Why Your Child’s Poor Academic Performance Is Not Just the Teachers’ Fault

When a child fails – or when they get poor standardized test results, parents become outraged and blame the teachers for the child’s poor academic performance. But is it totally the teacher’s fault?No! Not at all!Yes, there are some teachers that should not be teaching anymore but in most cases, the teacher is not the only blame for your child’s poor academic performance. So who and what can we blame for our broken educational system?Through my experience and research, I uncovered four major issues.1. Most teachers are not trained for today’s classroom.2. The leadership of the schools are selected by the theoretical and philosophical credentials earned from higher education, and no leadership development process that would qualify them to assist the teacher in the classroom.3. There is a lack of parental involvement.4. A focus on standardized testing is having negative implicationsProblem #1: Teachers Lack the Proper Training for Today’s ClassroomToday’s educational system was designed, conceived and structured for a different age! It was created during the intellectual culture of the Enlightenment and in the economic circumstances of the Industrial revolution.Our society has transformed into a highly technological culture. There is global economic uncertainty and political confusion. There is almost a 50% divorce rate and an unprecedented number of single family homes in our society. The discipline of traditional value systems is becoming the ideology of the past. Economic circumstances are requiring two income households. Politics and society have changed the rules regarding discipline and a sense of entitlement has replaced the spirit of competition for our children. These changes have created a different student however the same teachers are showing up to the classroom!Higher education has failed to change the paradigms and requirements for a teacher going into a classroom today. They continue to focus on theory and philosophy. Higher education needs to be teaching methods to stimulate creativity or divergent learning. Higher Education and all of the credentialed leaders within the system must begin to explore, learn and prepare our teachers for the 21st century classroom and not allow the government with all of its elected leaders to dictate programs like no child left behind or others that perpetuate an outdated system of learning.Problem #2: There Is a Lack of Accountability for the ClassroomIt is ironic that as we continue to hear about the failure of the teachers in the classroom, yet we rarely hear about the principals, vice principals or other administrators that should be leading the teachers and who in the greater part dictate their activities.In the military you see the officers in front taking responsibility for its system. You will never see the noncommissioned officers or enlisted soldiers taking responsibility for failures in the system. This is a fundamental flaw with our education system. Our teachers are the noncoms and their superiors, who should be accountable for the system, are not being held responsible.Currently in most school districts these administrative jobs are based on political, philosophical or theoretical credentials and rarely require leadership experience. I was surprised to learn that the process to become a principal of a school was as simple as:* Have classroom experience
* Obtain a master’s degree
* Complete a principal’s course
* Apply for open positions.If we agree that higher education is not preparing the teachers for today’s classroom, then it should be the responsibility of the principals and other administrators to ensure that the teachers are equipped for the classroom and that they have the classroom management and basic leadership skills required for leading the classroom.Problem #3: There Is a Lack of Parental ResponsibilityToday, many parents are either too busy, too lazy or they simply don’t care that they don’t get involved in their child’s education. This means educators now have to plan around those parents or continue to face the demise of our educational system.Problem #4: We Are Focusing on Standardized TestingStandardized testing is hurting our schools. Instead of teaching our children what they need to succeed – we’re focused on getting them better test scores.We have also taken away skill trades and almost all of the other career opportunities out of our school systems with a focus on every child is going to college. The reality is every child is not going to college and higher education is not preparing its graduates for the 85-90% of college graduates that will not get a job in there chosen career field.

Public Schools Vs Home Schooling – Which Provides The Best Elementary Education?

If you are a parent then you probably already know that children learn best when they are young, it has been proven. What does this mean for you though? It means that when it comes down to deciding where your child will get his/her elementary education you should think about it long and hard.What should you do? Let your child go to a public education system to get their elementary education or should you home school them? This is a hard decision so here is a basic rundown of both of the two and you decide which would fit your child best.Elementary school teachers, teaching at public schools, are trained to do their job. However, these teachers are not able to always teach everything. Your child may have a teacher that is unable to teach them science properly or p.e. You have to remember though that you are going to be the one teaching your child if you go to home schooling, can you teach everything?Now, because the teaching is probably the major reason you would consider home schooling I would recommend that you go to the school you are thinking about having your child attend and talk to some of the teachers and if you are able to see the way they teach.Another reason you may consider home schooling is because you do not want your child to have to try and learn in a 1 teacher to 20 student ratio. If you are able to teacher your child one on one then your child will not have to get held back by other students.A major thing you should consider if you are thinking about home schooling is will your child be able to socialize with others if they are home schooled. Some of the best times for socializing with other children is at school when they are able to be in a classroom learning together or out at the playground playing games with each other. If you take this away from your child they may have a hard time being an ordinary kid around others.What it really comes down to is what is best for your child on the subject of elementary education. If you have a child who is going to need special treatment because they are really smart or because you are worried about their safety and the education they would receive at a public school then you should consider home schooling them. However, if your child is a normal kid, you believe the public school education is good, and you want them to have a good sense of cooperation and socializing skills then go with public school.

Educational Toys and Constructive Play – 5 Changes in Recent Years

The link between constructive play for children and toddlers, and the benefits educationally of certain toys, puzzles and games which promote both dextrous movement and elements of thought and puzzle solving has long been established.However, during the 1960’s and 1970’s, the type of play, the supervision required, along with that particular toys and games that utilised had not been sufficiently studied for there to be any concrete evidence that educational toys and games had specific benefits. So what has changed since then, and where are we headed with children’s development through play? Here are 5 areas where change has had a positive impact.1 – Independent reports in the United States and United Kingdom during the 1990’s have established exactly what toys and activities benefit preschool children. Furthermore, this latest research has been refined to the extent that it is now possible to target particular areas of a childs growth and encourage play with particular games and puzzles to focus on any areas where the parent or carer feels that stimulation is required.For example, reasoning, dexterity, empathy towards others, numeracy, literacy and social interactions are among the many different skills that can be individually targeted with specific toys and methods of play.Much of the research reinforces the common sense view is that manual puzzles promote dexterity and that reading and writing as well as basic numeracy should be encouraged at an early age.Where this new research really has great benefits is in the specific ideas and support it gives to manufacturers of these educational toys and games as to how exactly to implement them properly for the very best benefit.2 – Combining simple games of colour and shape matching with toys that require a basic level of agility and manual precision can lead to a child developing in more than one area at once. It is worth remembering how much information a child will absorb with little of no conscious effort. Combining various elements of growth through play has proved very beneficial.3 – The need for emotional and social development is finally being understood.With the world in general becoming an increasingly insular place, it is important that a child emotional and empathetic developments is also catered for. Simple ideas such as sharing, empathy and understanding are now considered a vital part of a preschool child’s education.Again, research into the actual toys, puzzles and games which best benefit this area of a childs growth had been researched thoroughly. This area is considered one of the most important going forward. So it is good to note the research that has been undertaken to allow you to best help your childs emotional and social development.4 – Governments and educational establishments are finally embracing the new ideas and funding for educational toys and games in the public sector is at an all time high.In short. Not only are the benefits of learning through play acknowledged ny just about everyone, it has now been established that it is a very cost effective way of progressing a childs education.Finally, one issue that still needs addressing;5 – One sticking point which continually frustrates those who look to progress in the field of educational toys and games. That is the periodic “muddying of the water” that changes in government on a national level make every few years.It is now become apparent that ownership for the continued research into educational toys and games needs a none-partisan approach. As administrations change in the United Kingdom and the USA, government bodies are restructured and support services for parents and carers aimed at giving advice on education through play are either abolished or re-formed in very different structures every few years.What is required is a non-political body which has the continuous remit of ensuring that both ongoing research into education through play as well as the resources available to parents and carers are consistent and always reflect the very best possible practices regardless of which political administration is in charge.This issue aside, we should take great comfort in the fact that we now live in a world where babies and preschool educational toys and games are refined to the point where a parent or carer can target specific areas of need with confidence.