Devil’s Advocate

For a failing, problematic education system, blame the teachers. Not the students, or the parents or the administrators, but the teachers. Why? Because who, in the end, is the one doing the teaching and interacting with the students on a daily basis?  The teachers.  Six-and-a-half hours a day, five days a week, 181 days a year.  This should be enough time for teachers to teach and students to learn. Yet students are still failing. The problem must lie with the teachers.

It’s the fault of the public education system, you say? Unlikely. The only issue with the system is that it allowed these mediocre teachers to teach in the first place.  Obviously, what the teachers are doing with their students isn’t enough. Not enough to keep students from failing.  Or, worse yet, dropping out.

They are overworked and have too many students? That’s inaccurate.  Even with 30 students per classroom or more, the teacher has plenty of time to give them all individualized attention.  Teachers are masters at multitasking.  They can teach a lesson, help a student with their work and hold a parent-teacher conference at the same time.  And teachers are expected to move every student through their work smoothly and without problems.

Behavioral problems? Yes, what about them? Well, of course some students will have behavioral problems! But a good teacher shouldn’t have these problems.  Teachers automatically hold the respect of every student in their room just by being the teacher.  What if a student does misbehave?  Well, a good teacher knows how to stop the behavior and reprimand the student accordingly. And being ever so respectful of the teacher, the student stops acting up and never does so again. This is hardly ridiculous. Students respect the teacher, as they naturally respect everyone in an authority position over them.  So if the student causes problems again and again, the teacher must be a poor disciplinarian and, of course, a poor teacher.

Test scores are the best evidence of the teachers’ lack of effectiveness in the classroom. Test scores never lie and are never wrong.  Failing test scores and failing students show how teachers are poorly educating their students. Everyone knows that standardized tests judge well how much a student learned and understood the material. Students are only as good as their teachers.  Teachers who have failing students clearly don’t have the skills or knowledge to help all their students succeed – this success naturally being evaluated mainly through these tests.

So we need to stop creating new laws and changing how the students are taught.  These are not the issues with public education today. It’s important that we get to the true root of the problem – the teachers – and fix what truly is causing the problem.

4 thoughts on “Devil’s Advocate

  1. Pingback: On Becoming a Teacher | Amyliano

  2. amyliano

    I am an English Teacher and I think the real problem lies within the society itself; that is, the place where I teach has really complicated social system. It’s like each individual comes from a different place and I tell you it needs a master to really get them to work together. One issue is that most teachers are being paid less, so it is only natural they would be working less. Give them double the salary, give them double the work they have, I am certain it will pay off even up to 40 % of positive scholarly income.

  3. AmateurYogi

    You definitely give a strong counter argument. I like your use of examples in this piece. I was really able to visualize what you were saying. Some of the arguments you made sounded a little bit sarcastic, though. I understand that you were countering an argument, but maybe pick fewer examples so that you don’t so much alienate people who may feel the opposite way? Also, watch your sentence length. There were lot of short sentences. I am a huge culprit when it comes to sentence length. These assignments, though, are really helping me to switch it up and keep the length of sentences varied. These shorter sentences sort of make your piece sound more like a rant than a counter argument.

    Don’t get me wrong, though, you give examples that definitely build an argument. You approach all of the arguments of those who argue this way, and I think that those who support this argument would be behind you the whole way.

  4. sadikibeme

    I like that passion in this post but I know this was a hard argument for you to make. The tone may cause some of your audience to become defensive instead of creating a healthy argument.


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