Disclaimer: this is my opinion and I am not pointing fingers at anyone specific.
Let’s talk about the education system. What the majority of us go through for 13 years, or sometimes longer. We all have our happy and not so happy stories about going through the school system.
I’m new to the education system, I work as an educational assistant. In the short time of working in the school system I have noticed some flaws that need fixed NOW. The staff that keep the schools going are great. Bravo to you. I’m going to talking about the lack of adaptations and updating on the actual education system.
I am placed in a grade 4 class. I have been there since the first of school year. It’s a busy grade. The first few days of working there you start to point out the “problematic” students, there is a good chance you are going to assigned to them. These are the students who blurt out in class, disturb the class, struggle with concentration, get bullied, start arguments, talk back. They get negative consequences more then they get positive consequences. They visit the principal so much they know what each other is eating for lunch the next day. These students that use negative behaviours are labeled as annoying, brats, spoiled and “need the belt”. They can definitely cause you to be frustrated BUT what’s even more frustrating to them is that the school system is failing them. They are bored. They “hate” school because it doesn’t interest them. Everyone is told to do the same as everyone else, like robots BUT think outside the box. They are told to be responsible BUT never get the opportunity to do so. They get pushed through year after year because they want to “get rid of them”. As the saying goes, out of sight out of mind. These are PEOPLE who will go into the world one day. We need to help them. It’s going to be hard to figure out exactly what works for them. We need to figure out why are disrupting the class? Why are they in grade 4 and struggle with spelling little words, like sky? I’m not asking that we “go easy” on these students, I’m asking that the school system change to meet the needs of TODAY’S students. There is not enough people in the schools to help everyone. School staff are stretched paper thin. School in 2018 is NOT the same as 20 or 40 years ago. We need to stop saying “they need the belt”, “they have no respect” or “they will have to learn the hard way”. Students learn differently now, they NEED engagement all the time. Make it memorable and a teaching moment. Set boundaries but also allow personal growth. Students learn best with hands on, real life experiences. Sitting in a desk day after day will not accomplish anything. Every student in that class will not learn the same way, nor should they be forced to learn one way. I don’t know all the answers on how to fix this issue but I know we can do better.
Today at work, a student in the class starting disrupting the class. After asking him to stop and listen to the teacher, he did not. We went out in the hall, asked him what’s going on in class. Why he is struggling to focus. He said “I am bored in class, I know what they are talking about”. I suggested that I making up a math question sheet for him to do when he feels bored. He agreed. Once he retuned to class, he sat down and got to work answering these math questions. The rest of the class went smooth, no blurting out, making silly noises or arguing with classmates. That is what he needed to be challenged and it worked.
I really, really enjoy my job. I want to help students. I want to watch them succeed. I want to work together to make the right changes for students.
See you on the next page,