Problem: I am not a parent, but I am a teacher & am very interested in having as many people as possible answer the following questions for me:
Solution submitted by LeeAnn C. from Forth Worth, TX: I am currently studying education and have for the past few years. It seems obvious parental involvement is at an all time low. But adequate teaching and adequate environment is also sunk in inconceivable plunders. Our system has succumb to power and greed and the teachers left helpless to administration with their ambition slowly dwindling. Not only is this damaging for educators but the children suffer the most. "Problem children " plague every classroom. Our responsibility to their problems is swept neatly and grotesquely under the carpet. The responsible party should not be the issue here, only what to be done for the future of these children! Although polls consistently show a decline in education, and everyone seems to agree there is a problem, if asking individuals how their own school system is doing they'll say "fine". This is extremely terrifying because this self-gratification will continue to watch this system corrupt and hinder growth. People, we have got to make these children our top priorities! Not just our own but all children for our future depends on it. Our system and our parenting is creating the largest generation of sociopaths. Is this what we want in our future, future for our children. Think about it! There are too many people with a non-existent conscious already . This is not just a parental issue, this is an issue for humanity! We as human beings should stand together to certify our right to guide our next generation to feel empathy for others and respect for knowledge our education gives us.The goal plan for this has long been laid out. People like Marva Collins, Robert Sweet, Chester Finn and A S Neill to name a few understand this goal. Read, people!
Another solution submitted by Marcia from Wellington, NZ: I seems to be a global issue here. In New Zealand our primary (junior) school teachers are not valued by the government. They could earn more else where. Many leave the profession soon after the novelty wears off. To get a decent education here, one needs to be wealthy enough to send their children to private schools. The classroom numbers are too high. There is a lack of old fashion teachings like Math, and english etc.
Too much importance is put on sporting pursuits. I dislike the generalisation (spelt with a 'z' if your American) that parents don't do enough to assist their kids or the schools. I work full time because I have to but I still put a lot of time into teaching my kids at home when we have spare time, because the schools claim all is well and that my son is typical of all boys, in that they are slower than girls. Rubbish to that notion. Schools do not like to dwell on their under-achievers because it reflects badly on the schools. There is also a policy that children should not be told no or that they have done something wrong.
I disagree with wrapping the kids in cottonwool to protect them. They need to know that they have not met the standard and be encouraged to do better. It is going to be a mighty competitive world when they try to enter the work force. They need to learn in a realistic environment.
Another solution submitted by Susan from Concord, NC: I am a substitute teacher and this reason I am a substitute is to allow me enough time for needs my child my have. The first most important thing missing from the educational systems is parent involvement. The second is enough time to cover each subject thoroughly without interruption by fundraisers, field trips, pep rallies, and various other non-academic activities. The middle school I teach at had no less than four of these being addressed in one day. Moderation is the key. In answer to your #2 question, there are no activities which I would not make time in my schedule for. In answer to question @3, implementing after school tutoring by volunteer parents or teachers, a more practical approach to how students will use what they are learning in the real world, and classes that relate to the real world. Romeo and Juliet for 15 years and under is ludicrous except for academically gifted students. The vast majority just end up detesting Willie!!
Another solution submitted by Cindy from Kingsville, Ont, CAN : A hair just went up on the back of my neck at this subject.
Parent Support: Let's take the child who is so quick at a young age, can write his name at 4, and knows his alphabet at 3. Since 18 months old attended educational institutes including computers prior to Kindergarten. What you have is parents who care that this child meets, plays and learns with young children. Sounds good. Then comes Kindergarten and all the others are just beginning. This child is so advanced, he is made to sit with otherd and do it again with boredom because our system can't accommodate just him. In Gr. 1 (I loved Gr. 1) this child screams to not go to school. He's in trouble all the time. Timeout, desk in the hall, wetting his pants, trouble on the bus etc. This is were it all begins. Now the teacher has a problem with this child. Have him tested. OK. The questionnaire for ADD is so simple. Yes he has ADD. Why, because he's intelligent and bored?? Let's stick this child on Ritalin. He'll sit still in the class now. But the weight loss, the lack of imagination is gone, there's no personality. Amazingly those parents felt for the child and said "enough." Pulled him out of school Gr. 3 in Dec 94. Taught him at home (with no help from the system, cause if you pull your child, they won't help, but you do have to pay your taxes) taught him what little we could and sent him to a different school in May of 95. Just 6 weeks before the end of the year. That child passed to grade 4. What do you think about that horror story??? He just passed into Grade 6 in Sept.
Another solution submitted by Renee from Emmett, ID: I think the largest missing link is morals and values. The parents don't have them, so how can we expect the children to have them. I am tired of watching America 'Dummy Up" the system , so that our children appear educated. Parents need to get to their school, spend time there. Audit classrooms, help with the school play, eat lunch, do all the things their kids do and help work out the kinks. We cannot expect our educators to be the ONLY role models our kids have. However, we have some educators who should not be teaching. By going to school, we could determine who has a love for the art of teaching and who is picking up a paycheck. Let the paycheck teachers go to a factory, I want top quality people in my classrooms - and I am there when they need me. Let's go America - these little ones are the future!
Another solution submitted by MathLady from McCloud, CA: Being a teacher myself, I believe that parental support is the biggest missing element. Today teachers not only have to be teachers but parents, counselors, etc. This makes our jobs more challenging. If a kid is lacking a home support system it is harder for us to instill the value of education in him or her.