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Archive for February, 2010

Students lazy? How about teachers?

February 5, 2010 1 comment

Students constantly get called lazy because they may be as willing to learn information that isn’t useful to them, but has anyone thought about lazy teachers can be?

An example: Have you ever taken a quiz or test, and you had an answer marked wrong that you were sure was correct? It very well may have been. Teachers tend to use grading keys – even on questions that could have multiple correct answers. Often times, you’ll put down an answer that IS correct, and when you question why it was marked wrong, the teacher will reply, “Because that’s not what we learned in this chapter.” I have to wonder, what’s wrong with that? They learned another solution to a problem, obviously outside of your class. You’d kind of figure that a teacher would be enthusiastic about a student wanting to learn something outside of class. I guess not.

Teachers are just as lazy as students. Has anyone thought about how little skill it honestly takes to be a teacher? Almost every teacher I’ve had teaches everything almost word for word as their teacher’s manual says. You don’t even have to know about the subject you’re teaching. Imagine if brain surgeons used this same method?

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Categories: Uncategorized

Pseduo-Creativity in schools is BS.

February 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Have you ever noticed how teachers will say something along the lines of “Follow rule A, B, C, D, E, F, 7, and Q” and then have the nerve to say “But be creative”! That’s some grade-A bull right there.

I offer you a definition of creativity:
the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.

When teachers tell you to be creative, they are not in fact telling you to be truly creative. When you’re given rules and guidelines, it’s simply a set standard with a few variables that you’re allowed to change.

Furthermore, true creativity can’t be forced. Most great artwork, great inventions, etc, were created when the creator found some inspiration. “Finish the assignment by Tuesday” is not exactly the best kind of inspiration.

Now if a teacher wants to get a little closer to something that resembles creativity, I offer an assignment idea for English teachers:
Writing about anything you want. Length doesn’t matter so long as it’s reasonable, as quality is better than quantity.
And of course, you should offer a reasonable time to complete the assignment, because ideas don’t come as quickly to some people as they do to others.

As mentioned in my assignment idea above, I don’t understand the obsession English teachers have with setting a minimum and maximum length requirement. Making a minimum requirement won’t make students write better paragraphs, but rather will just make them take their shorter paragraph and stretch it. I find myself doing that pretty often, and I hate it because I may have only needed five sentences to express what I needed to express, but had to stretch it to twelve sentences to fit the requirement. Something irks me about having to put so much filler text in, because filler text makes documents look poorly written.

On the flipside, a maximum sentence limit is just STUPID, plain and simple. The only thing worse than having to stretch five sentences to twelve is trying to squeeze twelve sentences into five. Ripping out possibly important details, possibly having to change the story entirely to get it to fit.. It’s sad.

Well, that’s all I have for you today. Feel free to comment.

-Eli

Categories: Uncategorized