Education

Don Scalise: Bemoaning education system does nothing to fix it (Opinion) – Charleston Gazette-Mail

Summary

I wanted to respond to the op-ed by Ed Rabel in a recent edition of the Gazette-Mail pertaining to this generation of children and the education system. I’m not entirely sure of the point of Rabel’s diatribe. He lamented the language and behavior of children and then promptly claimed the educational system is broken. I don’t believe there is a correlation between the two.

Rabel was correct when he claimed many students use terrible language. They c…….

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I wanted to respond to the op-ed by Ed Rabel in a recent edition of the Gazette-Mail pertaining to this generation of children and the education system. I’m not entirely sure of the point of Rabel’s diatribe. He lamented the language and behavior of children and then promptly claimed the educational system is broken. I don’t believe there is a correlation between the two.

Rabel was correct when he claimed many students use terrible language. They can be rude and disrespectful. Children are notoriously difficult to impress and often believe they understand life better than adults. Nothing new there. When has this not described a generation of American children? Part of educating students means demonstrating patience. I know several teachers who were kind enough to bear with me when I knew so very little.

Despite what Rabel might believe, an educator can maintain their dignity while establishing a positive learning environment. To do so means maintaining poise and composure. Yes, a teacher must have a classroom free from distractions, but they must achieve that goal in a different capacity from the past.

Education in the modern world requires a classroom predicated upon respect, and respect must be earned. Is this infinitely more difficult than simply arriving in a classroom where everyone is well-behaved? Without a doubt. Establishing a positive classroom environment requires earning the respect of students through thoughtful planning, consistency over time and numerous failures. It is no longer a given.

Any behavior a person tolerates, they tacitly endorse. Teachers must establish a known set of rules for students, explicitly identify misbehavior when it occurs, and consistently enforce consequences. If students don’t follow rules, state law and subsequent policies allow for these problematic students to face discipline referrals and removal from a classroom setting. Any half-decent administration in a school will support their teachers.

Additionally, a teacher in today’s classroom must understand children in West Virginia face a variety of problems which affect their behavior, focus and learning capability. West Virginia students live in a culture of poverty, drug abuse and absentee parents, yet Rabel bemoans they won’t catch his pearls of wisdom? If this doesn’t qualify as tone deaf, I don’t know what would.

Teachers must consider those circumstances of their students. Schools now act as broad social institutions (rightly or wrongly) that care for the needs of children beyond teaching content material. Why would a student care if you interviewed Martin Luther King, Jr. if the child is homeless?

Even when children have basic needs met, they differ from previous generations in the sense that they are quicker to question authority because authority figures in their lives let them down. As the adult in the room, a teacher can rage against that tendency, or win over the students by cultivating an environment of competency, commitment and compassion. The latter is not quick. It is not easy. But it does remind …….

Source: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/opinion/op_ed_commentaries/don-scalise-bemoaning-education-system-does-nothing-to-fix-it-opinion/article_60f74669-3a5f-53e5-a0fa-7bb37c1689f9.html