Lance Scranton: Stupid questions
School has begun, and learning is in full swing across school campuses all over the country. Our particular schools are paying special attention to progress in certain areas of learning as measured by standardized tests and student informational systems that technology allows these days. Back in “the day” most teachers informational management system was contained in a handwritten gradebook and filing cabinets full of collected lessons, samples of student work, and various data that each thought important.
Times have changed and now each of our students compile a digital learning path that follows them throughout their 12 or 13 years of public education. This is done thanks to programs and technology systems that help incorporate more into the learning process than just instruction. Teachers no longer get charged by the principal at the beginning of the year to “GO TEACH” but are in constant contact with colleagues and student data, which is designed to help increase achievement and identify learning issues sooner.
Now, keeping in mind that there is no such thing as a stupid question; you might be asking just exactly why we need to spend all this money on programs that capture student data when a teacher can just do what they are hired to do? If only it were that easy… I would love my job even more than I do right now! But, public schools have taken on more responsibilities over the past 40 years and teacher, administrators, and school districts are being asked to do so much more than just teach.
It’s safe to say that the responsibilities of a teacher in a classroom have multiplied tremendously to a point where many leave the profession after the first three years. Politics, wages, unions, stress, burnout are all contributors but the essential part of teaching has remained. However, students enter the classroom with a host of different issues than might have been the norm years ago. They are still curious, still antsy, still asking why and we are getting better at identifying how to help each child learn and tailor instruction so that the most instruction takes place with the fewest obstacles.
Now, we can all agree that everything the schools do isn’t exactly to our liking or approval but what has taken place with regard to our district is the welcoming, open, and accommodating posture that helps hold things together in our local schools. All because people weren’t afraid to ask questions a few years ago and demand some changes.
Your questions are never stupid and these are your local schools. Keep us all in check and demand answers when you are concerned about what is going on in our buildings and district. I’m proud to be a teacher in our district but I ask questions all the time and hope that we continue to improve so our sons and daughters are getting our best each and every day!
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