Wendy Yothers

Teacher
Apex, NC, United States

About Wendy

Bio

I have been teaching since 1992. I have taught in private, public, charter, Montessori, and even British Primary schools. I hold a dual certificate in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. I also hold a M.Ed in Integrative Learning. I have a Primary Montessori Credential (AMS 6-9). I've taught in PA, NJ, MA, RI, NC as well as in London, Carlisle, and Barrow-in-Furness.

An idea worth spreading

Education needs to be balanced between process & product. We're pushing the process with no real world experience or real goals or real product. Students need to start young learning about food production (cooking, gardening), clothing production (sewing, etc.), creating a shelter (building a tent, lean to, birdhouse, etc.). Starting with small skills & small products, students can build up skills to create bigger, more complex products (gardens, sheds or houses, clothing, etc.). Creating something is a natural motivator. It's a real problem solving experience. Students get to have real life experiences measuring, sifting, observing, thinking & using those thoughts to reach a goal that is concrete, tangible, able to be personally reviewed. Now the student has a product to be kept, sold, used as a further teaching too for future products.[ How can my product be made better?] This is done in art, music, etc. Kids will have skills. They'll stay in school doing & planning. We need this!

I'm passionate about

learning. I feel that many skills that made us strong & independent are being lost to technology. We've become more dependent. Most people knew how to build, sew, or grow food in the past. We don't.

My TED story

I was looking for a place that I could express my ideas about education and the needs of students. I had seen a show about TED and thought this might be the place to share. The world has changed in so many ways but many things have not changed with it and some things we have lost. It is my hope that there are those out there that have seen these changes too and are equally concerned.

Comments & conversations

142576
Wendy Yothers
Posted over 3 years ago
Should public schools in the United States eliminate the traditional A to F grading scale? And if so, what assessment do we replace it with?
Well, I personally believe for grading to change then education itself must also change. A-F is a ranking system that is quick, easy, and understood across community groups. It is easily manipulated for good and bad. It is not a true representation of a skillset. There is also the 4-3-2-1 system with 3 meaning meeting standards independently, 4 being exceeding, 2 meaning needing support to meet standards, 1 meaning" basically not getting it". These systems seem to be in place to rank students easily and do the paper shuffle. Teachers are not given any time to really look at what students are producing. Then students have to move on rather than focus and fix it. Many students are not motivated to produce on a piece of paper. I would like education to become a balance between process and product. Technology gives us a great & easy way to store data. Pictures, videos including explanations of student products could be more easily stored than that of student portfolios. I would rather that students have a real product that can be shared with peers, teachers,and the community. If the product works without problems, it is a success (a garden, a meal, a shed, a piece of clothing, etc). If it doesn't work, then fix it, redo it, or come up with a different plan that will work. Students would be motivated to do things and create things likethey do in art, music, and PE. Many innovators and great thinkers leave schools because they have big ideas that they want to make real! They are doers. These people feel they can't do that in the school setting. They rather change the world from their garage. That says a lot to me. I feel we need a change in perspective. There are many jobs out there that are necessary to the functioning of our lives. However, we rank those like we do grades and people. If you are content in your job, you are able to support yourself and your family, you are a good citizen, then you are a productive member of society and I thank you.