Two weeks ago, I embarked on my 28th year of teaching. So much has changed in education since I became a teacher in 1983, and the current catch-phrase is that we are digital immigrants trying to teach digital natives. I have to admit I like that description.
I readily admit we must incorporate today's technology into our lessons, not only because it will capture the attention of our students but because they will be expected to have mastered this technology as they move through the educational system and into tomorrow's jobs. However, I also believe there are life lessons we taught back in 1983 that still hold true today. This week, I want to hear from readers to find out if you agree with me or if I need to change my way of thinking.
Please get on the Valley Town Crier website at www.yourvalleyvoice.com to answer these questions (Registering is easy!) or send me an email. I'd love to hear from students, parents, educators, employers and other community members. I will share the results next week. Here goes:
1. When a student is tardy to class, what should the consequence be?
2. Should the consequence be progressive or the same regardless of the number of tardies?
3. If a teacher assigns a major project and provides students with a deadline, should the students be expected to meet that deadline?
4. Should high school teachers be required to take late work when students miss a deadline?
5. When students far exceed the number of absences allowed by law, should they be able to attend tutoring for the same number of hours and earn credit for the course, equal to the credit earned by students who attended class regularly?
6. What should be done about students who constantly skip class and students who continuously impede instruction?
7. Should public school students be allowed to use curse words in front of teachers, in the hallways, etc.? If not, what should the consequence be?
8. Should public school students have a dress code? If so, name the key aspects of that dress code.
9. Should educators have a dress code? If so, name the key elements of that dress code.
10. Will requiring high school teachers to give students a re-test when they fail an exam result in the students being College Ready? Regardless of whether you answer "yes" or "no," explain why.
Your answers don't need to be lengthy, but I am anxious to read your responses. Let's get an online dialogue going about these questions.
I guess the real question is, "Should we look at these issues through 21st Century glasses or continue expecting what we did in the 19th Century (or prior)?"
Chris Ardis is in her 28th year of teaching, 27 of those in McAllen ISD. She is also a freelance writer. Chris is involved with a grassroots movement to transform public education called SOAR McAllen, which you can find on Facebook. You can email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.