So today I finally articulated two things that have been nagging at me. All along I have had this sensation of not quite understanding the approach to teaching.
You see when I did corporate training, the company decided what information needed to be passed on – the company meaning those that did the job and the managers. The trainers were trusted to find the best way to teach the matter.
<silly me> This is what I thought teaching would be like. I thought there was a MASTER ELA 7th Grade Handbook and it covered all the objectives for 7th gr ELA. How to best teach it to your students was the challenge. I did not realize that teachers everywhere are spending time creating lesson plans that somewhere someone already did (times one million). Reinventing the wheel anyone?? I am all about individuality and creativity, but huh? Where is the MASTER??
So we are building a lesson plan out of what? thin air? Yes kind of. – Um really? Yes. Really.
There are State Standards and there are grade level benchmarks and then school districts making decisions on curriculum. All of these effect what the teacher has to plan in the classroom. All this AND the variety of students in the classroom.
The School District area is also the deciding factor of where the money for schools comes from
– this information explains how a public school for a greater city downtown will be in disrepair and struggling for basic materials while a school a half mile away in a different district line may have an Olympic size swimming pool and state of the art computer lab. Seems to be that the best route would be that all taxes for school would be put into a State Kitty and then divided up by the number of children enrolled in public school and there would be an amount per student.