Erik Richardson

Teacher, Richardson Ideaworks, Inc.

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Give me a list of 5 things: What did you like best about school or wish there had been more of?

There is an awful lot of top-down talk in education about what the Ph.D.'s and the politicians think would improve education, but I would like to see more bottom-up talk from the customers about what made school - even if only during rare moments - engaging or meaningful. Repetition is valuable, as in any survey, and uniqueness is valuable too.

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    Apr 29 2011: 1) More applicability across the board. Seriously, you need to let kids know WHY learning about King Lear and Iambic Pentameter and the GNP of Peru and calculating the area of a circle and the thousand other things we learned are useful, rather than relying upon 'banking' knowledge just for tests.2) less rote memorization, WAY more conceptual thinking based testing.3) Way more bottom up discussion, less top down lecturing.4) Learn to teach different learning strategies...why should some students get Cs just because they can't memorize the Periodic Table or who wrote a Valediction Forbidding Mourning?5) Critical Thinking....kids need to be able to logically and sufficiently question claims from authority.
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    Apr 23 2011: 1. Learning examples of how to teach others and how to learn from others.
    2. Being able to challenge elder's to ideas and not being called "disrespectful" for it.

    3. More critical thought values in every subject.
    4. More group educations.
    5. Teach a language THROUGHOUT education, not just two years and think a child can master it, just nonsense.
  • Apr 26 2011: Teachers who encourage independent learning and show kids how the knowledge can also be fun.

    Teachers who tried to make everything concrete and applicable. I had one math teacher who taught us physics right along with math in grade 9 just to make the ideas applicable.

    Some sort of extra-curricular scheme that makes the knowledge necessary would be great. Like some sot of quasi-society or something.

    Somehow make self-pacing doable.

    This isn't really an answer but I remember in high school I absolutely hated Chemistry and now I'm studying it in University and devoting my life to it. Maybe the teacher should have done a better job at showing application.
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    Apr 25 2011: I very rarely enjoyed school at all, but I did have a few teachers who I appreciated. Without exception, they were not lecturers, or assigners of busywork; they were more like storytellers, people who talked about things they had a passion for in a conversational, meandering tone. For an hour, until the bell rang, one could sit entranced as they wove their subject matter together with personal anecdotes, tangents, and whatever else came to mind in a sort of stream of consciousness monologue (with frequent interruptions). They never followed the curriculum in more than an accidental fashion and appreciated rather than retaliated against creative, unexpected solutions to assigned tasks. There were never stupid or irrelevant questions. There was never a topic of conversation or material in a textbook that needed reading.

    Five things I disliked:
    * obedience conditioning
    * repetition conditioning
    * rote memorization conditioning
    * punctuality conditioning
    * lack of air conditioning (haha)
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    Apr 25 2011: 1) group learning activities(not only classroom based)
    2)more questions asked by teachers(not always tell us 1+1=2 ,but ask 1+1=? keep it open)
    3)specific feekbacks from teacher on learning
    4) music
    5) more time to read and discuss
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    Apr 24 2011: Sport
    Music
    English Lit
    Discussion (Which we did not have enough of)
    Ben Bowers (English Lit Teacher) Gave me the confidence to write stories.
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    Apr 23 2011: 1. Singing.
    2. Writing.
    3. Computing (my teacher was ahead of the IT game before it was called IT)
    4. Drawing and Art
    5. School camps/trips/performances
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    Sky F

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    Apr 23 2011: 1. Class discussions. (Very class dependent)
    2. When I finally learned how to write a proper essay. This took too long.
    3. When I finally learned the scientific method. This also took too long.
    4. Teachers who were friends.
    5. Math.
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    Apr 23 2011: 1) I loved being with people.
    2) I loved being exposed to new facts and ideas
    3) I loved art.
    4) I loved phys Ed and the new games etc. that I learned
    5) I loved that feeling of succeeding when I did well on a test or paper.
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    Apr 29 2011: What I would like to see in schools

    1: Computer Languages taught at a fairly young age.
    Computers are not going anywhere, and it might be a good idea for kids to know how to make their own progams instead of buying what is there.

    2: More real world math applications.
    I guess this would fit in well with the programing. I remember being so disconnected in math classes growing up because I failed to see why I would need it.

    3: More creative writing courses and a younger age.
    I only found one creative writing course in high school, and convinced the teacher to let me have a semester to write as a independent study. I don't know if the situation is similar else where, but creativity is a great thing to foster.

    4: More science projects/fairs!
    Only in elementary school do I remember being a school wide science fair.

    5: More pragmatic teaching of real world skills
    Lots of kids will not end up in college. Why not teach these kids real world skills to help them after they graduate.
  • Apr 27 2011: 1. Teacher who inspired us. Like my French teacher in secondary school. He was not only teaching the language but also French culture. He was not only transferring to us the interest of using French words and how they can vary when putting into different context but also his passion to all the beauty of art and cuisine in French. There are a lot of skillful teachers but in my whole student life, until now, there are only 3 teachers whose teaching way is way beyond all the knowledge in the textbooks and lesson plans. Someone who really make me understand the necessity of coming to class and listening to what they say instead of staying home, read all the course slides, do research by myself, complete the assignments and the only thing makes student wants to contact to them is when he/she is having queries related to the assignment.

    2. Teammates who support each other to improve, who help each other feeling that having all those stressful assignments due in one day is not a big deal, who make each other better teammates after a project and who when you see them again you will want to ask "Hey, wanna join my new project group ?"

    3. Assignments that are related to actual life. Not some craft from 60's or 70's with silly requirements and stupid marking guides.

    4. Teachers who respect youth's crazy ideas.

    5. My university's privacy rules of keeping students' mark secret from other students and even their parents. This is awesome. No more discriminate and makes me feel, first time in my life, feel like I am really studying for myself not because of being afraid of my parents' reaction.
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    Apr 26 2011: School became less enjoyable when I left juniors, there seemed to be such a culture shock between the way of learning stuff through self expression, art, drama, literature (ages 5-10), to a system of teaching in classes that had tests to demonstrate how useless my previous school had been at teaching me anything of 'value' in 'the real world' (ages 11+).

    I'm struck at how the secondary school system in the mid to late seventies (UK) was _so_ unlike my previous primary education; and so unlikeable.

    I can't really name five things worth keeping from my secondary education (the school dinners were good at that time though). But, maybe, without it I would have been a bigger dunce than the dunce I am.