School’s Out (almost)

Quarter finals – marking the end of my semester at CHA – begin today. I will be heading back to Nebraska at the end of the week. Brenda and I will be returning to Port Gibson in January for some family business, so my time here isn’t quite finished, but my stint as a school teacher is, for now.

So, what did I think? First, I suspect one can’t get a good education at the high school level in a class larger than twenty. My largest class was fourteen and that was too large to provide any real personalized help; more than a dozen, and teaching is reduced to classroom management unless all the students are very similar in academic ability. Second, I suspect my fundamental weakness as a teacher is that I loved school. The cadet’s blasé attitude is so foreign to me I have no real sense of how to overcome it.

Third, our educational system sets up an unfortunate dichotomy between classwork, sports, social activities, etc. I had students who missed class once a week or more for nearly a whole quarter, which drove me nuts as a teacher. But I would be the last to say that sports or social activities should be secondary to education. Contemporary education (which mirrors contemporary society) so bifurcates our lives that well-rounded wholeness is nearly impossible. This is probably an argument for some sort of home schooling or education that uses a tutor system rather than a class room system. But I have no idea what that might look like. (I think the current home schooling options are not particularly good, based on my limited experience.)

Will I pursue full accreditation as a teacher? I doubt it, although the jury is still out on that one. I would enjoy teaching in the right setting, but I suspect I would truly hate it in the real life settings that would be available to me. It seems foolish to spend the time and money necessary to become accredited at something I would hate.

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