As parents find the performance of their children totally different in public and private schools, so think teachers about their career prospects in different educational structures. Private schools look much more appealing with their environment, curricula, and schedules than public schools with children from the disadvantaged background, overload, and principal’s pressure. However, those who once applied to both types know that different schools are also very alike. You have to work like an enthusiast without the slightest need for personal life in both of them. But still, every school has its own specifics that form different demands from their staff.
Though the public school environment causes much distress to teachers, private establishments are not a bed of roses either. State schools require constant multitasking for a teacher to create dozens of lesson plans, but in private schools teachers stand under the very close watch of the parents. People who pay considerable sums for the education of their children give no excuse for staff that is not enough efficient. Besides, private schools may also require teachers to be competent in sports and arts that are an essential part of the curriculum.
We can hardly make public school teachers less dedicated just because they feel so many challenges to effective functioning – just on the contrary. If a state school teacher does not run away after years of work, they are very committed to their occupation indeed. The problem is that bureaucracy, plenty of task, huge classrooms, and lack of time to teach make educators in public school inefficient. Many of them struggle to keep up with tasks in their free time and eventually give up teaching. Private schools make more comfortable conditions for teachers to work with students in the first place.
A great part of their day, students spend interacting in their school environment. Children do not enjoy education equally, and each of them gives a different value to their daily companions. This directly determines the impact of the school on their personality formation. Having different types of temperaments, some students are easier to influence than another, but, in general, all children are to the greater extent shaped by their school culture.
School leaders surely set new trends, but these people are not teachers. Students are much more susceptible to the peer’s authority that often creates problems for teachers. The latter have an extremely limited influence on the youth that is limited to a couple of obedient individuals. The rest of students prefer to take a rebellious stand to show that the teacher’s approach to influencing students is much outdated. On the other hand, rebellious mood is facilitated by the teacher’s behavior.
Teachers temperament predetermines the attitude of students. Lenient and timid educators allow students trespass and humiliate themselves emotionally, while tough uncompromising educators leave no room to insults. Even more, authoritarian teachers may suppress phlegmatic students. Sensitive persons and introverts may take an authoritarian style as an insult to their autonomy in the classroom, which inevitably poisons the learning environment. In practice, aggressive teaching methods may improve the discipline and performance to some extent, but they cause emotional distress to those who are never asked to keep silence.
During their teenage years, students and their characters are little influenced by teachers in particular. But on the larger scale, the school with its connections and peer culture shapes children with their perspectives and choices.
Educators predict a sharp deficit of college graduates in the US coming by 2020 unless the higher education system succeeds to invite more students to state colleges. While the demand for the qualified, properly educated workforce in the economy merely rises, the actual number of applicants with college diploma inevitably drops. Healthcare, education, community service, and science all need a properly educated workforce to expand and develop, not even to mention replacement of retiring baby-boomers in their workplaces.
Despite the looming shortage, many current college graduates do not feel really demanded. Not all of these young people have succeeded to find a profitable job that could compensate for the costs of their tuition. It looks like all the college years and student debt were not worth the mediocre outcome. As a result, high school graduates hesitate to enter state colleges wishing to go earn their money right away.
At the moment, colleges do not particularly encourage students admission. Tuition costs are naturally rising, and the majority of high school graduates come from middle-to-low income families. The next reason for low college graduation rates is a dropout. Coming to campus with high expectations, freshmen realize that they are still unprepared for the first year of college or have chosen the wrong path. Some of them choose to drop out and apply to another faculty, and the other decide to do without a college degree at all. Those who remain in colleges frequently feel that they are wasting time with unnecessary subjects, but there is no particular choice for them – either drop out or go ahead to graduation.
Universities and colleges shall definitely attract more freshmen and be able to retain them. Providing more bread-winning degrees and filling curricula with popular subjects, institutions can at least assure students that they do not waste their post-secondary years and money.
A few years ago, the idea of a mandatory pre-school came into view. Its proponents argue that kindergarten shall be compulsory for all children to attend, just like primary school. At the age of 5 to 6, children are already expected to have some basic skills to start learning school subjects. Besides, many parents work all the day and have no one to leave their child with. If a primary school is obligatory, then the kindergarten must also be so, they say. Public pre-school could be mandatory in some or all states and be funded by the government. Nevertheless, the opponents to the idea have much to say as well.
Compulsory kindergarten seems to be a weird idea because not all parents choose to enroll kids even to school. Some people chose to homeschool for their children who have benefited from such education. And preschool is a much more sensitive topic. With the traditional approach, children would be demanded to sit still and listen to the lectures at the age when they cannot possibly do it. Still, many parents believe that they can better prepare kids to school in a family or in a private kindergarten with some alternative but productive approach to pre-school education.
Though we really need more public daycare centers for parents to leave their children until they go home, these pre-schools cannot be mandatory to attend. Children of age 3 to 6 are not obliged to attend anything yet before K-12 school. And public primary schools shall accept children who never attended kindergarten too. Compulsory education is not a guarantee of child’s academic success.
Family environment influences child’s performance more than parents can imagine. In a friendly family, adults give the child their support and a sound motivation. But family can also discourage from learning with a constant dissatisfaction and rising demands. This is the case with perfectionist parents who suppose that the child once will be grateful for years of stress and poisoned childhood. Family involvement is a must in education, but a wrong interpretation does harm to students who stand under the double pressure day to day.
Since their early years, children search for parental approval. However brilliant they performed, children do not feel contentment without the approval of the most important people. Especially in the primary and secondary school, parents shall recognize and cherish positive results of children to encourage them to proceed with learning. Later on, they can become more critical but only if the child performs far below their abilities. As a rule, children get enough critical evaluation from school teachers, and listening to the insults of parents at home can be especially disappointing. Children shall be loved for who they are, but many parents still think it would be better if they try to rise a superchild with incredible skills.
A basic family involvement includes attention, encouragement, recognition, and support. In some cases, parents can hire a tutor or ask for extra classes from their school teacher. Sometimes, parents can help kids to complete tasks themselves without any tutors. Every attentive parent can figure out whether the child needs more of their involvement or it will be redundant. Though family shall always stay interested in child’s performance, it is also important not to trespass and put extra academic pressure.
Dyslexic children challenge teachers in many ways. As long as the teacher is not aware of the student’s disability, they may take such a behavior as laziness or carelessness. But children with dyslexia require a special treatment that may seem weird when applied to their peers. In the first place, parents shall understand it choosing a school for the child. Even a public school can be appropriate if teachers are capable of working with special children. After-class tutoring would be desirable as hard work is a key to overcoming dyslexia.
Dyslexia makes it difficult for a child to read, spell, write, memorize long words, and use grammar. At the same time, the child may have well-developed oral or artistic skills, and good visual comprehension. But anyway, dyslexic children always feel disadvantageous in the peer environment, and creating a friendly and encouraging atmosphere is the first thing for the teacher to take. All assignments shall be written down with an appropriate spacing, the key points highlighted. The teacher’s task is to check whether the student copies the assignment correctly and supply the child with worksheets, books, and handouts.
To learn to spell effectively, dyslexics require lists of structure-based words instead of topic-based ones. Proofreading may be helpful to learn how to find mistakes in one’s own writing. Children experiencing a difficulty reading shall practice more in a calm environment after classes when they can take as much time as they need before reading aloud to the class. Especial attention shall be also given to handwriting. Teachers may use a cursive joined style to make words easier for children to spell.
It a classroom, a teacher always plays the role of manager leading students to achieving goals of the course. Supervision is a key to organize a group and make them determined to study in the class. Classroom management mostly concerns students behavior and engagement into the work that are not easy to achieve. Clearly, no student can learn if the classroom is a mess, and teachers easily reach their burnout point if they keep on shouting at students. We do not need discipline for the sake of discipline only because we have it in the school rules. We require vise classroom management to make learning easy and comfortable for everyone.
Disciplining students is not an easy task, and rather few teachers were taught classroom management strategies. Their skills in this area are primarily determined by years of experience working with kids. If the school does not provide behavior management training to teachers, the newcomers are expected to handle discipline on their own. Coming to a new classroom for the first time, many teachers get nervous. There is a chance that students are nice and eager to cooperate, but it is much more likely that they are little rebels difficult to organize.
Avoiding crucial mistakes, teachers can manage the classroom even without a specific training. First, educators have to set clear rules of behavior and always stick to them. They cannot use extremely harsh or embarrassing punishment. If a student raises any concerns, they shall refer to a school psychologist who has more expertise in the field.
Implementation of effective classroom management definitely makes it easier for students to perform. It is highly important that teacher’ s methods do not make students distressed. We have numerous examples of how draconian measures make a reverse effect on students attendance and performance in the class.
Having a strict dress code at school is an old problem that implies a necessity to reform. It usually implies that a group of students wearing identical clothes with a school emblem stitched on it shall express their group identity with such school uniform. And, of course, the decency of appearance matters a lot. School administration cannot tolerate any different skirt length than the one indicated in school rules so that girls usually are blamed for violating a dress code. Severity of school policies greatly vary across the country, but, on average, a dress code has little positive effect on students.
On the positive side, a dress code is a tool to make all students equal. Naturally, kids what to express themselves wearing their favorite clothes, and some groups can be exposed to bullying for being not as stylish as the others. Teachers want to eliminate students wearing too shabby or provocative clothes that will likely cause conflicts between kids themselves. But good intentions drag a variety of negative effects causing extra distress to students and their parents.
Girls considered to wear revealing tops or dresses are sent home to change, which is not good for schooling. Apparently, all teachers have a different opinion on what length of a skirt is appropriate to wear and what is not. Bare shoulders and decollete are also a problem for principals who think that a button down shirt is the only appropriate top option for a student. All these extreme policies look especially ridiculous as many college students are free to wear whatever they want, and no sexual or emotional distress was caused so far.
Dressing decently for school makes perfect sense, as it is a public place. But unfortunately, all of us have their own understanding of what is appropriate, which makes room for conflicts. Probably some schools shall introduce more lax dress code policies to make school environment more natural and friendly for students.
Restricting the internet access on public computers is a disadvantageous though necessary policy. Many public libraries and schools in the US adhere to the federal Children Internet Protection Act. The legislation was designed to make schools filter obscene content, child pornography, and websites for adults. Though the intentions are quite positive, children cannot proceed with their research when the school firewall recognizes websites as potentially dangerous. Even search can be blocked if students try to google something like “breast cancer”. Obviously, filters currently applied to the networks are ineffective because they do not allow to work productively in the public space. But alternatives to the current methods are also vague.
The problem with excessive blocking lies within the firewalls. They appeared unable to differentiate utterly obscene content from articles and debates that merely touch upon controversial topics. Therefore, we need to upgrade our software. Filtering can be a big problem to individuals who have no internet access at their homes. Though it is unbelievable that someone in the Western world still has no internet, children coming to libraries for some reasons cannot do their research at home. And while many teenagers can surf the net without any blocking and control viewed content themselves, some part of youngsters cannot access any block-free network. Therefore parents shall probably try to refuse from protected networks and allow their children to use internet resources responsibly. Perhaps, it would be better for libraries also to use a more content-tolerant software and refuse from standard filters as well.
College is a business, and it becomes very clear as soon as a student enters the university. All parents consider tuition fee yet before the admission as rather few of them can afford higher education to their kids. Public colleges charge their students $15,000 and more per school year. You should add extra expenses for school or dorm supplies, transportation, and nutrition to the bill to see how much money a college student really needs. Textbooks take a great part of such expenses, which is outrageous to the majority of students. In order to have some money left for the basic needs, kids buy second-hand books or manage without it after all. But is it really necessary to make tuition even more expensive with extra fees and sky-high textbook prices?
Paying thousand of dollars for a chance to get a college degree, students are practically unable to afford themselves more luxuries, such as textbooks. Printed materials available on campus are not enough in many subjects, and students have to purchase dozens of books every year. In case second-hand ones are not available, the purchase becomes really disappointing. Even when there is a chance to sell books after the tuition is over, it would end up with a $40 price for the book that originally cost $150.
If all necessary textbooks were available on campus, it would make huge relief for students and their parents. And it will ruin publishers that do business on college tuition. If colleges are ready to ease the financial tension on students, they shall provide all necessary materials in e-books that shall be free for every student on campus. It is time to stop wasting timber and parents’ money when there are much more affordable alternatives to printed books.