Thursday, December 29, 2011

Education and Social Networking

During the winter break I have been trolling Twitter looking for people in the educational world to follow. I have come across some fascinating individuals: teachers, union leaders, writers, students, reporters and professors. It's been quite interesting. I had no idea that people actually argue back and forth on Twitter. There seems to be an unending discussion about education reform, which I think is a good thing. The educational system in our country is definitely broken. I am reading a lot of great ideas and theories. I still consider myself a bit of an outsider in the world of teaching. I have a lot of experience as a student, but I only graduated with my Master's in education in May of this year. I have been working part time as a substitute teacher since September. In my "former" life I worked in corporate America. Being a part of the business world was an education itself. It taught me responsibility and accountability, which were not completely foreign in my life, but let's face it: If you don't do your job you risk losing it. When you have rent/mortgage, a car payment and various bills you learn very quickly the importance of being accountable. Why is accountability an issue in education? Parents blame teachers, teachers blame parents, administrators blame budgets, teachers blame administrations, unions blame everyone but teachers. When does it stop? When I was growing up we didn't have the information overload we do now. If there was an issue within a school or education as a whole, we often didn't hear about it right away. There was the newspaper and the nightly news on television. Maybe there were school meetings our parents or guardians attended. Today students learn about almost everything in real time. I wonder how they feel about the adults who make decisions about their educational well being. As an adult looking in I see a lot of embarrassing stuff. I don't know all the answers, but there has to be a better way.

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