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School teaching methods letting our children down

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What is it they actually teach children at school these days, or more precisely how are they teaching our children?  My daughter is very intelligent, she was a superb reader at a young age, a fast learner and loved school.  But in the last two years she has fallen behind terribly and I don't know why nothing has been done, or even why it has been noticed and never mentioned by the school until now.

At the last parents evening we were told she has made little progress in the last couple of years when they checked the previous teachers report (a report we knew nothing about).  Anything that's creative gets her attention, but she can sit through a whole day at school daydreaming and regularly doesn't hand any work in at the end of lessons!!  When I ask her about school she says she doesn't understand what she has to do.  When she puts her hand up to ask a question, the teacher is always too busy and she gets upset and feels stupid.  The teacher said that she cries a lot and that he doesn't like to push her because of that.  I thought the teacher was supposed to be in charge of the class?  Apparently these days it's not like that at all!

They go out on trips to local pizza places to learn to make pizza (is this what they call home economics these days?), spend half a day sewing a prayer mat (we are not Muslim).  They don't even know the National Anthem or the Lords prayer for that matter.  They spend an afternoon visiting a landfill costing us 4, but have to stay in the coach because its dangerous.  I could go on but you get the picture.

I help my daughter her homework and she never struggles with it, but I have to explain some things which an eight year old should already know.  After the parents evening I purchased some basic maths books and have been working through them with her.  I am amazed at the basics she hasn't yet mastered: tell the time, simple addition and subtraction etc., the kind of stuff she should have been taught at the beginning.  Its no wonder she is struggling.

I went to see the head-mistress to have a chat about this and she just said "a sticker chart might have some success."  What?? For her or the teacher??  I ask each day how she's getting on at school and I'm told that and I'm told that she's doing fine but I do wonder.  I heard on the radio a while back that more and more children are leaving primary school unable to read and have poor basic Maths and English skills.  I thought at the time that it would be the sort of thing associated with one of the poorer council areas, but I'm not so sure that it isn't a more widespread problem judging by the teaching methods at our local school.

School teaching methods letting our children down My gripe is that teachers no longer appear to have the skills themselves to teach our children, relying instead on photocopies from teaching aids, printed materials etc.  They're working through a list of skills that are supposed to be taught, but they don't actually understand how to teach a child.  They all want to be our child's friend and my daughter used to sit on the lap of her year one teacher - which I was appalled at.

The homework for this term is a 'challenges project', which appears to be a random list of things to do; make packed lunch, make a dolls outfit, draw a map etc.  Almost laughable since they aren't even being taught the basics properly.  I don't know what they do with the children all day and I'm very tempted to take my daughter out of school and home educate her instead.  My eldest daughter is the complete opposite and has always excelled at school, but her teachers were more of the disciplined kind with traditional teaching methods.

By: Anna


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Han

Han

I agree with this posting 100% and I am a teacher myself. Teachers are bound by so much in the way of box ticking for ofsted that it becomes increasingly difficult to fit in the teaching of basic numeracy and literacy skills. Many teachers today hate our education system but are powerless to do anything about it. The government are responsible, and the politicians who make all these ridiculous demands which create our overloaded curriculum haven't been near a classroom since they were children. But as usual, teachers' views count for very little. I wish I could help.
Han
7th Oct 12 22:21

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miserablemoaninggit

miserablemoaninggit

DSG, I ask you to be somewhat more careful. I think your reference to gay s*x is inappropriate. You are implying that gay s*x is a choice, and that teaching could actually make any real difference to a child's sexual orientation. It cannot! Remember, a significant number of children attending schools will be gay, and any school that promotes being gay as a lifestyle - not a 'choice' one - that is deserving of tolerance and, indeed, respect, is a good thing. Schools should be concerned with teaching the children to 'think', rather than brain-washing them by constantly practising exam papers, so that the children themselves equate a good education with the mindless monotony of practising for exams, and that there is only one correct 'examiners answer', rather than promoting an enquiring, thinking, questioning mind. I think education in British schools today is essentially 'moronic', and a succession of governments are to blame because of their constant need to 'quantify' everything. Education needs a major, fundamental, 'root and branch' reform!
miserablemoaninggit
13th Mar 11 20:02

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DSG

DSG

You can't send your children to school to receive something you would recognise as an education. Instead, they'll be brainwashed into believing that gay s*x is the right-on way to go, that the heat-death of the universe is going to happen in five years' time and that Divali and Ramadan are important.
DSG
13th Mar 11 19:56

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miserablemoaninggit

miserablemoaninggit

DSG, I agree absolutely with every word you've said. Those teachers I know have a favourite topic of conversation: How can I get out of teaching?
miserablemoaninggit
24th Jan 11 14:49

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DSG

DSG

Teaching was a reasonable job back in the 80's-90's but I wouldn't dream of doing it now, and actively discouraged my own friends from even thinking of it as a career. You're overwhelmed with paperwork, hedged about with rules, regulations and procedures that are frequently unintelligible, tested and moderated and mentored and appraised until there's nothing left of you, the hours are ridiculous when you take into account the stacks of marking and preparation you are required to take home at the end of the day, the kids can't keep their mouths shut for more than ten seconds at a time and you're too knackered to appreciate the long holidays. And to top it all, you have to work alongside people who don't have the balls to do anything about it for fear of being "draconian".
DSG
22nd Jan 11 22:34

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Bagpuss

Bagpuss

I just submitted a gripe on the foundation phase. Absolutely terrible. In Wales they learn entirely through play through the infants, supposedly to cater for boisterous boys who can't sit still and thus get turned off by school and fall behind. Well I disagree. Kids need training, training to listen, to write, to read and to hold a pencil correctly, to form letters correctly. Chaos reigns supreme, and guess what, I, as a special needs teacher in secondary am having to pick up the pieces and teach my grandkids myself in the evenings.
Bagpuss
16th Jan 11 19:45

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DSG

DSG

Please,someone tell me how learning about dead English kings will help me in the future?
DSG
10th Dec 10 19:11

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Lisa

Lisa

Continued:
That being said, let me get to the information I did want to pass along. I am not sure if you have requested an SST as we call it, Student Study Team, which reviews problems she may be having and develops an action plan to help her with interventions, but that may be something to consider. You may also consider having her assessed for possible processing disorder, which can be easily done at the school through a battery of assessments. Early intervention is key, so please look at all options before pulling her out of the public school system. There is a lot of programs that can help with various learning issues, you just have to find out the core of the problem. Good luck with everything and remember that although your daughters may have been brought up the same way, they may learn differently. She sounds as if she is creative, so try teaching using that avenue. If you need ideas, feel free to email me at I_Love_teaching76@yahoo.com
Lisa
18th Nov 10 02:31

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Lisa

Lisa

Anna,
I understand your concern and do feel for you. I am a special education teacher/reading intervention/behavior intervention teacher at my school in the US. I will preface this by stating that budget cuts are hurting our children and our educational system. That being said, I won't complain about what we do not have, but rather focus on what we do. We have an education system that is do what it can with what it has. I know that there are some teachers out there that may be teaching only for the paycheck, which is extremely sad and a disservice to our children, but they are a minority, a small percentage. Most of the teachers I work with are there because we want to teach these kids everything we possibly can from life skills to core curriculum. We are limited with resources indeed, but we work with what we can and are creative with what we have to work with. Research has proven over the years that teaching lecture style does not work for all students, they need to be active participants in learning, and they have to take ownership of what they learn (hence the projects). Explicit Direct Instruction and Response to Intervention are two research based and peer reviewed programs that my district uses. It is a lot of work for lesson planning, but in the long run it is the most beneficial for the child. Everyone learns differently, but most people do learn through seeing and experiencing. Teachers are not lazy as some comments have reflected, nor are they only teaching to the test. We are moving quite fast, I admit, however, we have a lot of information to cover in limited time.
Lisa
18th Nov 10 02:31

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Andy

Andy

I am a trainee teacher at the moment and I very much agree that teachers are not doing enough right now. But times are changing, we are researching and implementing new strategies and techniques that will benefit millions of children. I would check out Every Child Matters if you ever get the chance. Something to think about would also be that not every school is like the school that your daughter attended. Please don't let one school cloud your judgements. Thanks, Andy
Andy
1st Nov 10 21:11

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miserablemoaninggit

miserablemoaninggit

Education in the UK is now just an 'examination treadmill'. Teachers, pressured by league tables and performance related pay (until the money runs out!), get their students to practice, practice, practice and more practice of examinaton papers. If a students makes the mistake of asking a question about a subject not directly linked to this process, they are told 'You don't need to know that, it will not come up in the exam'. A modular exam system effectively means that even if they fail the 'real thing', they can resit, and then resit, until finally they've mastered the 'technique', given the correct 'buzz words' expected by the examination boards, and then they pass. Of course, in all of this, there is very little real learning going on, and certainly there is very little development of the ability to 'think', including to 'challenge', to 'question', to 'make links'. New teachers to the profession know no different to this process, and rather pathetically they pride themselves on their students exam results, thinking that they have done a good job, whilst condemning the more experience teachers as 'passed it', and 'cynics' who need to be put out to pasture. Meanwhile, the students aren't getting a real education, and the future of the UK is probably going to suffer as a result!
miserablemoaninggit
3rd Feb 10 23:34

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The Old Fart (Retired)

The Old Fart (Retired)

I am in the process of writing an essay on education in the US today. I was thrilled to find that I am not the only parent who feels his child is being cheated out of an education by the use of politically correct, socially acceptable, progressive teaching methods. Every year, I have seen the content of the material presented to my kids decline to the point of nothingness. The teachers do not seem to be qualified to teach, or are being instructed to only provide the necessary material to pass the tests. I wonder where the world will be in another 40 years when these kids have to make any decisions based on knowlege learned.
The Old Fart (Retired)
31st Jan 10 00:44

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gill

gill

Teachers are not lazy ,they have a lot of red tape,to contend with; when my children were at school I gave the teachers my support as I was not blinkered thinking my kids were angels they were not ! and classes are ridiculously large and all the goverment are worried about are statistics,I feel sorry for the teachers ,we could all work for a day in their shoes.
gill
28th Oct 09 18:23

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aleedsfella

aleedsfella

Lazy teachers is the main problem and their only concern is their pay packet and career. they would rather go on walks to visit local mosque's than teach our children Maths and English. Our schools are more concerned with social conditioning and Education comes second. also the teachers at my childrens school keep swaping kids from class to class and splitting up friends. How the hell are our children going to develope their social skills if they are never allowed to form social bounds.
aleedsfella
29th Sep 09 11:20

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Nikki

Nikki

Daz:

Only someone very stupid would make a remark like that.

Clearly you are not a parent who has experienced state education in this country.
Nikki
13th Aug 09 14:26

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