Open Letter to Teachers
I believe the entire public educational system is missing the boat. Also, I believe that the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has stifled the creativity and fun in teaching.
There are many great teachers, and I`m very proud that I, too, have been called one of the great ones. Unfortunately, there are far too many teachers who want that small check, summers off and all the other vacation perks than those who truly care and can actually "teach."
I was a child who fell completely through the cracks of public education. I was a high school dropout. Fortunately, at the age of 28, I went to college, and now hold a Master`s Degree in Education.
In addition, I am a motivational speaker specializing in helping teachers find their passion to teach, and, in some cases, re-energize teachers to get back to motivational teaching so they can motivate and inspire students to rise to the occasion and succeed with their educational and personal endeavors.
Between 2000 and 2005, I conducted a study with 28 classes between two different teaching styles and studied what it takes to improve student retention, class work and tests scores.
Style one: Motivational-- based on my teaching philosophy.
Style two: GttM-- Going through the Motions), based on everything opposite of my philosophy, hence, going through the motions.
In my study, I took (subject 1) 14 classes and made learning fun, taught with passion, true caring (identifying troubled students and working with them one-on-one), motivation, inspiration, and with firm control of the class, thus gaining the students` respect.
With the other (subject 2) 14 classes, I simply taught by going through the motions. The results are as follows...
Subject one: Never exceeded an 8% drop-rate. 100% improved class work. And 100% pass rate on tests (mid term and final exam).
Subject two: 20% - 32% drop-rate. 80% improved class work. And 80% pass rate on tests (mid term and final exam).
Based on the results of my study, I believe if a teacher has passion for what they teach, truly show they care, is motivational, inspirational, and has the respect for and of their students, more students WILL rise to the occasion and succeed.
Sadly, there are far too many teachers whom, for whatever reason (available for another paper or article), simply go through the motions when teaching and cannot reach the students, and probably do not care.
If you are a teacher who touches the lives of your students in a positive manner, I applaud you! If you are a teacher who just goes through the motions for a paycheck, you either need to be re-energized, or you need to find a new career!
Glenn Brandon Burke, M.A.Ed