Teach with Real Quality and End Poverty: A Domino Effect
I see the end of poverty and to the lack of interest in my classmates. According to the Census Bureau, “16.3% of Florida is below poverty level in 2009-2013,” and Florida schools are still required to go by the outdated 2011 Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model to evaluate the quality of teaching in educators (United States Census Bureau) (“Approved District Performance Evaluation Systems”). The model does not improve the interest in students, nor has it improved the quality of teaching in the State of Florida.
Florida continues to rank C in “State Academic Standards,” yet teachers and students are taught to comply with the standardized test investment and evaluation model by Dr. Robert Marzano (“2014 State Education Performance and Policy Index”) (“Approved District Performance Evaluation Systems”). Marzano designed an inefficient, incomplete and unsuccessful standardized model of evaluation in education. Through its Race to the Top program, the U.S. government funds Marzano’s outdated model for states and schools to compete for competitive grants and supposedly to “complete the global economy,” “improve instruction” and “turn around lowest- achieving schools” in the United States (“Race to the Top Fund”). With the results of this model in place, there is greater pressure on the states to mandate schools to increase their scores just for grant money. It causes teachers to teach for the purpose only of fulfilling the state’s bureaucracy requirements for “growth in test scores,” through a standardized test that determines 50% of a student’s passing grade level
(“Overview of Florida’s Teacher Evaluation System”). Teachers are spending more time in the classroom on simply teaching students how to take the test than on the quality of their teaching.
The Marzano Evaluation Model is not so “new” any more and does not offer any kind of realistic preparation to students for the rapid, innovative society that we live in (“Dr. Marzano's Causal Teacher Evaluation Model”). Therefore, this “industrial revolution” way of thinking (math, reading and science) continues to increase poverty in the American Nation through the root of education in our society. Real teaching quality will determine our future as a nation and the end to poverty. Quality implements different ways of teaching and learning, something Marzano’s model does not mention.
We need our culture to become innovative, motivational and prosperous for future jobs. Allowing educators actually to teach and make classrooms fun will increase enthusiasm in students and motivate them to go to school. If the competitive grant or Race to the Top programs focused on real talent performance and not on performance on a test that standardizes all students, it would increase revenue in our society because of the number of students that would actually enjoy school and later more effectively contribute to the work force ("Race to the Top Fund”). What we need is an increase in self-motivation in students to complete a degree, which would shift our culture toward creating more businesses that impact the economy. We would also need to change the evaluation model to increase the quality of teaching in educators. Once the quality of teaching improves, educators can be paid based on their evaluated performance and student results. The money invested in standardize testing can actually be used give educators a higher pay. Self-motivation in students will come from the quality of teaching in educators, increasing jobs and the end result to eliminate poverty in the United States of America.
We would start by changing the numerous evaluation models for teachers, including the state of Florida, and implement different ways of teaching. Improving teaching quality begins with expanding students’ interest in going to school. What follows is a list of successful teaching methods that promote quality in an educator, each of which can leverage the enthusiasm students feel to have fun in school; this list can also serve as a model for evaluating educators in the content of their classrooms. First, educators should pursue teaching according to their students’ interests; this will allow students to engage in any subject the educator is teaching. Teachers should survey their students to become aware of their common interests. For example, if a majority of the classroom likes basketball, the educator could teach the class on the school’s basketball court rather than in the classroom. When teachers get to know their students’ interests and teach accordingly, students become more engaged.
Second, educators need to motivate their students to participate in discussion. They need to not just motivate, but teach self-motivation. They need to teach what it is to be self-motivated and how self-motivation is important in the professional setting. Teaching about short and long term goals allows students to reach for something greater than them, it also demonstrates a path of how to start now instead of reaching graduation and the students still not knowing where to begin their career.
Third, teachers need to stress the importance of exciting innovation, and showcase how brainstorming and creating can become reality. This includes, for example, project management, and workshops that require analyzing and coming to an agreement on a solution. Another example is using art forms to stimulate different creative areas of their students’ brains, like using music and hands-on art projects.
Fourth, educators should teach the importance of completion. Students need to taste success and experience the sense of achievement that comes with the long and hard work of building something from the ground up. They need to have this experience instead of just completing worksheets from books.
Fifth, educators need to teach the importance of the “Why,” “How,” and “What” behind every business, and the success this “Golden Circle” has brought to numerous companies (Holmes, Nelson). Sixth, teachers should instruct on current events and how they affect our future. Seventh, educators need to teach time management, particularly instead of just marking a student tardy. They can teach what is it is to organize and schedule time effectively through fun projects that the class would be interested in.
This leads to the eighth item, which is to teach efficiency and how each project can be done at the right speed with the right coordination and focus. This relates to the ninth item, which is to keep up to date with new technology, constantly using technology to improve and showcase results, as well as to find alternative applications to intrigue the entire classroom and get them involved. Finally, educators should teach proactive decision-making and emotional intelligence. This includes, for instance, the mastery of keeping yourself positive when a difficult situation arises in a professional and personal setting. We need to implement this as part of our culture, “cultures in which we are raised do not only affect our values and outlook. They also shape our bodies and may even structure our brains,” states Ken Robinson in his book “The Element” (Robinson, Ken, and Lou Aronica 150).
Educators should focus on their quality of teaching in addition to learning which are the most effective ways for their students to learn. It is definitely not for the students just to listen and look at a white board. Humans learn visually, emotionally and socially, through hands-on, listening and reading, and with repetition. With so many options, teachers should break away from simply writing on the board and lecturing. Studies have shown how young participants sitting in the same room showcased similar brain activity but with “marked differences in neural responses between the older Western and Asian observers. In the Westerners, the lateral occipital complex remained active, while in Asian participants it responded only minimally.” This demonstrates that different cultures have different brain activity while seeing the same material. Our society is multicultural, meaning our educators need to make adjustments to their way of teaching depending on the students in their classrooms to make their teaching effective for everyone (Robinson, Ken, and Lou Aronica 151). We are evolving as a society; we need to move forward and do in depth research on how we learn.
Educators making these changes will motivate students to want to pursue their passions and professional goals. The more fascinated society is with education the more inventive businesses will be and the more quality jobs will be created. Focusing on the ways of teaching and different ways of learning will allow growth and aid in ending poverty in the United States.
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Holmes, Nelson. TED: Simon Sinek - "The Golden Circle" Clip. Digital image. Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5Tw0PGcyN0. 9 May 2012. Web.
"Overview of Florida’s Teacher Evaluation System." Fldoe.org. Florida Dept. of Education 2015, 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <http://www.fldoe.org/ core/fileparse.php/7503/urlt/0102688- overviewfloridasteacherevaluationsystem.pdf>.
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Robinson, Ken, and Lou Aronica. "Culture: Right and Thong." The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. New York: Penguin Group USA, 2009. Print.
"United States Census Bureau." Florida QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau. U.S. Department of Commerce. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <http:// quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/12000.html>.
"2014 State Education Performance and Policy Index." Alec. ALEC- American Legislative Exchange Council, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <http:// www.alec.org/wp-content/uploads/RC-2014-FL.pdf>.