Elementary Teachers: Are We Asking Too Much?

Have you talked to an elementary teacher lately? Have you noticed how hectic their schedule is? Do they look sort of frazzled?

We ask a lot from our teachers. Not only do they have to navigate byzantine bureaucracy, they need to be masters of time management, disciplinarians and diplomats to parents and administration.

By far the biggest challenge for most is the requirement to be subject matter experts on many topics – ranging from social studies and mathematics to English and reading. Now that many states are requiring proficiency in science, the challenge is even greater.

Teaching science alone is a huge endeavor. Expecting a teacher to naturally rise to this challenge is not reasonable. Of course there are teachers who excel at teaching science, but for many, science is an intimidating and difficult subject. Yet, as the nation wakes up to the fact that we are losing the science, technology engineering and mathematics careers to foreign countries, the pressure to raise testing scores and impart knowledge in science is greater than ever.

Teachers need a solid system of teaching that goes beyond administration dictated curriculum. From step by step, clear and concise supplemental materials to professional development and multimedia tools, we can help teachers rise to the challenge and even enjoy the ride.

Many teachers believe the voice in their head that says “I’m just not good at science”. This flawed thinking is often channeled to young students. The fact is, with a good system, anyone can master science. The principles are basic. The ideas, universal.

And with the right approach science can be as exciting as a video game. Let’s never forget that we need teachers to inspire, guide and support children more than ever. Let’s do what we can to support the teachers.

Please share your comments below. How can we help?



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