Book Trailer For Madam President

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Downloadable Classroom


If you have kids in school now then you are in the down loadable classroom. Now we are all teachers. If little Johnny or Suzy has a problem the teacher simply downloads it to the parent. The download comes in the form of emails, websites, twitters, webinars. You name it, teachers discovered the cyber world has a built in time saver--you download all your problems to the parents and you have done your job. Also, you can vent in a lovely one way vehicle called the email bomb and dress down little Suzie or Johnny's deficiencies and again the problem has been taken off the teachers desk.
Used to be a teacher had to teach. If a student really didn't get it then they had to get in there and teach...you know, convey a concept to the student who is having a hard time grasping the concept. Now. They simply let the parent know the student is having problems and would they please work with Suzy or Johnny on their science, math, social studies, reading, geography, and by the way little Suzy and Johnny talked in class, forgot their pencil, forgot to put the lock on their locker, took too long going to the bathroom, chewed gum, texted on their phone, burped, looked out the window, yawned, looked bored, laughed, scribbled on their desk and would you the parent please take care of that also?
Ok. I get it. Maybe everyone doesn't get these emails. But education has become a web based commodity and the teachers are gatekeepers. If there was not an internet then homework could not be near as elaborate and certainly any kind of disciplinary problems would be taken care of in the classroom. What the open laptop does for teachers is it allows them to vent at that moment when a kid makes them mad. They vent directly to the parent. What a luxury. How would you like to vent every time your boss made you mad or you had a problem at work. But the teachers have found a perfect get it off my desk device. Clearly the problem student is now at the mercy of Blackboard.com.
But if you are pulled into the classroom for a conference then you will be introduced to another little time saver for the teacher--the TEAM. No longer will you face off with your kids teacher--you will face off with seven teachers who back each other up. Again, think about work. You have a grievance against your boss. You meet him with seven people who back you up. I don't think so. In the TEAM world it is your word against the seven teachers. Watch out for anyone who speaks of the THE TEAM. There is no responsibility in that kind of plurality. No one is at fault except for little Suzy or Johnny and by proxy you the parent. Like the faceless void of the Internet--there is no responsibility for teaching your child.
So the only thing I can think of is to block the emails. Maybe then a teacher might pick up the phone or actually solve the problem in class. Or they might....um, five letter word, starts with a t and ends with an h....ah, I know, teach!

Books by William Hazelgrove