the bible, and so forth.  It's history.  She wasn't saying anything about whether it was right, wrong, or indifferent. You can't have understanding without the facts.

And that's the sad part in so many areas today.  Information is essentially forbidden.  And when people relay facts, others get upset because they see it was an endorsement or condemnation of something, when it's not.  Personally I also think it's because people don't want others to come to their own conclusions. And they are threatened, if judgement A is wrong because of fact A, then maybe the rest will be dismissed also, and they don't want to risk that.

But it's also nothing new really.  It all depends in what area you grew up, live in, era, etc.  How bad it is goes up and down, a pendulum like everything else.  The whole "Politically Correct" agenda is no different than what happened to people that stated the earth was flat or whatever, it just tries to put a pretty face on it and basically says "don't say anything that isn't condoned or that might threaten the wrong people". And heaven forbid you speak of facts.  That would get in the way of revamping history every decade to suite someone's purposes.

And my favorite these days where people think they can somehow manage to not have to take responsiblity for anything, never mind their own choices.

#33 Norville

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 12:09 PM

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tossing around words like "pulchritudinous" just makes you sound even more arrogant and pretentious.

OMG, this person has a vocabulary and knows what words mean! We *can't* have that!!

Quote

The PC attitude of this country, as a whole, is extremely frightening. You have parents who scream bloody murder as soon as somebody even looks at their child wrong, because GOD knows their child is perfect.

Yeah, how about the time when I was on a bus, a kid was freaking out loudly, I dared to glare over, and the mother snarled at me, "Shut up, b*tch!" That's *so* helpful. How about learning to control your spoiled little brat?

There was also a time in a library when I was working in the children's section, a bratty little girl was throwing books around, and I used my glare on her. She ran to what I assume was her grandmother and cried about the "bad lady". (Help, help, I'm being oppressed by the System!) I went to the supervisor and let her know, just in case the child-spoiling grandmother got it into her head to complain about my reaction. (Ooh, complain about staff wanting to keep the library in order and treat the books with respect! Gotta love people.)

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Una...what does "temerity" Mean? and are U just showing off?;)

Hey, White Tiger, if you were serious, there's this amazing new creation called a "dictionary", which everyone should have. ;)

Re: education and touchy students getting teachers in trouble with parents -- my mother was a teacher back East (Connecticut) in the 1950s, and because she came from California (born in Berkeley/Berserkly!), the administration considered her a Commie. (So, why did they hire her? Goodness knows.) She knew things that caused her not to fit in. She horrified her students by informing them that Jesus had been a Jew (well, come on, he *wasn't* a Christian...), and they reported her to their parents, who reported to the administration, and the principal called her in and wearily asked if that's indeed what she said. In those times, it was also absolute anathema (White Tiger, another word to look up! ;) ) to even mention Red (Communist) China, because, even though there was this huge country, it wasn't officially "recognized" by the US at that time -- fortunately, Mom never broke *that* taboo. :rolleyes:
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#34 gadfly

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 12:16 PM

G, the outdated philosophy I was talking about is the one where the basic goal of public education is to create good, basic workers.  I just don't think that's enough today.  We need thinkers, not just followers, and that requires a different approach.  What your referring to is the inclusion of programs that attempt to make up for a well rounded upbringing which is certainly lacking in many areas.  When schools are no longer required to parent as well as teach than your approach might just work.  I, unfortunately, don't see that happening anytime soon.  

And I'm not sure how muticulturism is counter to teaching reading and writing?   Why can't the three be integrated?  That would be the smart way to go.  But what do I know, eh?

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Add in the need for schools to have athletic programs?

I think athletic programs are a good thing as long as they don't overshadow academics which, unfortunately, what they do in many schools, particularly here in Texas.  Athletics are a good thing for many students, giving them an opportunity to suceed in another arean, offer teachers, administrators, and students an informal opportunity to get to know each other and the rest of the community.

Quote

Why do the kids go back to school two weeks before labor day if they are going to be cut loose for a three day weekend right after starting up school? So that the school system can have football in warm weather and make money from the attendees.

That's your area.  I'm not sure that all districts make that decision based upon the football schedule but high school politics and needs do tend dominate the needs of the rest of education.

Quote

The teacher did nothing but relay facts. She didn't appear to make any judgement calls at all.

That's her side of the story.  How do we know this is fact?  

Quote

But it's also nothing new really. It all depends in what area you grew up, live in, era, etc. How bad it is goes up and down, a pendulum like everything else

I agree that this is very true but it's not always manifested in the same way.  This "political correctness", no matter what its form, will always be present as long as there are individuals who are concerened with how and what their children are taught.

Edited by gadfly, 09 June 2004 - 12:20 PM.


#35 Cheile

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 12:24 PM

LORD of the SWORD, on Jun 9 2004, 03:22 AM, said:

When I have children I think I'll enroll them in a private school. You know a school that will actually teach the child.
oh PLEASE...private schools are more corrupt than public.  believe me, i went to one.  the bullies were punished better at public schools than at the private school.

private schools are what make so many hate Christians--the schools are run by hypocrites.

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#36 the 'Hawk

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 12:28 PM

EDIT: No, it's better I don't.

:cool:

Edited by the 'Hawk, 09 June 2004 - 12:30 PM.

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#37 Kevin Street

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 02:17 PM

Cheile, please don't make sweeping generalizations. There is a wide spectrum of opinion on these issues. Everybody doesn't hate Christians (Far from it!), and private schools are not all run by hypocrites. Imo, a term like hypocrite is pretty loaded and useless for this debate, because we're all hypocritical about something.
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#38 Cheile

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 04:51 PM

Kevin Street, on Jun 9 2004, 07:15 PM, said:

Everybody doesn't hate Christians (Far from it!), and private schools are not all run by hypocrites. Imo, a term like hypocrite is pretty loaded and useless for this debate, because we're all hypocritical about something.
i've yet to hear of a private school that wasn't worse than a public one as far as disclipining the problem children.  the term hypocrite fits the admin of the school i went to--they said they had "no tolerance" for bullying, which was pure BS.

and i didn't say "everybody", i said "so many".  at least half of those who have shared my experiences with private schools being worse than public now are pretty much anti-Christian, whether or not they can be friendly/civil towards Christians like me who are friendly/civil to them.

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#39 Cardie

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 06:46 PM

You know, there are private schools that aren't Christian schools.

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#40 tennyson

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Posted 09 June 2004 - 07:26 PM

Private schools can be associated with any religion or no religion whatsover. So as Cardie mentioned not all private schools are Christian schools. I'm not sure where to find statistics but I'll see what I can do.
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