Teachers

This is the first in a series on teaching and learning.

The Problem of Teachers

Calvin, of Calvin and Hobbes, couldn't answer a question about the Byzantine Empire posed by his teacher -- and neither could most people! Not knowing “the answer” is often the teacher's fault -- but you rarely hear that possibility raised. They can't teach, but mark down you or me or Calvin! And what a crock, their pretend lessons on things that they don't have a clue about, because they never substantiate them, merely take the claims from a book, without proof, justification or reasoning. It's only much later we might find that, for example, something that is boring in school, like history, is actually quite interesting, but the facts are concealed from us, because they don't want to provide a true education.

Know that much of “science,” “history,” “economics,” “art,” and so many other things are simply BS.

The stuff that’s harder to hide mistakes in tends to be better, like math and “hard science,” like the more practical aspects of chemistry and physics. But for a large part, you’re just dealing with a bunch of memorization of half-assed “facts” and nonsense that is mostly politically motivated.

To make matters worse, the bulk of the lessons make everything as boring and intractable as possible, when there are many ways to learn efficiently and quickly. Which recalls the old joke, “The food at this restaurant is terrible!” “Yeah, and the portions are small, too!” Instead of telling people some tricks and “hacks,” and finding ways to make boring things interesting, they have structured school so as to get their jollies by failing people, telling them they have a “learning disability,” and so on. Never is it said that they, the teachers, have a teaching disability, which is itself a learning disability.

Everything is so corrupt, they've, naturally, succeeded in making education and therefore, teachers, a joke.

Society is complex enough that we can't hide things like easier methods to accomplish tasks, the “secrets” and “tricks.” But “education,” in a structured sort of sadism, doles out little dribbles of information in its hubris. The excuse is that they're hoping to “find the academically skilled.” Only scum use teaching as an excuse for petty tyranny. Just look at all the Youtube videos that have good teaching methods, the online language courses that actually teach you a language.

I remember some real gems of teachers, and some insane bastiches. One that stands out was an elementary-grade “French teacher,” who stomped into the classroom with a large tape recorder, plopped it down on a desk in front of the class, pressed the play key, and went and sat down for the rest of the hour while some monotonous unintelligible garble droned from the speaker of the machine.

There were many other memorable crazy-asses. One gave us a task to sit there and copy out text from a book, word for word. Something about “Mesopotamia,” possibly – who knows, who cares?

...and then they pressed the mud into bricks, and used them to form walls. There was trading in the marketplace as traders came in with their wares... traders came from far away... they used water and straw... they lived in towns and villages...

It wasn’t exactly this text; the above is much more interesting.

One might say bad teachers are just (bad) babysitters, but no, this is yet another stupid form of child abuse, and the best we can say about these “educators,” is that they are evil. Because, as an insightful person stated, stupidity is evil.

One doesn’t have to search the recesses of memory too hard to recall the attitude of so-called teachers. For many, their main interest seemed to be “the staff room,” for a coffee and smoke, and chat, mostly gossip. Some of them managed to find room for an “affair” or two, or to mess around with the secretary, as one principal was caught doing.

No, we don’t usually put the brightest bulbs in the teaching profession. There was another winner: A young substitute teacher who would come in every Friday.

Inevitably, every Friday, the class would misbehave. Not really badly at all. Just a little noisy and unruly, and wouldn’t settle down. No bloodshed or pig heads on pikes or anything like that.

But every Friday, she fell victim to this minor rebellion, and would lose it and break down into tears – after a tantrum and some hysterics.

And every Friday, she’d run out of the room and down the steep staircase of our ancient schoolhouse, to the newer addition which housed the principal’s office. This same principal was our teacher Monday to Thursday.

And every Friday, you could almost set your watch by it, the principal would come storming up the stairs, furious. He’d launch into the classroom, face glowing a severely crimson shade – dangerously so, for his health – and would launch into a mad diatribe of yelling and screaming nonsensical blather and threats at us.

Then he would leave, and life would continue as usual.

No one thinks this is strange or inappropriate behavior?

Besides, that type of thing is risky: having a sedentary job, then disrupting your system by exerting yourself so – there were a lot of stairs – and throwing a tantrum on top of it. Poor dumb bugger.

You know, one has to wonder why the principal didn’t give the silly sub a few tips, like to try handling it herself and threaten us with detention or something. Well, that’s easy – the old goat was trying to impress and thrill the little byatch with his potent machismo.

But that might be ungracious to say.

Maybe not. At least he could still “get it up,” and not just up the stairs! That sneaky, lascivious devil!

That dim bulb never thought that his “approach” might lack a little polish after failing for the hundredth time?

Tuco question

If a “teacher” doesn’t have wisdom or self-control, or ability to deal with students, what then does he or she really have to teach those students?

Ah, yes. There was a “Creative Writing” class where the teacher told us to “write stories.” Well, tard, I wouldn't have to take a writing class if I was good enough to just sit down and write creative things, would I? I took the course to learn the tricks and techniques, but we were given no guidance, and it appeared the teacher was just using this for an easy break from routine.

You know, one day, hopefully, people grow up. And find out that the whole purpose of school was not really to teach children anything, but to create another slave generation of compliant, complacent “worker bees” who don’t know a damn thing about the real world.

And what are these creatures we assign to teach the children? Petty, preening small-scale dictators and tyrants who rarely possess the invaluable qualities of introspection and self-awareness.

One thing that is pretty universally disdained is the person who is a “snitch.” Isn’t it funny, then, how teachers are the biggest snitches – calling parents to “tell” on children, or sending children to the principal, making snide remarks on report cards, putting notations on the “permanent records,” etc?

Picking on Teachers

This airing of grievances is necessary because no one is picking on them. Sure, some people gripe, but they are not saying the right things... because of muzzling by political correctness and phony “politeness.” And how dare we attack teachers, out there “in the trenches,” “doing a great job!”

It is an egregious zone, to demand: “We must respect the teachers!” The retort is the familiar: Respect must be earned.

This is too big to fluff over. It’s for your children, capische?

What do we want in teachers? We've already covered this partially in an earlier article: a start would be employing older people who have actual experience in the fields they're teaching in. An ideal occupation for retirees/near-retirees.

The Problem of Self-Glorification

Who says that teachers actually want to teach? It is interesting how incurious they are to find the best methods of teaching. Many don’t seem to want to help children learn, but almost all want to self-glorify.

As for other professions, we've often got the wrong type of people involved in teaching.

It’s a little kingdom for them, or a little harem, perhaps.

Quoting one teacher, “You’d be surprised at why some people get into teaching.” No, I wouldn't be surprised, and the reasons aren't flattering. There's a lot of complexity and a lot of problematic people around, it's no surprise we often get the wrong people for the job.

Posturing

Children can be tricked and manipulated relatively easily. Hence, bad teachers can, nevertheless, be popular with the majority by putting up a phony front for the impressionable kids with various “shows.”

  • a show of force or aggression;
  • a show of sophistication;
  • a show of pretended intelligence;
  • a show of phony empathy.

Some are attracted to kids, hoping to “score” with them.

Some are in it just for an easy paycheck, some to socialize with the other teachers or staff, some to “score” with them.

Some are in it to “feel superior,” and it is easy to do so, with a pack of unsophisticated youngsters in thrall. These bullies get their jollies by intimidating and ordering kids around.

The wrong reasons come in a lot of shapes and sizes.

But if virtually none seem to be interested in teaching, you can’t entirely blame them. Teaching is set up to fail.

The powers that be want a lot of dummies teaching a lot of pap, to discourage learning, cow the students, and mold obedient order-followers.

And we are fools to allow “places of learning” to be amusement palaces for “teachers.”

Yet inadequate schools persist, year after year, despite their known failings. That means there is a reason – an ulterior motive.

The job market wants those who are able to not think for themselves, but mimic specific operations with the barest guidance and follow orders, so that’s what they get.

Those students that fall by the wayside are part of the statistically planned-for unfortunate dregs.

Teaching, then, is like all professions that have an ulterior motive. It is essential to have dummies in teaching. No introspection, no questioning of what they are or aren't accomplishing, no innovation or progress.

Still, teachers should be helped... Teaching the same thing, day after day, year after year, will cause a person’s psyche some problems. We need to recognize this and develop methods to avoid this.

A teacher should teach general principles that apply in life – that is, universal truths that we all should know and live by.

A teacher should get inspiration from good teachers, from those who can help people learn in clever ways.

They should be interested in the psychology of learning. Which is an interesting topic.

The principles behind teaching and learning are things that need research, since there seems to be no substantial knowledge in the area, only guesses and ineffectual ideas that often have no substance.

Remedial Math

We, ourselves, need remedial math, because we seem to fail at the fundamentals and don't recognize the simplest of concepts. Like when they say, “School (and other) taxes are going up,” it must mean that the percentage is going up. More money thrown at the problem does not improve it. It can't. The more inefficient government activities are, the more taxes we pay for them. We’ve created an unsustainable system, because ever-increasing percentages leads inevitably to a point where taxes are over 100%. That's not possible, but they nonetheless push it to a point of crisis, where eventually most people are impoverished and have to struggle to survive.

Respect

It's hard, respecting those authorities and elders who don’t deserve respect. A harsh part of life is learning that those in authority positions will stand up for their idiot peers, right or wrong, so as to not undermine their own “authority,” and because, “that’s the way it’s done,” or to “teach respect.” That's not respect, but a form of bullying.

This is an ongoing problem persisting throughout the workplace and in social interaction. It causes otherwise sensible people frustration and a desire for “revenge,” so when they get in a position of authority, they continue the same destructive ways that they resented themselves.

We need to work against this, by spreading awareness, and being honest enough to try to recognize and stifle it in ourselves. It's something that would fit nicely into a course in a school curriculum, which would outline and examine all of the fatal flaws of mankind.

Perplexing Questions

  1. Why aren’t teachers embarrassed when they fail someone, even though that means, almost always, that the teacher failed?
  2. Why aren’t teachers interested in the deeper aspects of teaching: How people learn most effectively, and how different people vary in the way they learn?
  3. Why is there a vast, important, body of knowledge that isn’t taught?

There will be howls about how you can't blame the teachers because they are often cooped up with literal criminals. Sure, there are lots of youngsters that are admittedly a problem, and there's no shortage of reports to that effect. Just the other day, one threw a chair that clocked her teacher and left her unconscious.

What's pretty obvious is that the format of the classroom environment we have now isn't proper for everyone. Many, many students would profit from a more vocational-style schooling, into which you'd inject the finer academic points, as they arose, in practical situations. For example, teaching percentages would be simple, if framed as necessary to know, so you know what percentage to cut your coke with fentanyl without making your product fatal to your customers. Or, the math of handling money and making change would be readily taught as a necessary part of running your nail salon. Those are kind of breezy examples, but they get the point across.

You don't put yourself in a losing situation from the start, then complain that you're the innocent. The teachers have to step up and demand changes, so, responsibility for failures does fall on their heads, despite their class trouble-makers.

The rebellious students are often the smart ones, since they're routinely taught pure crap. And it's getting progressively worse, deliberately, like this underhanded “Common Core” training. Remember, modern schooling is based on the “Prussian model,” a.k.a., the “factory model,” introduced in the late 1700s, intended to make good workers for factories. Common Core is just a ploy to make even dumber, more confused, worker drones, so it is a refinement of the factory model.


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