Honestly, i think we should just let teachers be teachers, no administrators and a million people telling you how to teach. I sit in the classroom watching as some of my teachers try desperately to squeeze in things that THEY think are important. Maybe it's most important to step out of the boundaries that are so strictly set for us. Sometimes I wonder who really IS teaching us when all we do is read out of the book and do the rest for homework. Hmmmm...
Our students are really willing to learn for the most part. They are waiting for the day when you make your lesson interesting. Textbooks are necessary, but, at least in the Social Studies, they are very flat and do not pull the student's interest into the lesson. When I created a lesson, I used the book as a guide but would always try to fill it in with other knowledge. A lot of times it was just a little bit of information that brought the facts to life from the page of the text.
I also believe that students love to be creative. Elise was a good example of that. She was very good at the activities that enhanced the learning process. If anyone could give a performance, it was Elise! But the fact is, that is her element. She loves to act and takes advantage of her ability, or element, whenever the opportunity would arise. Sometimes it was in a class play or even reading aloud in class. Her creativity was very evident and I encouraged it to be a part of my Social Studies class. She learned and so did others. That is all that I wanted out of my students!! I wanted them to enjoy their learning!
As a teacher, I feel the same way Elise does. Our approach to a "quality education" has left us a bit wanting. What did we get in turn?? A very basic education that lends itself to the lowest common denominator. We've standardized education like a fine tuned industry. But I thought we were to break from the industrial age! I mean I was taught in college that it was better to keep students in group seating than the old single file rows (that represented a factory line).
Encourage students like Elise that education is so much more than a text and worksheet!! And we need to listen to our students! They just might surprise us with wonderful, insightful comments!!