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I didn't, I am still celebrating those great Denver Broncos.!!! They
are great!!Prof L




> Hi Folks,
> First, some unabashed celebrating:  LOVE DEM BRONCOS!  Okay, I got that out
> of my system.  On to "therious sthuff" (as Sylvester the Cat might say).
> Bev Krieger's comments on "training v. education" sent me on a trip down
> memory lane  - a road that gets longer as the years increase -  to a time
> when I was kick-the-world's-behind high-schooler.  I AM NOT TAKING ISSUE
> WITH BEV!  I only mention her because it was her use of the two terms  that
> got me to ruminating.
>
> In the minds of counselors, teachers, et. al., there were basically two
> groups of students: those who would be going off to college (so by
> definition could handle the rigors of academic discipline), and those of us
> who weren't ( a group of us came to call oursleves the "FPA," or Future
> Plumbers of America).  The "real" students were educated, and the rest of
> us were trained.  We got the basic ed courses, home ec, shop, and gym.  (I
> somehow ended up in a 10th grade English Lit. class that changed my life -
> but that's another story)  The "real students" got a heavy dose of
> academics, honors club, band, and dramatic arts.  They went off to college.
> We went off to war, to work at the local gas station, or horror of horrors
> - to community college.
>
> Over the years I've noticed that, in one form or another, this labeling
> still exists.  We talk about "retraining" our workforce, rather than
> "re-educating" it.  We give students a liberal arts "education" or voc-tech
> "training.".  We have job "training" programs and Adult Basic "Education."
> If we deem someone "uneducatable" we "retrain" them. Talk about loaded
> vocabulary.
>
> So, where am I going with all this?  I guess I'm coming back to my own
> ego-centric position:  I am not a trainer.  I am not an educator.  I'm a
> teacher.  Yes, I have to help students master certain concrete concepts or
> tasks, but I also have to help them learn how to apply what they've learned
> -  to use patterns they've learned to create new patterns.  I have "X" time
> to help students reach a certain level of proficiency in reading and
> writing.  Along the way, I hope to introduce them to themselves and the
> world around them.  My guiding principle is that they be better when they
> leave then when they came.  Do I take students who are under prepared?
> Yes.  However, we sit and talk about where they are and where they need to
> get to.  I try not to leave them with any false hopes.  I make it very
> clear that, at least according to our placement test, they may not have the
> skills necessary to succeed in the class, and that not passing the course
> in one semester is a very real possibility.  If, after we talk, they still
> want to make the attempt, I let them enroll in the class.  Some succeed.
> Some don't.  Students who I wouldn't have given a prayer sometimes blow the
> doors off the course.  Others who seemed "on the ball" fail miserably.  The
> reasons for this are legion.  It IS a crap shoot, but if they are willing
> to roll the dice, then so am I.
>
> As part of my first day orientation, I tell my folks that the reason I am
> here is because they paid their money.  That implies a certain
> responsibility on my part.  I will do everything I can to help them
> succeed, but that [GASP!!] they do have the right to fail.  They don't have
> to come to class.  They don't have to do the work.  They can try to test my
> bs tolerance.   And they WILL fail.  Simple.
>
> In all of this, DESIRE plays a major roll.  It goes a long way in mediating
> the effects of lack of preparation or ability. Not always, but enough that
> I'm always willing to take the chance.
>
> Be good to yourselves!
> Ed.
> "This man is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot."  From an actual
> Army Officer Efficiency Report
>
Sue Lorraine Lavorata
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