Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Opus 2014-264: Blame the Teacher

One of the mantras I keep hearing is about the terrible teachers that are the cause of the ill prepared graduates of our institutions.  I hear a lot about these terrible teachers when people are upset with the results of education.  I am not sure I have met any of them at school.  I would accept that there are people who should not be in the classroom.  I would accept that there are some for whom it is only a job.  I know that many are not bright enough or wise enough to contribute much.

In other words, we are just like the rest of the population.  Millions of people play golf.  Many of those I have seen should never be allowed on the course.  I am so bad I don’t even dream of breaking par.  For me an incredible day would be to break 100.  I can still help someone who is brand new and wants to learn.  I will never be a Tiger Woods, but then he may never be Tiger Woods again and as great as he was I would not want him near my daughter after what he has done.

We blame the teachers.  We blame the parents.  We blame the system.  The one thing that we refuse to blame is the key element in the entire process:  The student.  I have students that will learn and achieve no matter what I do.  I have others that learn nothing no matter what accommodations and adaptions I make.  I like what one teacher said years ago when looking at student test results.  One student has shown awesome gains over the previous year.  He said, “I am not that good of a teacher.”  Another student, in the same class, had taken a nose dive in his test scores.  The teacher said, “I am not that bad a teacher.”

Honestly, I don’t even look at the test scores from the yearly standardized tests unless I am forced to do so in faculty meetings.  Standardized tests are useful if written properly, administered correctly and taken seriously.  None of those conditions apply in public education.  I have seen tests that asked questions the students could not answer because they used different vocabulary than our text books and ask questions about areas of history that we were not supposed to cover.  I have seen questions that ask about a map that was not on the page.  I have seen questions that clearly reflect the political bias of the writer.  I have seen questions with more than one correct answer.

In spite of all these flaws in education, students still learn.  Some come out with the knowledge and skills that are necessary to be successful in life.  Why?  Because the student wanted it that way.  While some graduates of college have no problem finding productive and rewarding work others flip hamburgers.  Of course one chose a hard major and worked their tail off while the other majored in something with “Studies” in the title and partied for many years.  One wanted an education.  One wanted a good time.  Both got what they wanted.

In spite of the school.

In spite of the teachers.

In spite of their parents.

I have said it before, and I will probably say it again, you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, but you might make some great chicharones. 

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.