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U.S. education sucks, and other observations

When the top folks at Intel and Microsoft think our education system is, to understate things, inadequate, I think that's a good reason to sit up and listen.

All the bullshit accountability that the Bush administration, and to a certain degree the Clinton administration, has forced on the public school system has done is force schools to teach kids how to beat standardized tests. I know it's a common complaint for young teachers that they feel like they've become a slave to this nonsense.

On my current contract gig, I work with an Indian guy that also spent a lot of time in Singapore. Culturally, he found it odd that I have no formal education in computer science, but accepts that I've made up for that in terms of real experience. Still, he makes a strong case for off-shoring not in terms of cost, but in terms of available brains.

One thing he said that struck me as not-so-obvious is that India and Singapore spent so much time under British rule that one of the biggest influences that came out of that was one of European education. He feels that India's constantly expanding middle class exists because there's so much emphasis on learning technology trades, in the way that the U.S. once emphasized industrial trades. The problem is that we never switched our focus. There just aren't as many well paying blue collar jobs around anymore.

Personally, I see the failure of our educational system every day on the message boards I run. I don't want to call the kids stupid, because I don't think that's it. They're just so incapable of forming complete, written thoughts (with actual grammar and spelling) that what they say is not readable. Heck, my wife sees this failure all of the time as a graduate assistant grading undergrad papers.

What's the solution? I don't actually know. I'm not suggesting that we should be a nation of rocket scientists, but if we don't get our shit together, we will fall desperately behind the rest of the world. Trade issues can't be solved by legislation... we're living in a global marketplace now.
Posted: Mar 03 2005, 11:04 PM by Jeff | with 48 comment(s)
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darren said:

1. Stop worrying about the kids self esteem and focus on three R's,

2. Remove bilingual education, it is a waste of time, effective communication only works when everyone speaks the same language,

3. Have more interscholastic competitions and have all students participate. Students need a reason to learn, competition is a good motivator.

4. Start a journeyman program for the students that don't want to go to college.
# March 4, 2005 2:27 PM

Jeff said:

1 & 2 sure are narrow-minded opinions, especially the second one given our global economy.
# March 4, 2005 2:44 PM

darren said:

I'm not saying that you should abolish learning a foreign language, far from it. I'm refering specifically to teaching hispanic students bilingual -- it is a grave disservice to them.

And if the opinions are narrow minded, so be it. There is a problem, it needs to be solved so stop screwing around and solve it.

What I see occuring in the education system are students learning how to pass a specific test to graduate, not learning why they need to learn. Schools are babysitters.

# March 5, 2005 12:19 AM

Cindy said:

In business and technology for 20 years ... now, I'm a first year teacher. After 1 1/2 years at the University to get my credential I would disagree with darren. After less than a year teaching, I would agree ... teaching is babysitting. By trying to keep all kids on the same page, fewer kids can excel -- alot of kids are brought down to the lowest denominator ... everyone scapegoats ... I do not think money will fix our problems. I also however think the motivation to go over seas has more to do with saving bucks and the 6 to 1 cost for resources overseas compared to the US. Question people who claim people are better educated outsside of the US - this is about money. EDU may be broken but don't let people use this as an excuse to move jobs. Yes, it sucks. And, even if most parents and students are wonderful - all it takes is a few dysfunctionals to feel like ... teaching sucks too.

# March 18, 2005 5:35 PM

James Gambrell said:

Our education system is a twisted beast indeed. After early elementary school it has usually worn out its welcome in the minds of most children, after which point it becomes more and more counter-productive with each passing grade. Past elementary the typical american school becomes a social playground and babysitting service. While these two functions are useful for society and child development, the cost is teaching children to hate learning.

Our education system is patently unscientific and inneffective. Whenever reforms have been tried, they have failed. At this point the education establishment more or less totally ignores research in educational psychology, because it doesn't like what it reads. This is due to the fact that research indicates that learning is essentially a self-directed activity, dependent on the desire to learn. Our current system absolves students of their natural love of learning at a very early age. Often subjects broached in the classroom become more or less permanently tainted with negative feelings in the students minds.

Forcing children to learn Shakespeare, for instance, only teachs them to hate Shakespeare. The real purpose of education is not teaching Shakespeare, but teaching love of Shakespeare. Unfortunately, American educators lack the imagination to accomplish this. American values, oddly enough, don't give kids the freedom they need for real learning, and thus we are stuck with the current, somwhat fraudulent system.

# April 1, 2005 12:30 AM

Patrick said:

Yes,I do agree that the school system is a messed up fake system trying to cover up the fact that the people that are making these teachers teach this crap are idiots indeed...Most of it will never even be used in REAL life and the students soon forget it after they leave high school ( or collage if they decide to go. ) So they should only teach them stuff they will actually use in real life, like technology education or basic math and some complex math needed for jobs, not math so complex it hurts there heads and its totally useless.

# January 16, 2007 2:29 PM

Becky said:

Shame on you, Cindy and Darren!  Teachers are more than babysitters!  We are also parole officers, social workers, nurses, and whipping posts!  I love teaching; unfortunately, I get to do very little of it.  Instead of leaving no child behind, we need to leave SOME kids WITHOUT a behind.

# March 12, 2007 10:41 PM

jen said:

I disagree that educators lack imagination. I am a teacher who is filled with imagination however my administration frowns on any lessons that have any imagination at all, they want me to teach from the book. By doing this parents also complain a lot less.

# May 23, 2007 7:59 PM

Augie said:

I am a teacher, there are blue collar jobs out in this world.   I teach in a vocational school, we work with industry, ask what they need and then teach.  Some may think this is just a way to wimp out on college but this is not so.  Good car mechanics can make 60k +, so can master electricians.  A good programmer makes around 70k (in my neck of the woods).  If you don’t believe me ask yourself how much a plumber or an HVAC man costs per hour when he comes to your house. I promise vocational schools and Jr. Colleges are not for dummies.  

# June 1, 2007 7:57 PM

G Simm said:

I teach in Canada and education is the exact same here: an over financed, under administered baby sitting service. After four deplorable years in this mind numbingly mundane job, I'm going to pack it in. The students, by and large, have no curiosity, the staff only discuss the local sports team, there is nothing intellectual about educational babble (although it purports to be) and, like one of the previous posts said, education is a self directed activity. No amount of money in the world can get people to read who don't want to read. Not to mention the overwhelming tendency for most kids to go home and watch hours and hours of TV; the Googleization of their lives and the stupidity of pretending that people can learn from 8.30 to 2.45 epitomizes how inanely asinine this system is. No one learns when you say "learn". They learn because the mood is right and they want to learn. What BS. Just shut the system down and let students work.
# June 14, 2007 10:03 PM

Patti said:

I agree teaching sucks.  You can be an amazing teacher and one acusation from a student or parent and you are put on the "hot spot".  You aren't allowed to know who has acused you either, even in our court system you can know that!!!  Principals also suck!  They are covering their butt, so they don't really care about yours!!!

Students that are smart and quiet are left in the dust...all of our efforts are placed on students who need ESL or are behavior problems!!!!!!!!!!!

# June 20, 2007 5:01 PM

Jon the Englishman said:

Hey - it's the same in the UK, where I teach.  It's not just your kids who will be left behind the rest of the world.  It's the kids (and countries) who already have it all or can get it all too easily that don't value any sort of education, along with those who have started to grow up with parents who don't value an education or offer very poor role models.  My school is good on paper and frequently raved about (not only be the head teacher, who is believes every plaudit, but strangely doesn't teach a lesson himself).  We are all teaching to pass exams, not teaching because the kids want to learn or because it might be fun or even useful to know the stuff being taught.  If we could teach our own way and our own content they might even start to enjoy school!  But what are the chances of that ever happening.  (Sorry - I've just had a bad day).

# July 9, 2007 10:56 AM

Elisabeth said:

Amen... To all that was said...  I have a handful of students who cause so much grief that the sweet, well-behaved angels that I have miss out on fun and in-depth learning.  I feel like I am walking on eggshells for my special needs kids... ESL, SPED, etc... so as not to get sued... I am left with no recourse for the students who have been raised poorly, and are allowed to get away with practically anything due to their "label."  I have to hang on for dear life just to keep control of classroom...  I feel like I have accomplished something when I make it through my checklist of daily activities, but this leaves me with no room for exploration or growth..  

# August 31, 2007 10:24 PM

Sarah said:

It helps to see that I am not alone.  one of my classes has about 30 kids. They are the lowest in my subject (LA)and also the ESE kids as well. They are the most needy and worst behaved kids we have. Oh yes, it is also the last period of the day. All I get from the administration is yes we understand your problem but due to the scheduling this year we can't seem to find a solution.

I feel like I have been set up to fail.

# October 3, 2007 8:10 PM

bones said:

I agree with Jeff-- the system is absolutely horrifying. Yes, it sucks. It's always been that way too. The kids know it, the teachers know it, and parents will continue to whine and complain. The folks who don't give a shit about the system are the administration thugs. They just want their paychecks and closed-minded views to be expressed.  Let it be known that in the U.S. our kids are certainly screwed, our teachers are screwed, and our politicians are incompetent Nazis.

# November 16, 2007 11:15 AM

Samantha said:

The education system is so concerned with standardized tests that so much information is jammed down these kids throats every year.  Kids must know complex math in elementary grades.  Many students don't know anything about world geography when they leave high school.  Teaching to the standardized tests has failed our students.  Teachers cannot enjoy teaching because they are forced to stick to math and reading/writing.  I am a foreign language teacher and was recently told that I must start practicing more on writing prompts in English so that I may help our students practice more for the "big" standardized test in our state.  It seems that they are not interested in making students well rounded anymore.

# November 16, 2007 8:06 PM

catterwonky said:

I just googled, "teaching sucks" and got this blog. Burnt out in December. This No Child's Behind Left act is kicking this behind for sure. I am thinking of changing my career and going back to starbucks. Seriously. Anything is better than this.

Why do we as a society believe that anyone with functioning ovaries qualifies as a mother? Oh, congratulations, you gave birth to healthy baby which you can now go ahead and ignore, and still get presents and flowers on mother's day!

And back to NCLB: Data? Meaningless. Standardized testing? One has to believe there is a standard, a "normality" which is just pigeon-holing. What NCLB act has done for special education in this country is leaving more kids behind than ever.

I am becoming bitter. Does this country deserve the stupid adults this act will create? But the current adults voted in G W Bush! Twice!! "O, Canada, my home and native land..."

# December 6, 2007 5:32 PM

Daniel said:

I am a first year teacher, and I have already been cursed and threatened in my classroom by several students in almost all of my 5 classes. I feel sad that many of my students don't care to learn, but it really bothers me when I am accused and cursed by the parents as a bad teacher when in actuality I always try to help every student succeed in class by offering extra credit, and more time on homework. I do have a mentor,and he helps, but the bitterness is rising within me to quite after this year. The American educational system is doomed. I am starting to fear entering my classroom because now some student may try to accuse me of trying to teach them to be good students, which many are totally bad to begin with at my school. What is point in teaching these kids if they just don't give a damn. I have high school students that don't know how to add, subtract, divide, and multiply fractions. They cannot even setup a word problem that requires them to identify several prime numbers from 1 to 52 without  going into a frenzy. I feel stupid for being a teacher; however, I will be damned if some stupid kid  is going to force me out of teaching.  

# December 8, 2007 6:27 PM

Tired of Teaching said:

10 year teaching veteran here.  I've burned out once before and took two years off.  Now I feel like I'm burned out again and resentful at myself for putting my family through this again.  It's a hell of a way to try to make a living.  I'm finishing this contract and never coming back again.  I am looking forward to a regular work day and family life at home after work.  I will not miss the ungrateful (or apathetic) parents, disrespectful kids and athiestic institutionalized politically correct non-learning.  I pine for the future of our country and culture.

# January 23, 2008 12:22 AM

DJ said:

WOW-I googled this and here I am. I am FRUSTRATED by the higher ups, the fact it is ALWAYS the teacher's fault when students don't preform. I am tired of the fact that in my state K5 is not required, and it is okay to drop out at 16-what message does that send? I am tired of families who TELL their kids, "It's okay-I never was good at that either." I am sickened at the excuses made by some, while the rest of us pay for their lack of motivation. I am angry that a principal can "give advice" when he/she hasn't set foot in a classroom for years. I HATE the ten hour days, and the 5-6 hours or more that I spend on weekends, I hate not being able to afford a vacation over break, esp. as I see my lowest student taking off for Hawaii during a schools in week. I am sick of violent kids, over crowded classrooms, students who have parents who are in gangs, on drugs, drunks, and are violent in front of them. But most of all, I am so tired of being tired. The weird part is-I still have love for this work-nothing beats the smile on a kids face when they get something, nothing beats the enjoyment from seeing them go from hating learning to loving learning-

# February 4, 2008 2:16 AM

tcurry1977 said:

James my friend I wish you good luck.  That first nut job parent or kid who throws a punch at you will be the real test (and it will happen).

# February 10, 2008 8:58 PM

yet another frustrated teacher said:

Wow!  I've been feeling emotionally drained and wondering if it was just me... GUESS NOT!  I love teaching, and I taught half-time for a while when my children were small, and it was PERFECT, except for the cut in pay. :)  I've been fantasizing about going back to half-time.  Of course, I still WORKED full time, but I was able to feel that I was doing the job well, as opposed to now, where I just pull myself and my students through as best I can...shortchanging job one week, family the next, and on and on...

My sympathy to all teachers...I don't think anything is going to change, I just wonder how long I can hold on and manage to have a positive attitude on MOST days.

# February 16, 2008 1:16 PM

DJ said:

James (1st year teacher) give it 5 years-

# February 19, 2008 11:39 PM

DJ said:

The one thing I would love the answer to is... why does administration run a school totally different than the way we are taught to teach children? I see recess cut, specials cut, "more time on task," less prep time, and my state at the bottom. Yet, when we were on the top we had MORE recess, specials and prep time-hmmm, I bet my students could figure this problem out-why can't the people who run schools?

# February 19, 2008 11:44 PM

marisa said:

I have been teaching for thirteen years and I am currently taking an unspecified leave of absence because of the the horrendous treatment I have endured from my principal. Around Christmas the principal got a few calls from parents accusing me of saying things I didn't say to the kids and rather than ask me, she wrote me up and started to observe me or have others observe one to two times a week. I got called to her office at least once a week to hear all the things she thought I was not doing properly. I started therapy for grief issues but have spent every session talking about the emotional hell I have been going through at school. Between the principal and the ungrateful and apathetic students I was cursed with this year I an lucky that I haven't had a nervous breakdown. The teachers I was ordered to observe did the same things I did but I guess she still thinks they are better than me. I guess a master's degree and futher post grad credit mean nothing these day.

# February 26, 2008 10:23 PM

DJ said:

I am resigning from my school and will be out in June. I am tired of the wishy-washy rules, the lack of fun in teaching and the HUGE amounts of paperwork. Not sure where I am headed, but I can't handle the back-stabbing and the principals temper-tantrums! I had one teacher say to me, "He's coming I don't want to be seen talking to you!" This is in a "CHRISTIAN" school-JEEZ NEVER AGAIN!!!

# March 9, 2008 9:16 PM

jason said:

Great thread ya got goin' here.  I'm a teacher and my main issue is with the principal.  Why do they have to treat us teachers like we're children too?  I seriously despise the fact that too many principals are borderline Nazis.  It shouldn't have to be that way.  Sadly, that's why many of them are there-- for POWER TRIPS.

# March 19, 2008 4:42 PM

DJ said:

Jason-YES!!! Ours treats us and talks to us like we children and he is the ANGRY parent. I believe that as teachers we do CARE and want what is best for kids, but I feel as if we aren't supported in that area. It is like being dumped in the middle of an ocean of sharks and being told to fix the problem with no paddle or boat. I want classes to help deal with kids who are violent, I want breakfast provided at my school for kids who don't get it, I want after school homework help given to kids. What I don't want is to be told that I should just deal with it and if I can't deal with the issues and make the kids happy and willing to learn I am a BAD TEACHER! JEEZ!!! I would like to see how the principal would feel if he/she were kept up past 11pm, not given breakfast and had to wear dirty clothes to school AND were only 8 years old. I bet nothing would help that except a nap, some food and a change of clothes.

# March 20, 2008 9:54 PM

Josh said:

If you want to be a masochist...try teaching art.

I could go on and on about how my teaching experience was utter hell.  I could write a book on it.  Thankfully, I have quit teaching after 3 years.

I don't know what any of you here taught, but I was an art teacher.  First off, I had to move to another school/town at the end of each year.  Why?  Well, there were budget cuts, see, and the art teacher (along with music, gym and associates) are considered miscellaneous faculty.  We're disposable so that a vice-superintendent, superintendent et. al could have a raise.

One year, I taught in a private (Catholic) high school filled with borderline criminals upon graduation.  Almost as bad as the stereotypical "inner city ghetto school" Hollywood and South Park portrays.  Aside from the drugs, there was a mouse infestation, bugs, some rats and the ocassional bat the janitors did nothing about.  The principal was one of those "invisible" ones who rarely left his highly polished, executive office.  The room I and other teachers taught in had ceilings and walls with grafitti on the outside and asbestos on the inside.

Second year, I taught between an elementary and a middle school.  The buildings themselves were better, but the administration at the elementary school was lousy.  Once again at both schools I was put in a room in the basement where I never saw the rest of the faculty.  There were a LOT of rotten apples in the elementary school due to poor parentage.  Of course, I got the blame when they never behaved.  Did they need "structure" and "nuturing"?  Perhaps, but what they REALLY needed was something from "Young Frankenstein":  "SED-A-GIVE!  Give him a sedagive!"

Third year, I taught between 3 public elementary schools.  The kids were OK, but the teachers and administration was worst of all.  There was more backstabbing, eavesdropping and corruption there than anyplace I worked.  I taught ONE art lesson not from the textbook to a fourth grade class.  It was a basic drawing exercise "see what you can make out of just squares".  The fourth grade teacher (who was there as I taught the lesson) began roaring and screaming at me like a drill sergeant in front of the class.  "That is not could you...they can be challenged're not much of a teacher at all, are you" and so forth.

I told the prinicipal about this and as a result, I was swooped down upon by her and the school's administration.  I was treated much like a criminal at many, many after school "meetings" designed to "just go over some things".  Each "meeting" was the same:  how poor of a teacher I was, how everything I did was wrong, etc.  It turned out that the 4th grade teacher was one of the head honchos of the state teacher's union...with unlimited power.  Apparently, no one messed with her.  I had found out too late.

I was pretty much forced to resign.

I thank God often that I am not a teacher anymore.  Mercifully, those days are finally behind me.  I have let my teaching license lapse and started a new career that pays better and is much better for me.  I can sleep peacefully, I can eat without feeling nauseous, I actually have a social life and happy things to look forward to, and I owe it all to quitting teaching!

# April 12, 2008 12:31 AM

Tyler said:

Becoming a teacher is the worst career decision anyone can make.  You will end up babysitting a bunch of poorly-raised, indifferent punks and will be paid a measley salary even with a masters degree.  Most kids con't care...their parents don't care... administration doesn't care...leading to the teacher giving in and not caring as well.  Now I have sentenced myself to a useless degree that will not provide for my family or give me personal fulfillment.

# April 28, 2008 4:54 PM

DJW said:

Parents need to support us. I have students who come an hour to an hour and a half late everyday! One of the other teachers who has the same problem with a student was told by the mother, "I'm just not a morning person."

I feel the USA is screwed -our future is in horrible trouble! Most kids I see CAN do the work-they don't want to. They have found that by playing "dumb" the work load is easier, and they have more time for fun. The sad part is it works because nobody is holding the children and parents responsible.

This generation of children won't have the factory jobs to fall back on. Many of my parents don't get it...they figure it will all be okay in the end. What they don't get is they are hurting for money, and jobs-why would they want their child to go through that?

In addition to that, I now see a "please the child and parents" trend, so they stay rather than go to a new school-which means behavior wise the kids rule the school.

I cannot care FOR them, all I can do is guide them. This is a rough profession to be in, and I do NOT see it getting better anytime soon. It is hard to stay when I don't see the results I would like to, but for me that ONE kid still makes it worth it. The one kid who smiles and wants to learn is why I am there.

The problem is the ten who don't, the violence, the crack-head parents, and the parents in gangs...there needs to be a change, but not with teachers...the wheel is broken, and we are being made to drive the education car down a super-highway going 120. Until the wheel gets fixed nothing will change. The saddest part of all is when you read teacher letters from the 1800's they said the same thing.

# May 1, 2008 12:19 AM

me said:

Here's a thought-maybe our government doesn't really care if we have well educated students...maybe the NCLB act is just that, an act- because it was set up to be that way.

Think about it this way>>> With jobs going overseas for less than half the cost,having US people do the low paid jobs,and illegal immigrants doing the even lower paid jobs the rich can get even richer. The high-tec jobs can now be sent overseas as well because the US just doesn't have educated enough people for those jobs. They can pay a lot less money to people overseas, and then blame the teachers here for not educating the population, so of course they now "HAVE" to go overseas. All while filling their pockets with more money.  

My thought is IF the US was so concerned about education why are they allowing all the crime to come into the schools? Why aren't they changing the tardy and truancy laws? Why isn't K5 mandatory? Why can 16 year olds drop out? Why isn't there more money going into education and furthering students' education?

Just a thought-

# May 1, 2008 12:38 AM

Moira said:

Education sucks. Why is that? It is done on purpose. Mediocer leaders don`t want an educated populace. When someone owes his position entirely to his connections that doesn`t make him qualified. You certainly don`t want a surbordinate smarter and more knowledgable then you are. That situation would make you look like the moron you really are.

They simply forgot that well trained employes for business enterprises in the country must be trained and nead some basic proper education. If not, get your future staff in foreign countries and close your useless schools. You will save alot of money.

Then there is the more and more self evident fact that our members of the teaching profession cannot teach what they themselves do not know.

In Quebec,Canada, 50% of future teachers flunked their entrance exams in university in their own mother tongue! And they will be required to teach it? Wow! In Canada, America, western Europe, good books, qualified teachers who know their academic subject and a proper curriculum and adequate preparation to final exam are all deficient.

Therefore, it is no surprise if 60% of Canadian students flunked History,55% of students don`t graduate high school in major urban centers, and some say the real numbers are more like 60% failure in the whole province. Some students are encouraged by school staff and schoolboards not to even try to pass provincial exams required by the ministry of education to prevent the school`s rating from falling lower. So, U.S. nabours, do not despaire, you are not alone.

The reality is simple.The disgusting garbage quality of education persist, because no one is accountable and it is not a political priority.

All schools have a rating of 1 on 10. If your school is rated 8 it means 80% of the students at this school succeded at provincial or state exams. If your school is rated 5 or 4, now what does that mean?  You can compute that. Those ratings are published and you can find them on the internet.

More and more parent home school their kids simply to make sure they learn the basics academic skills neaded in life. (reading, writing, maths,geography, and a little arts, history, sports)

Find the solution that works best for you.

# July 23, 2008 6:12 PM

denise said:

Of course teaching sucks.  We're dealing with the social downfall of this country.  Parents are inept and don't know anything about raising children to be motivated and respectful.  Their kids are lazy and overindulged.  I have been doing this for 30 years and have seen the change of our society, and it's not pretty.  I feel sorry for teachers just starting out.  Get out now!!!

# September 14, 2008 7:38 PM

Angela said:

I think what people here fail to understand is that we are being held accountable for teaching upon certain standards each year, (often not well taught in the primary years or perhaps not well founded in some senses)to people with various levels of ability. It is absolutely ridiculous to say "here is a test that, when we piloted it, less than 1/2 the kids could pass" and then expect that 100% of children will is called your state's high stakes exam, and is different in each and every place. So much for accountability, right? When we have to go over students' heads to teach to the test, we certainly should expect some problems with behavior. School, as one poster above noted, was put into its current state of affairs largely during the industrial movement, manufacturing education, so to speak. Not exactly innovative, imaginative, or useful to our time anymore!

# September 24, 2008 10:30 PM

JT said:

These comments are interesting.  I am frustrated in my teaching job, and my situation is not as bad as many who have written above.  

We have a new president coming to office.  I wonder if, slowly, we will see some positive changes in the world of education.  With the financial crisis, it seems teachers and schools are not a priority at the moment.

I think it would be smart to have math and science teaching become a required appointment for many entering fields of engineering and science.  Then, for their services, they ought to be offered the option to continue teaching on a step 3 salary if they like it and received positive evals.  

I teach MS math right now and I wish I were better at it.  I wish I had time to make my lessons more worthwhile.  This is my third year teaching and I am angry at the education system, that it is so fragmented nationally, so uneven, so outdated, so unfair.  I want to do something about it.  I could be the best teacher in the world, happy as a clam, but still the system around me is broken.  As it is I am not the best teacher, and I don't envision I will be the best teacher I can be for a very long time.  I don't want to wait that long, and my students deserve better than that.  

# November 8, 2008 1:03 PM

doddie said:

My son just started teaching in an urban setting. He has only taught a few months and is already discouraged with the school system and the way it functions.  The kids are the result.  Take away the fact that these inner city kids do not have much in the way of family support or any other kind of support, and you will find that they generally don't care.  They have been educated in a system that if they don't fit they will probably drop out. They need to conform to the system instead of the system conforming to their needs.  This does not make sense but is the way it is.  Things need changing alright.  It is a long time coming.  But hopefully  somewhere out there are young teachers that are willing to fight the system to make it better for these kids so they will have a chance.

a concerned mother

# November 16, 2008 11:40 AM

Myroon said:

I agree with everyone here and especially with Butters8754. There are many bad students in our system, but there are bad teachers/professors also. I am a good student and have been since elementary school. I have always been interested in learning and I still want to learn more. I am currently a Junior now in college and will be a Senior next year. I really hope our education system becomes better than what it is now. Asia, Europe, and even some countries in Africa are surpassing us.

# May 11, 2009 3:01 PM

Jess said:

Well, well, well- notice how at the end of this thread, all of the blame has been put on the teachers.


# August 15, 2009 3:41 PM

Hal said:

Teaching is extraordinarily challenging in this "electric" era. Make no mistake... more so now than in the past. All of society is undergoing massive change and we are under a full blown media assault...26.5 hours a day. The trouble is, we've been bought off on all fronts. Read Marshall MacLuhan "Understanding Media" (1964), or view some postings of him on You Tube.

We live in an ocean of programmed media with explicit and embedded messages... extended and "always on" to batter and better butter our brain into absolute whipped numbness and narcissism. The overly thick bureaucratized brick and mortar public school system with its subject divisions and diversions is fascinatingly obsolete and PLANNED to remain STATIC while creating APATHY and three ring circus stupidity in spades. It does a FANTASTIC job of programming and dumbing down its little and big citizens (willing operatives) who do NOT think or perceive of our oppressive (cleverly designed and induced) reality "critically". We are set up to be a part of this mess, and no amount of tax money will change this reality, unfortunately.

But, for the time being, if you must teach to survive or feed your family, do it with loving the "Art" of teaching. This takes away the pain, temporarily...until you can get out!

# November 6, 2009 8:52 PM

Mark said:

The biggest part of the problem is that ALL of you teachers are unqualified.  Not one of you can even write properly.  Education majors were the dumbest students I ever met in college (and that's including football players).

# February 15, 2010 12:49 PM

Jeff said:

That's the single most asinine generalization I've ever seen.

# February 15, 2010 3:13 PM

Not Naive Anymore said:


# May 8, 2010 4:59 AM

sam said:

I wish they stop giving second or third best answer on a test.Tricking a person taking the test only making that person retaking the test over and over again until he/she remember the answer.I guess from a GED student point of view,that test like this will not repel any one goal but to ankoring them.

# July 22, 2010 6:44 AM

Noah said:

Minimum wage laws, child labor laws, public education - Do away with these and we'll make some headway.   Would someone rather be unemployed at $7 an hour or employed at $4 an hour?  Youths used to learn a trade like auto mechanic working full service at a gas station and assisting mechanics between customers,  

# October 28, 2010 10:52 PM

stan said:

Time to get off the toilet bowl which is public ed, in the USA. Kids suck, admin. sucks, parents suck.  Hate this God awful job-BIG MISTAKE.  Do ANYTHING BUT BE A TEACHER IN THE USA--ANYTHING!!

# March 8, 2011 10:14 PM

DaffyDuck said:

Hello my students who found a comment above and thought it was me.  Remember three things in your life: nothing happens in a vacuum it is easy to fake an internet ID and my name is not DaffyDuck.

# October 11, 2011 11:54 AM

Yo Teach said:

I hate it. I changed careers for this "noble" profession and it is slowly killing me. I am so close to a Masters that the state forced me to get and now I want out. What a waste of time and money. But I should have known. Public education is controlled by the government and pretty much anything the government runs it complicates and diminishes in quality the minute it sics its ruinous fangs into it. If the teachers could make the decisions - ya know, those people that actually do the work and understand who the students are - things would be very different. Instead, we have megalomaniac politicians and stressed-out administrators (many of whom sucked as educators and could not handle the pressures themselves and hopped a train for bigger digits in the bank account)calling the shots. And what we get as a result is excessive paper work, idiotic laws, bloated, unrealistic Special Ed measures, apathetic brats, irresponsible parents, whiny colleagues, angry administrators and the list goes on and on.

It's no wonder that those that have the dough send their kids to private school - I certainly would if I could. But private school sucks for teachers as well, because they don't get paid. The private institutions know this is understood and so nothing changes. It's no surprise that people get "burned out." There are countless other professions that don't contain even half of the stress and frustration as being an educator in the US. Man, do i feel like a fool. If you are intelligent, ambitious and want to enjoy your career DON'T BECOME A TEACHER! Or at least in the public sector.    

# May 5, 2012 5:32 PM
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