Trying to talk to some of the younguns where I work is, well, ‘challenging’ would sum it up quite well.
The biggest challenge is in probing current knowledge, which tends to be lacking in large doses. I’m not talking about current events or social things; they tend to be up to speed on that, even if they don’t understand implications of such. That whole lack of substance in their education makes critical thinking a rather elusive beast. It’s that lack of substance that challenges me.
I was trying to explain the point of my wind mill to a guy here, and ended up giving a lecture on basic electricity elements, just to get him in the ballpark of my current endeavors. Forget the where for and why, just the basics tended to baffle him. I know it wasn’t my delivery because I was using analogy, not concrete science. I was teaching a simple elementary school science class to a grown adult, married with a new born. I could tell that talking about ohms, amps, dump loads, and battery chemistry would have made his head explode. (Maybe I should do the merciful thing and make his head explode)
I have no doubt this is in direct correlation to his public
education indoctrination. I recall several teachers that lacked either motivation or interest, or both, in their subjects. Most often they were extracurricular coaches, forced to teach a subject for the privilege of coaching. While I remember them well enough, I can’t recall a damned thing they actually taught beyond certain subject titles, and almost no content of those courses.
Granted, there were notable exceptions to the coach/teacher issue. I prefer to list those exceptions as teacher/coach as they not only took pride in the educator role, the tended to passionate about their subjects. That passion was infectious to the mind hungry such as myself.
I wanted to become a teacher, and through various events, that dream was never fulfilled. No regrets though, since my personal education has enlightened me on how perverted the whole scene has become. I cannot imagine trying to teach under current rules of engagement in public schools. Let alone trying to slide in real teaching under the radar of “common core” bee-ess.
I recall Jaime Escalante, seeing his passion on any subject, and his drive to improve those around him, to point of fault in some cases. That was the teacher I wanted to be. Mr. Sherman, Mr Battle, too many more to list; those were my heroes at one time.
How many kids today have a teacher for a hero?
I have to wonder, and the realization makes me sad at times.