I just returned home from my second conference with the younger daughter's combo English/reading teacher and now I feel really bad. I've gnashed my teeth and slapped my forehead and sent a couple emails to the school's headmaster, assuming this teacher is stupid. Come to find out, he's just ignorant.
If you'll recall, I've climbed atop my soapbox and ranted a few times on this blog about the incompetent boobery of various teachers in the past. No profession is without its slackers. Phone up the village, we've found your missing idiot teaching 7th grade history.
But seriously - this guy really is clueless, along with several of his peers. I've likened it to teaching in the 1950s and come to find out, they're not much beyond that. They know Bloom's Taxonomy exists, but they aren't employing it either informally or formally. They know memorization can be good, but they're unaware that critical thinking is infinitely more effective. How many SAT or ACT questions ask you to regurgitate a fact from a passage instead of inferring or drawing a conclusion? If you guessed none, you would be correct. If this teacher doesn't start getting his students to interact with literature, then they are gonna be lucky if they graduate from high school, let alone be prepared for the four year college of their dreams.
So I've decided to cut him some slack because he can't help it and he really doesn't know any better. I'd like to think that my meeting with him (where I shared some critical thinking questioning stems) coupled with my emails to the headmaster regarding the lack of higher order thinking skills will bring about some change as they rethink how to improve upon the art of teaching. As for us, we're heading back to the Texas public schools where they've had all of this down pat for years.