Tuesday, May 22, 2007

All You Need is Love.....


Lately all we hear about is how much money Bloomberg is spending to improve education, yet he does nothing to change one of the real problems--class size. Kids will perform better for teachers who believe in them, for teachers they think really care about them. I don't care whether you have a PhD in education or think you are the education mayor, the real solution is caring. I've had kids pass my class and get 90's on the regents when they are failing everything else. I gave my D kids a test yesterday. Two of my lowest achievers finally got marks in the 80's. One of them said "I did it for you. You believe in me and I want to pass for you."

If teachers were not so overburdened with C-6 assignments and 34 kids per class, we could show them all that we believe in them. Instead of spending money on useless surveys and private consulting groups, the government needs to spend the money where it can do some good. The Beatles sang about this long before it became an issue in education.

8 comments:

Patrick Sullivan said...

The state gave the city new money and required the city to provide a plan to lower class size. But it looks like there is little good faith on the city's side. Today at the City Council hearings on the DoE budget, Education Chairman Robert Jackson asked Klein if he agreeded that adding a second teacher to a large class did not count as class size reduction. Klein said, no, a second teacher was a perfectly acceptable way to comply with the state's desires to lower class size. When pressed, Klein said he didn't have the seats to lower class size. He also trotted out all the other excuses - parents would rather have a class of 28 with a good teacher than 20 with a poor one. The same old story.

Pissed Off said...

I for one do not want two teachers in my room. How can the kids listen to 2 of us at the same time?

There should only be good teachers in the classroom anyways.

beth said...

"Kids will perform better for teachers who believe in them, for teachers they think really care about them."

You're right. My darling who is my biggest ED kid twice yesterday was on the verge of losing it, and both times, just by being constant and letting him know I was NOT giving up on him (yeah...that one...the counselor said she hasn't heard anything about them giving him up, but she's going to follow up with the family just because yesterday he was upset and saying "I don't want my mommy to die!"), he calmed down. Even at bussing, which is always volatile.

I felt like I'd accomplished something.

Pissed Off Pedagogue said...

When was the last time Klein actually LISTENED to a parent? PARENTS WANT SMALLER CLASSES the last I heard. He just makes it up as he goes along; two teachers in an overcrowded classroom is the same message as one teacher in an overcrowded classroom. That message is "We don't really care". I have cared about whatever kids were in my classroom my entire career no matter what "program" was the flavor of the day, no matter who the chancellor was, the superintendent, the principal, or who the mayor was. I have gotten results that, for the most part, will benefit those kids at some level. None of those results had to do with anything, especially political, that was going on outside of my classroom.

NYC Educator said...

I've had an additional teacher placed in a room to relieve class size, and while she was great, I was the only ESL teacher. I taught, she watched for the most part.

I suppose I could have divided the teaching somehow, but I knew what I wanted to do, and dividing lessons would probably have entailed more work than simply teaching the whole class myself.

PIssed Off Pedagogue said...

Klein supposedly taught 6th graders math for who knows how long somewhere in Queens. I bet I know what happened in his class, and it wasn't a pretty sight. He doesn't care about our classrooms, NYCEd and PO'd Teacher. A second teacher is more trouble than they're worth, and someone always takes up the slack or has more charisma and ends up doing most of the teaching anyway. Klein is an educational bozo and a joke. All these surveys are just the usual that the DOE has to offer: useless window dressing.

Patrick Sullivan said...

Jackson really pressed Klein who then got specific. He said the class could be divided - one teacher lectured while another worked with some students on a workshop.

But this, like all the rest are just deflections and excuses. The root of the city's opposition to class size reduction is the mayor doesn't want to spend capital funds on building new schools. Probably because he'd rather use them on something else he can attach his legacy to.

On the Edge said...

My school schedules very small classes for stuggling learners as identified by their standardized test scores. This is great, except for the fact that it means that average kids are placed in larger classes than they otherwise might have. While I suppose it's a good way to work with what we have, I often worry about the students who are at risk of falling through the cracks.

The other thing that happens at my school is that there are several children of the "friends" of Principal (and at one time, it was even Principal's kids) who seem to get preferential treatment. It bothers me that we still live in a society that flaunts how much more "deserving" some people are by default of the good-ole-boy network.

You're right, though. TLC is at the heart of good teaching. Every kid needs and deserves it.