Wednesday, December 7, 2016


      As a long ago retired teacher, I have had time to contemplate a few things about education. I won't say I have answers but I think these suggestions would help teachers in their practice. 

    Now starting with a title like this people may get ideas that would go on forever. If I gave this to a grade eight class ...well, all hell would break loose! It would be fun though.

    However, for today I will ignore other suggestions and present my own.

    I think every teacher should have to take and teach some art, drama, music, shop, home ec., special ed and phys. ed. Now there would be challenges but I'm not looking for expertise in these fields. Teachers would not be assigned these classes permanently but given enough time to learn something. Teachers would need some special training in the areas and would team teach with someone who has majored in the field. I want teachers to see the special skills used in these areas and to put them in their own teaching strategies. My music ability is completely lacking but I do remember taking music in teachers' college and teaching music in my first year. It was ugly but I did it. 

    I have taught with and observed teachers in all these  areas. I saw things these teachers had that would benefit every teacher.

    Teachers in these areas have to be master planners and organizers. They think in a different way because kids are working individually or in groups. Those kids have to be on task. Routines have to be set up so that everybody knows where to go and what their responsibility is. In shop the kids have to know safety and rotate from one area to another so that at the end of the term they have completed all units. 

    Art, drama and music call for some creativity. All teachers need creativity to motivate kids. Coaching calls for strategy and planning where each player should be and what their responsibility is. The whole team works as a unit. I love watching coaches. They have a system. Every teacher should have a system.

   Special ed was part of my department. I went to learning disability workshops. I was amazed at the strategies those teachers used. I certainly thought about how some kids could benefit from special ed. strategies.

    My all time favorite was to go to professional development for primary teachers. I did have some gr. ones in my first year teaching. I loved teaching the little guys. That's where you get down to the nitty gritty of teaching. Many strategies have to be used.

    So if I had it to do all over again I would try to gain more strategies from these teaching areas.

    Now what do you think all teachers should...?