There is a great deal of debate in the education arena about what constitutes a good education. I firmly believe parents and educators really want to see most children succeed academically and socially. Hey, I’m more realistic than idealistic. Allow me to give clarity to what a good education is, and certainly what it’s not.
An obvious look of disinterest in the classroom learning environment. The “I’m-here-until-my-law-school-application-gets-accepted” posture doesn’t go over too well with students, or administrators.
An assignment that has clear objectives, standards for grading, and an outlet to present students’ work. Though not easy, any school project, when done well, actually expands learning in other areas.
Issuing monetary fines for small or gross infractions of school rules. Is gum chewing in class annoying for teachers? A resounding yes. Does looking at sagging pants get cumbersome throughout the day, week, month, and year? Absolutely. Teachers with good classroom management can get the cooperation of their students, without charging excessive fees for small infractions. It’s very interesting that rules public schools get slammed for having suddenly become gospel in charter schools. Any parent that thinks paying close to $250,000.00 over the course of a school year in a charter school is representative of having a good education really has no idea of what a good education looks like. That kind of money borders on tuition.
An educator who looks for the potential of every child; not just the cute, popular, athletic, rich, good-looking, smart, well-behaved kid, and seeks opportunities to enrich that child’s life that might not otherwise be exposed.
This is certainly helpful if you have done the required readings, and want to reinforce plot, setting, scene, dialog, etc. The real question is, could you pass exams based on having read the Cliff’s notes alone? I know people who did. Hmmm. What does that say for lessons, and the person teaching them? If someone could write a Cliff’s note about you, would they have sufficient knowledge about the subject? Would they pass?
While this is becoming a lot harder to come by, nothing replaces parents who are involved with their children’s academic progress. As we know, there are certainly great, good and mediocre teachers. Any teacher will tell you there are great, good and mediocre parents. It is our job to do the best we can with the students we have in front of us. It really helps when parents are positively involved. It really helps.