On conventional Education

Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.
Date: Sat, 9 Mar 1996 08:11:30 -0500 (EST)

Subject: Random Thought: The Classroom Is Not A Factory

Excuse me? What do too many of us think our job is? Maybe, part of the issue is that too many of us think of the classroom or allow others–“The System” or “The Institution”–to forces us, like submissive hirelings, to treat the classroom as that not-so-serious-I’ve-got-to-put-food-on-the-table job. If not, if we feel truly have our finger on the pulse of students’ need and are in command of our own destiny, why, then, are we surprised when we hear students say, as I recently have heard students, who have contacted me on the interent, say: “survival is to play the damn game”; “must tailor ourselves to the distant professors”; “need to give their egos a wide berth”; “groveling to them–when I see them”; “‘yes, maam’ing’ and ‘yes, sir’ing’ has become almost second nature”; “to complete my schooling has to come before my education”; and “few care and back it up.” Maybe our surprise that so many students don’t believe so many of us teachers care about them supports their indictment. But, what do students know.

Excuse me? Students are a source of “distraction” and “inefficiency?” Well, let me tell you, as I told him, about a “distraction” and “inefficiency” who I think explains that our MISSION as educators is not to move students along an assembly line in a factory-school setting; that our interest in the students should be beyond both the confines of the subject and the classroom; that teaching is not just something to be conveyed, but some emerging one to behold; and that our interest in being in the classroom should be to be with the students.