View single post by susansweet
 Posted: Tue Jan 15th, 2008 11:00 pm
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Joined: Sun Sep 4th, 2005
Location: California USA
Posts: 1420

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The moral comes first. All the other book-learning comes second. Without the basics, the best teacher ever becomes helpless. And the basics are learned at home.


As a teacher who taught for 34 years I agree with this totally.  I had the kids from 9 to 3 basically five days a week for nine months not including days off for holidays .  In that time I was supose to take care of all their needs.  I taught in the inner city, I taught in the surburbs .  I taught all kinds of children.  I was a primary teacher.  The teacher that starts the kids on their journey though education. 

I hear all the time about what we didn't teach.  I had the kids seven hours and twenty minutes .  In that time I taught Reading Writing , Spelling , Math, Language arts , Science Social Studies, Art and Music  or and P.E.  All of these scheduled in and around assemblies, pta events, jog a thons, earthquake drills, firedrills, lice checks, dental checks , vision and hearing screening , testing , reading buddies.  Add to that the  disruptive kid that needs to be taken care of before he or she causes more problems.  I have taught holding a child in my lap to keep him from beating up one of the other kindergarteners in my class (inner city school. child's mother was dying and he didn't understand what was going on). I taught with another child who would have emotional out brust on a pretty daily basis as mother was bedridden having her fifth child and this young one was pretty much ignored at home.  She too didn't know what was going on.  This was a really good family , an oops pregancy and a father on overload trying to be all to his four girls.  I would have to calm this little one down before I could teach the others

I could go on and on and there are plenty of other teachers out there that have the same or other stories.  Check out the name Rafe Escales and the Hobarth Street Shakepeareans.  He does amazing things with his inner city kids. 

We do the best we can  but we are not perfect .  Seems like the bad ones always get the publicity, and what we  are said not to teach gets all the news. 

Not teaching history?  You should see the units I have seen in grade school classes I have been invovled with .  I have seen children become craftsmen of the Colonial times , seaman on 24 hours before the Mast  and experience what it must have been like to travel by wagon to Oregon using interactive material .  They made up wagon trains and traveled by doing challenges on the trail to Oregon.  

I know of children that do first person presentations of historical figures .  They present these to the younger children at the school.

I know of students that study the Renaissance then attend the special school days at The Renaissance Faire.

Now that I am retired I give school tours to kids from local schools in Los Angeles area at the Drum Barracks.  Some of the kids know quite a bit about the War , others are just beginning to learn .    I will always remember the little girl that when looking at the document signed by Lincoln asked me with wonder . Did President Lincoln actually touch that paper?  When I said yes, she dragging the rest of her class to see the paper Lincoln touched. 


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