Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Remember when....



“Remember when…”


I catch myself saying that phrase quite frequently as of late: Remember when we all use to try out and make our school sports team just for the fun of it? Remember when we were able to leave our doors unlocked when we left the house or even at night while sleeping? Remember when our world was not darkened by hatred and violence? I know you’re all shaking your head in agreement.

I recall my grandparents and parents speaking the same exact utterances and viewed it as a group of words that old people muttered as I grasped to appreciate the essence of comparing a new-fangled world with the previous outworn planet. I designated the expression as insignificant to wonder or ponder.

But more specifically and closer to heart, I stumble upon my muttering …Remember when teaching use to be fun?

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the relationship with my students-the opportunity to share a laugh or smile at their innocence when they remark about personal experiences. I definitely laugh at their quips of life as well as take pleasure in the instances I’m privileged to observe with their learning and discovery.

But when did the amusement fade away?

The question actually has quite a simple answer, or perhaps I believe it’s uncomplicated. Our ‘Government’ and ‘Powers to be’ decided that children need to be taught what to think, instead of how to think. They are skilled at reading questions and selecting a bubble to shade.

Children’s learning now requires rigid and staunch guidelines that leave little room for enjoyment or pleasure on both accounts of teacher and student. If there is delight within a classroom teachers need to fill out a paper ten times over to justify their every movement and thought, so rather than teachers creating, we’ve become robotic and mundane in our actions.

We meet to talk about our meeting and talk about our thinking. We give explanation and rationale to each and every deed. We gather to fill out papers as well as validate our accomplishments. We convene, assemble and gather…

Remember when teaching use to be fun…?

18 comments:

Dianna said...

I was JUST talking with another K teacher about this TODAY!!

Peggy K said...

Remember when the best reward in teaching a child was to watch their eyes when the lightbulb went off??

Now, it's all about teaching to tests. SO sad!!

Sylvia K said...

Funny, it seems several of us have had similar conversations. I know that I'm glad to be retired. I quit teaching after a number of years because I had gotten so discouraged with the school systems and all the BS that teachers had to deal with every day that had never been a part of "teaching" previously. I had some incredible jobs, worked for some terrific companies and never regretted leaving the teaching field -- and then I regretted not having any regrets! Does that make any sense at all??? Well, just the ramblings of an old broad, what can I say. Great post, Tracy!

Sylvia

Corine said...

This is like "day-ja-vo" (I should look up the spelling on that! LOL) ten years ago... I used to always think the past was better than the present. Part of it was that I tended to forget the bad, and only remember the good. Of course, it's harder to forget the present bad than it is the past bad... Then I learned that I took more time to enjoy reminiscing than I took time to live in the moment. Incidentally, I realized that I needed learn to appreciate the good in life WHILE IT WAS HAPPENING.

OK Enough rambling! ;O

PS It's great to see you again! I hope you are well. :)
Corine :D

Lin said...

LIFE used to be fun. Things are so harried and regimented now on so many levels. Sigh. We've got to remember to add ourselves into all of the requirements of life so that WE make it fun.

Ginny said...

Montessori, anyone?

Jeanie said...

You describe a sad but seemingly true situation about teaching. My daughter taught for only 6 years and left it much for the reasons you describe.
I wonder what our "remember whens" about now will be.

Rambling Dandelions said...

Or....remember when teaching used to be just teaching and learning? Which is, in and of itself, so much fun!?

I miss you.

Happy Days said...

I don't teach but I do think the way of teaching has changed from when I was a kiddo. Too much computer stuff. Half the students aren't taught cursive writing any more! My sister complained about the same thing. ...debbie

Old Kitty said...

I'm sorry things are changing in such a way. I hope you get to find some leeway in all this rigidity. I hope this generation you are teaching will grow up to be able to change such policies later. take care
x

Mamma has spoken said...

AMEN SISTER! AMEN! Like others have said, it's all around those of us who are in education.
Thank You no child left behind because you want to know the truth: we are leaving kids behind. They are the ones that are the brightest of the bright. But teachers don't have the time for them any more. Why? Because we are too busy making a silk purse out of a sow's ear....

Out on the prairie said...

I remember when they told me how much I could get by not teaching and stepped off the bandwagon.I am taking on a new assignment at a state hospital after a few years off.The rewards look like they will be there as it used to be.

Munir said...

I remember in certain villages, classes would take place under the sun, in the shade of trees when India was not industrialized. Now every where there are computers. I guess we loose some when we gain some.

Deborah said...

You are so so right! and you wrote this so well 'taught what to think, instead of how to think' ... ooh it does fire me up, wonderful post.

Jules said...

I also remember when learning use to be fun. Wish I could twitch my nose and fix this crap. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Nezzy said...

I hear ya loud and clear sister. It was gettin' pretty bad before I retired.

Remember how the students would move to one side and allow the teachers to walk down a busy hall. Heck, I needed to suit up like a football quarterback to make it two door down between classed.

Yep, I fear we are becomin' our grandparents after all!

God bless ya have a fantastic weekend sweetie!!! :o)

Inger said...

So much pressure on the children of today, I think. Not much enjoyment in the learning process. Thanks for your concern for Soldier. He got up on his own this afternoon, went outside and did his business, even barked some. He is very wobbly, but it is early days. Thanks for your good thoughts.

Mare said...

Yes I remember...I have been retired for 7 yrs and loved the creative and spontaneous days with the kids. Now lesson plans have to reflect which NY State standard that is being addressed. Yuck.
I stopped by while visiting 'Forks of the Moment. Enjoyed reading several posts.