A measure to reduce the emphasis Virginia high schools put on standardized testing is advancing through the General Assembly.
State Sen. John Miller's bill aimed at requiring the state Board of Education to stress critical thinking over standardized testing was approved Wednesday by a House committee, The Virginian-Pilot reports.
The legislation sailed through the Senate on unanimous vote. On Wednesday a House committee approved it 19 to 3.
The bill also directs education officials to emphasize internships and technical training, something for which Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has been a vocal advocate.
Published at 5:47 AM EST on Feb 18, 2016
Copyright Associated Press
You, as a parent, send your child to the school building each day, five days a week to be exact. You expect him or her to receive a good education from a talented individual who has a passion for education. You expect this person to teach exciting lessons making your child, and a dozen others, thrilled to learn something new everyday. After all, this is the educator's only responsibility, right? Wrong. The number one job of a teacher in the State of North Carolina is not to teach. The number one job of a North Carolina teacher is to maintain order and discipline in the classroom. For quite sometime, people everywhere knew for a fact that despite the job title, that the main job of a teacher is to, well, to teach. According to the North Carolina General Statute 115C-307a, it states "To Maintain Order and Discipline. - It shall be the duty of all teachers, including student teachers, substitute teachers, voluntary teachers, and teacher assistants when given authority over some part of the school program by the principal or supervising teacher, to maintain good order and discipline in their respective schools. A teacher, student teacher, substitute teacher, voluntary teacher, or teacher assistant shall report to the principal acts of violence in school and students suspended or expelled from school as required to be reported in accordance with State Board policies." Seems strange? Well in fact, this makes sense. If the teacher cannot maintain order in the classroom, instruction cannot and will not take place. Students have to be well disciplined and focused if they are to be taught the subject material. So does this mean teaching is the secondary job of a teacher? The answer is no. The secondary job of a teacher is "To Provide for General Well-Being of Students". The teacher is to encourage temperance, morality, industry, and neatness and to promote the health, which involves activities such as recess for all students particularly at the elementary level. Now after these two main duties take place, teaching must occur, correct? Part C of the statute indicates that the teacher is "To Provide Some Medical Care to Students". The teacher is to apply some medical assistance to students as a result of instances such as a cut finger or a nosebleed, etc. Any major occurrences must be dealt with at the main office where, at most schools, a registered nurse is located.
So when does teaching occur, you ask? According to NCGS 115C-307(d) the fourth duty of the teacher is stated as follows: "To Teach the Students. - It shall be the duty of all teachers, including student teachers, substitute teachers, voluntary teachers, and teacher assistants when given authority over some part of the school program by the principal or supervising teacher, to teach as thoroughly as they are able all branches which they are required to teach; to provide for singing in the school, and so far as possible to give instruction in the public school music. This particular duty of a teacher, as it is written, seems very outdated as if it were not updated since the late 18oos, perhaps soon after the Civil War ended. The scope of this duty is far out dated, it does not merely describe what an actual school teacher does today in the 21st century. The other duties that a teacher is obliged to fulfill is "To Enter into the Superintendent's Plans for Professional Growth" this is for the teacher's professional growth, not the student, "To Discourage Nonattendance" of the students, "To Make Required Reports" to the principal of the school, and finally "To Take Care of School Buildings". As you can see, to teach in the State of North Carolina alone involves a lot more than just teaching. It is a full time, dedicated position that involves paperwork and documentation just as any other non-teaching job would require, plus the benefit of ensuring that each and every student who walks through the classroom door is receiving a world class education and that the teacher is appeasing both the parental unit and administration from the school level to the top of the State Board of Education.
1. Develop rapport with the student
Getting to know the student personally increases the comfort level between the student and the tutor. Students learn best if they develop a sense of respect and admiration for the tutor and viewing him or her as a person, rather than just a business professional.
2. Create a lesson outline for each session
Utilize every moment of the session. Nothing seems more unprofessional than an unorganized tutor with numerous gaps in the delivery of his or her instruction. Keep the flow of instruction with guided lessons and more-than-enough practice problems. Prepare yourself in order to anticipate questions that the student may have and that you will have multiple ways of demonstrating a concept. Do not overwhelm the student with multiple concepts. Hone in on their weaknesses and work to increase their confidence level.
3. Do your research on the curriculum
Knowing your student’s grade level and subject is very critical. Students who need tutoring are most likely suffering from a weak foundation and need that assistance to play “catch up” in their studies. Knowing the curriculum helps tremendously by filling in missing key elements that will help prepare the student for current and upcoming lessons in school.
4. Patience is a virtue
One of the biggest failures in tutoring is the tutor’s lack of patience. Allow the student time to master a skill with practice. Although time is critical, spending a considerable amount of time instructing on one concept is better than having to review the concept at a later time. Give praise to the student often for their accomplishment. They may not be receiving these accolades during school or even at home.
5. Preparation is important
Always prepare for the unexpected. Supply the student with plenty of notebook paper, scratch paper, a calculator, sharpened pencils, pens, coursework, etc. Never assume that the student will be prepared with such materials.