I blogged two days ago about a commentary by Bill O’Reilly from his hit show, The O’Reilly Factor (click here for that blog) and showed it to my students today to get their take. I was somewhat surprised at how strong their reaction was. They watched the clip and I asked them to write down three things:
- Their Reaction
- Do you agree or disagree with what you heard
- And why.
I was amazed at how well they grasp the problem I think we have in education, which is the behavior of the students. You cannot teach an effective lesson and and create students who are well-prepared to pass our tests if you have poor student discipline. I teach the GT and Pre AP students which are usually the best behaved and best academic students.
Their behavior is rarely out of line, it may be juvenile, but rarely is it disrespectful. They all told me that they have classes where the behavior is so poor that it interferes with their ability to learn. Often the teacher is so busy with the misbehaving students that they cannot teach. Often they do little or nothing during that class. No wonder our scores are so poor.
If our kids see it and want change, then why don’t we change it? I have some ideas, most are due to the societal changes we have undergone in the last 50 years. There is no way the behavior we see exhibited in public schools would have been tolerated in the 50’s and 60’s. We we have undergone a host of changes in society since then I realize, but do we really think we can succeed without consequences for our actions?
Ask yourself if a student could act the same way in society as they do in the classroom and be able to get away with it? Tell a policemen blank you and see what happens. Yet in many of our schools that is okay. Or what if a student used the physicality in the public as many of them do in our hallways and classrooms, would they be given a second chance? I have covered classes where there is little or no discipline and I wonder why? We have to have expectations for behavior, if we don’t then we get what we see.
In life we don’t get “do-overs” we have to deal with what we create, why not begin in school? We used to! What do you think? Until next time, peace.