Teacher Appreciation Year


My brother has four kids, they are all between nine and thirteen, and I think he's going crazy having them home every day. He loves them of course, and gratitude for all the extra time together is given often, but he and his wife both manage businesses and balance home life. Staying on top of four pre-teens and their remote learning isn't something they expected. There are six or seven families on their block outside of town with similarly aged kids and if school does not resume on campus next fall they're planning to build a little classroom and hire a full-time teacher. I think this is a brilliant idea for the kids, for the teacher and for the parents' own productivity.

Our society stacks houses of cards upon houses of cards and that's easy to forget most of the time. It's really great to have occasional reminders. I'll explain. In my late-twenties I was teaching aviation one-on-one and I noticed pretty quickly that secondary and college students have more limber minds. They're so practiced at learning and retaining new things and they can absorb at a much quicker pace. Watching adults dive into new studies magnifies the disparity. As we continue in life most of us specialize into a more limited range of topics and without regular exercise our brains lose their versatility and strength as a muscle. Accountants are typically smarter about finances and tax law than almost everyone but they might steadily lose any chemistry prowess previously possessed. More broadly, they continue to improve at research and comprehension of regulatory code but deteriorate in the dexterity of theoretical testing. Conversely, particle physicists understand more about the design of and postulation about the physical universe than anyone but they are less likely to be adept carpenters. As we specialize in fewer disciplines those cognitive skills intensify while the rest fade into decrepitude.

I'm saying that professional educators excel at strengthening versatile cognitive abilities. If you teach second grade you have more experience than any parent helping individual learners to recognize letters, group them into meaningful words and discern sentences. You can help your students develop contextual understanding, practice personal relation to content and evolve individual expression. Parents don't spend nearly as much time teaching those skills to second graders as you do. Firstly, the average parent, according to US Census data, will only have 1.9 second graders to whom to teach reading in their lifetime; that's a pretty small sample size. Secondly, it's your job, and doing your job allows parents to do their job, whether it be accounting, chemistry, particle physics or carpentry.

Your amputation as a teacher affects your ability to effectively educate, which in turn affects student learning, which eventually impedes parents' efficiency in their daily lives. We are a less efficient society. Happy Teacher Appreciation Year!

Do I have any idea what will be the long-term results of this? No. I can only theorize on liklihoods:

  • Education will take a giant technological leap
  • Students will experience an historical anomoly (we hope it's as beneficial as detrimental)
  • Parents will be forced to revitalize their teaching muscle
  • We will all acknowledge the immeasurable value of organized education
  • Perhaps we will all be stronger and smarter for it

What are some goals we can set in order to take advantage of this anomoly? There are the obvious ones:

  • Keep advancing the learning
  • Don't fall into social and economic disaster

Then there are more obscure objectives:

  • Re-evaluate distance learning and hybridize its strengths with our classic model
  • Take advantage of the situation - let children learn via outside-the-classroom tasks
  • Recognize this break from tradition as a transformation - improve your teaching style

I only meant to tell you all that America is now realizing how much we rely on you for our childrens' advancement but also for our own daily efficiency, but then I got onto a positive spin tangent:) This lesson will endure, I think. We want to join the team and the movement to build the best possible version of education. We continue to consider your thoughts and feedback at info@connectinglink.com.

Here are a few classes related to this topic:

Ike Martinson
Ike is addicted to life in the Pacific Northwest. He enjoys the mountains, the lakes, the food, the people and all the seasons. He is an amateur chef, a commercial pilot and a terrible painter.

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