We told our daughter, who is now in her third year at Stanford, that it didn’t matter how good a teacher was, learning was her responsibility. We also told her if she had an incompetent teacher, she was to tell us. She only told us once K – 12, and that incompetent teacher in 9th grade was a long-term substitute who could not control the class after the regular teacher had a baby and went on maternity leave. Our daughter came home and told us that boys in that class were doing strip-tease acts when the sub turned his back on the class to write something on the board.
When that happened in our daughter’s 9th grade English class, I taught her what she was missing at home after school and on weekends. I also let the principal know what was happening in that class and he eventually replaced that sub with an older, retired teacher, who happens to live down the street from us. But that took a few months.
The parent has a vital job and instead of complaining and putting blame on teachers when kids do not learn because he or she isn’t reading or doing homework, the parent must be held responsible for the child’s learning. When kids are not learning, the root of that problem may almost always be traced back to a parent and/or parents and the attitude or parenting style.
How a teacher interacts with his or her students differs from student to student based on individual perception. Some students may love how a teacher teaches while others cannot stand the same teacher and uses that as an excuse not to learn.
After recent media attention about teacher quality, I have been very concerned about the message this sends to students.
While I have no doubt that quality teaching across all schools is something the NSW government should be addressing, as a student I feel the attention placed on teachers is disproportionate to the influence they have on producing an educated generation. It’s up to students to be motivated in the pursuit of academic success.
I am lucky enough to have encountered many highly qualified teachers but though they have all received university degrees and are all knowledgeable in the areas they teach, other factors have affected their ability to ensure student achievement.
If students are not inspired by what they learn or how they learn it, they will not go home and develop study habits such as completing homework on time, revising before tests and being…
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