5 questions in education that need solutions

This is going to sound like a big whine session, but I want to offer questions that are often talked about among teachers and see what comments you have to offer.  Be sure to post solutions not just complaints.

Question 1

How do students get to high school and don’t know their multiplication tables?student with mult tables

Being a high school math teacher I see this all the time and it is very frustrating and discouraging.  I have no doubt that at some point in their academic career students have been taught their multiplication tables but at what point did they lose that skill.  It is a vital skill for them to have in order to be successful in math, but also after school.  A lot of jobs require potential employees to pass a test that doesn’t allow them to use a calculator.  The problem isn’t just the “lower” students, it is a problem with every level of students.  I gave my homeroom a 3rd grade math test and didn’t allow them to use the calculator.  It was a test that most of them should have at least passed.  I only had 2 out of 4 Pre-Calculus/Calculus students make a 100.  The test was difficult for a 3rd grader but it shouldn’t be for high school seniors that are about to enter the “real world”.  I’m curious to hear your responses to this question.

Question2

Why are there 8th grade students that can’t read at a 4th grade level?

student struggling with reading

I know that reading has been a major emphasis in the elementary school with the implementation of AR testing and other programs that try to get students to read more.  It may be helping, but we still have students that are reading three and four grade levels below what they should be.  The reading problem still exists and if a child can’t read at an appropriate level then they can’t succeed at any level of school or at any subject in school.  Every class is dependent on the ability to read.  If you have answers, advice, or ideas to solve this problem please comment below.

Question 3

Why have parents changed?

parent vs teacher

I know one answer to the question is going to be the increase in single parent homes.  I do believe it is an issue, but it can’t be that simple.  There has always been single parent homes, but the issues that teachers are having with parents haven’t.  It seems that if a student gets in trouble, too often it’s more the teachers fault than it is the child’s.  Teachers were once considered an extension of the parents.  They were relied on as someone that disciplined their students and held them to a high standard with their behavior and their academics.  Things seem to have changed over the years.  Any comments or suggestions on this issue would be welcomed in the comment section.

Question 4

Where did the study skills go?

study skills usa

The academic struggles that students have today are the same struggles that students have always had but it seems to be more prevalent nowadays.  If you advise a student to go study for a test I’m not convinced they know how.  Although I am an advocate for a study skills class, it shouldn’t take a study skills class in order to prepare for a test or get help with homework.  We are living in a time where we can get all the information we need by clicking a button.  Is the problem a “can’t” problem or a “won’t” problem?  I’m really interested to read your comments on this subject.

Question 5

How can a student graduate high school without the ability to tell time, write a check, sign their name, make change from money, or fill out a resume?

dollar change

The advancement of technology has been great for educating students, but it has also caused some skills to regress over the years.  For example, with the ability to type research papers and other assignments student’s penmanship has made a drastic decline.  I know the digital clocks have decreased the need to tell time and the use of credit cards have limited the use of checks, but isn’t it a skill they still need to know.  There are still going to be times where people are going to have to sign a paper and their printed name doesn’t need to be there signature too.  Our education system has done a lot of “what are you thinking” things and one of them was taking cursive writing out of schools.  It may be because I am a math teacher, but the most disappointing skill that too many students don’t have is the ability to make change from money.  It doesn’t matter if you are an employee or a consumer you need to be able to count change.  It is very frustrating to see a cashier not give you the correct change.  I realize it can happen to anybody at some point, but it does seem it happens too often.  Any solutions to solve this problem would be welcomed below.

   I hope these questions don’t come off as blaming teachers for all of our problems and I don’t want the comment section below being a blame section.  I realize that a lot of our problems as educators is out of our control whether it be home life, time constraints due to standardized testing, or other aspects of the local and state requirements that we are asked to do, but we need to come together and come up with solutions to the questions we all have.

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4 thoughts on “5 questions in education that need solutions

  1. Part of the problem is that parents are being allowed to much authority. Parents can override teachers in situations where the teacher feels and can document that the child needs to be retained, but parents can just sign they don’t agree and students are then promoted to the next grade level without meeting the criteria for the grade they were in. Parents do not respect teachers and their decisions like parents did in my generation. Also, ESL students cannot be retained, even if it would benefit them tremendously or their parents are in agreement with the teacher. Our education system is flawed.

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    1. Interesting. That explains a lot. I am in high school and we don’t see that side of education. What level do you teach?

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