How To Produce Massive Academic Improvement In Your Students
There is a way to stand head and shoulders above any teacher at your school.
Not that that’s the goal, mind you.
But I assume it is your goal to get the most out of your students, to see dramatic improvement, to propel them out into the summer months different than when they showed up at your door.
You can do this. It’s entirely possible for anyone to be that rare teacher every parent longs for their child.
The good news is that it’s now easier than ever before.
You see, education has become indoctrination. It’s become teaching students what to think rather than how to think.
It used to be that teachers would take pains to ensure their personal beliefs and political views were never revealed, thus allowing students to think for themselves and draw their own conclusions.
The shift to outright activism is nearly complete, with teachers unapologetically believing that it’s their duty to promote what they arrogantly believe is right. Taxpayers be damned.
The result is a generation of students—66 percent of whom can’t read at grade level—spouting shallow platitudes based on omitted truths, simplistic ideas, misguided emotions, and zero depth of understanding of history and the people who lived it.
In the meantime, it’s what they’re not learning that is causing them to fall so far behind. Now more than ever, this gives you an opportunity to catapult your students at least a year—often more—ahead of their peers.
And it’s not difficult. You just have to do one thing:
Eschew the advocacy and focus exclusively on academic skill. Yes, that means reading, writing, and math. (The arts, when in support, also have great value.)
Make every subject and every lesson an exercise in getting better in these core areas and your students will gallop far, far ahead of their peers. Practice, practice, practice every moment. Get a little better every day.
Improve their ability and intelligence through skill acquisition. Expose shallow thinking with Socratic questioning.
Rely on original sources and the great thinkers and philosophers of history from all stripes, creeds, backgrounds, and viewpoints.
Do this and your students will be able to make their own decisions on what is best for country, community, and their fellow citizen.
They’ll be able to read and discern. They’ll be able to collect, apprehend, differentiate, distinguish, identify inconsistencies and filter it all through their own life experiences.
They’ll be able to plunge deep into issues, nuzzle up to the truth, and become independent thinkers, historians, and literate defenders of their beliefs and ideas rather than parrots who crumble under light questioning.
It goes without saying that classroom management and defending your students’ right to learn and enjoy school comes first. It’s also understood that your curriculum itself likely pushes one-sided ideas.
So you too need to be learned.
You need to be shrewd and scrutinizing. You need to question skeptically and embrace logic over feeling and emotion. You need to be a rebel who swims against the tide.
So you can present to your students not just the arguments, but the moments and movements that produce their rise.
If debate strengthens understanding, then let your students do the research and create the arguments themselves. And then have them switch positions.
As impartial referee, your job is to ruthlessly refuse to accept half truths, lazy slogans, sound bites, gooey pablum, or anything else that isn’t well researched, thought out, and rooted in the foundations history. (And never the rewriting of it.)
You can be a staunch liberal or conservative in your personal life. Capitalist or socialist.
But if you can set aside your views the moment you enter the parking lot, and be of good courage, you won’t believe what you and your students can accomplish. You won’t believe the impact you’ll have.
Staggering. Transformative. Life-changing.
Your students may slink stoop-shouldered into your classroom in August as clueless vessels uninterested in learning—because they’ve never truly experienced it—and exit bold and educated, confident they can discover what they believe no matter the issue.
All on their own.
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