Here we go again... "Students were not engaged." That concerns me also as a teacher, though... Teachers are not miracle workers! We can only wear so many hats at a time: teacher, counselors, behavior interventionists, peer mediators, secretaries, statisticians, data analysts, social workers, nurses, cheerleaders, custodial workers (yes, all of us clean) thats on top of: creating meaningful differentiated & culturally relevant lessons/activities daily, that take hours to plan...
If a student was not engaged did these people ask the students, "why?"
Maybe they did not sleep at home the night before or do not have a "home". Maybe they were up late watching their babies or siblings b/c their parent was at work. Or maybe they were up late playing video games bc that's what teenagers do w/o parental involvement. Maybe they have not been encouraged to go to school for days or weeks, so they feel lost and just shut down. Did they eat breakfast, did they have to wait for the bus in the freezing cold or are they drenched with sweat from the walk to school on a 90* day? Do these students fully understand English? I could go on & on...
These observers can judge us & "think" they know the answers but the problem (student engagement) lies deeper than what most teachers have to offer. City school teachers do not have a level playing field compared to other districts. 99% of the teachers I know work extremely hard at educating their students and preparing them for the "real world". They go above and beyond to motivate, encourage and support students with all of their needs (not just learning). I don't have the answer to this problem discussed in the article though I'm absolutely positive that I do not agree with it.
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