© 2011, Mirror Image Presentations
WRITER’S CAVEAT: This post has not been edited since 2011. I offer no apologies for excessive use of the words have, had, that, missing or misplaced commas, or excessive use of exclamation marks! Otherwise, the content is excellent.
TEN STEPS TO SHAPING AMERICA’S FUTURE
1. Place THE SAME VALUE on teachers as we place on entertainers, athletes, CEO’s and land developers. Besides the obvious means of rewarding effective, and expelling the ineffective teachers, here’s how —
2. EXPAND THE LEARNING AGE from six to four and from sixteen to twenty, providing lifetime opportunities for students to mentor those in grades they have mastered. This gives the mentor, as well as the mentee, self-esteem. It cuts down on substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, teenage pregnancy and crime.
As a part of the curriculum to obtain a high school diploma, a minimum of three years study in a language of the student’s choice, followed by six months of study in a foreign country should be obligatory. Students who wish to earn a years payment toward their college funds are given the opportunity to serve for six months in The Peace Corps during their final fifteenth or sixteenth year of schooling,
serving others digging wells, and teaching irrigation principles to emerging economies.
3. BEGIN MIND PREPARATION FOR COLLEGE, in spirit and finance from grade 3 by creating a fund matched by the state, the school, sponsors from the community and businesses, and parents, through programs rewarding perfect attendance, outstanding behavior, good grades and substantial improvement.
Interest upon compound interest is the greatest asset of the law of returns. By the time every student reaches college age, they can have all have the funds to be able to attain an advanced degree without worry or necessity to work while attending college. FOCUS.
4. EXTEND TEACHER PREPARATION courses to include an extra year to obtain a Teaching Credential during which they attack learning of spiritual and psychological depth including such required literature as, “2150 A.D.”, “The Macro Society”, “The Greatest Miracle In The World,” “The Greatest Salesman In The World”, “The Richest Man In Babylon”, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, “The Road Less Traveled”, and “The First Year Teacher’s Bible”,
TO NAME ONLY A FEW.
In addition, consciousness awareness raising courses such as The Omega Vector seminar need to be a required part of the Teacher training program as well as Co-dependent awareness.
5. EXTEND THE SCHOOL YEAR by one to two weeks, rather than cutting the school year by ten days to satisfy microscopic thinking. Think macroscopic. Families no longer need twelve children to harvest crops. Not only will this provide more time for learning, it will keep youth off of the streets, out of trouble, cutting down on the need for lawyers, courts, judges, probation officers, guards and prisons.
6. REQUIRE STUDENT PARTICIPATION in courses extending from “Homemaking” and “Shop”, entitled “Life 101”, “Marriage 101,” “Baby 101,” in which they learn how to handle real live adult issues, become self-sufficient, and participate in programs in which they are required to carry a “BabyLive” infant around that cries, wets and weighs them down. EDUCATION will greatly reduce unplanned, unexpected and unwanted pregnancies, cutting down on over population, child abuse, spouse abuse, substance abuse, lawyers, judges, and abortions.
We can then send those people to plant trees.
7. LOWER CLASSROOM SIZE from forty-seven, and thirty-two to twenty-three maximum for ALL GRADES; not just those below grade 3rd. Over a century ago it was proven maximum learning takes place with twenty-three. There is no reason, other than a commitment to greed and mediocrity to continue to burden teachers and students with classrooms which no teacher can effectively control, much less teach.
This will cut down on overworking teachers, under-teaching children, and will allow teachers to teach, rather than spend all of their time on paperwork and disciplining students who will take control of a situation where the teacher cannot be expected to.
8. BEGIN TEACHING “LISTENING SKILLS” from first grade on. There is no excuse why this most important skill has not been offered long ago. We waste time teaching children facts and information they will never use. Regardless of the relationship or the situation, few skills can be considered as important as the skill of listening.
9. CHANGE THE RATIO of administrators to teachers. On average, our schools employ one teacher to oversee thirty students. The ratio between the number of administrators overseeing teachers is one to sixteen – more than half that of the teacher student ratio.
This makes the statement teachers need more administering and supervision than children. This is ridiculous and a scandal to society, though in some cases, I have filled in for teachers who needed more supervision than the students.
Most administrators add nothing to the educational process; they only take away, serving their egos. Cut administrators by 80%. Send them back into the classroom to learn, or retire them altogether.
I spent three months at LAUSD headquarters, five days a week, seven hours a day studying administrators and I can tell you that there is no bigger waste of six digit salaries than the burden these fat cats place on education. Ask and I will tell!
10. MAKE OUR SCHOOLS LOOK INVITING, like Centers of Learning rather than prisons. Remove the cyclone fences, the chains, the locks and the grafitti. Create a “Grafitti Wall” where any student can express themselves at any time, monitoring to avoid profanity.
CREATE GARDENS AND WELLS
PLANT TREES in these schools so students can learn to be self-sufficient and indulge themselves in the rewarding challenge of gardening, and appreciating nature.
This will cut down on dependency upon others, substance abuse, and the need to create more jails with more lawyers, more judges, more letter carriers, more delivery men, more probation officers and guards.
When our schools stop looking like prisons, our students will stop feeling comfortable in prison-like environments, ready to jump in for an adventure they should be getting in school.
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Alan John Mayer