You teach how you were taught + pressure = FAIL

I work in the Yakima Valley, in central Washington.  The combination of poverty, migrant populations, English language learners from monolingual homes and weak local economies has turned the Yakima Valley into an educational quagmire.  The state of Washington has increasingly poured in resources in an attempt to “fix” our “failing” schools.

With all of this “support” has come additional pressure on teachers.  When people are put under pressure, innovation and experimentation go out the window.  When we are under stress, by nature, we reach for what is known, for what is safe.

I’ve seen the old axiom, “you teach how you were taught,” proven true time and again.  It’s hard to create something that you’ve never experienced.  This becomes even more true for teachers under pressure.

Pressure on teachers has not inspired change in instructional practices; quite the opposite.  Pressure has caused teachers to do what they know, and do it harder.  It has caused them to lecture harder, to push more worksheets, to give more tests, to assign longer homework, etc.

Meanwhile test scores go down, attendance drops, dropout rates increase and graduation rates decrease.  Now comes less state money and more pressure.

Scores going down

Scores going down in ESD 105

Fail.


One thought on “You teach how you were taught + pressure = FAIL

  1. Pingback: Follow up #2 – teach to the test? | Wisdom Begins with Wonder

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