They other day one of the teachers was super frustrated because she isn’t making progress with the little ones. And asked for my assistance. My heart bleeds for her, obviously. But the problem with not only her slow progress but also the progress of the English program at large is that its systemic.
Once I get a handle on the overall vision of their methods (if there is a vision) I will start suggesting what I know they will think of as radical ideas. For example, how about telling the kids when tests will be and test them on the information you just taught so they will know what to study? To more drastic suggestions like teaching with phonetics in the early grades so they can read later on instead of memorizing words. (Even though their skills for memorization are freakishly scary).
All that to say, “Hold on lady! I’m coming!”
Some people might say, ‘Just start suggesting better techniques! Just start doing!” Maybe one of my flaws is that, before I act, I have to have a complete organized throughout plan. I can’t simply start doing stuff and pulling levers and pushing buttons. That’s how I think. I need to think about ramifications of actions and visualize outcomes before I do anything with lasting impact. For example, let’s say I suggested the ‘test thing’ tomorrow. Residual things would be questions like: What would they test? How big of sections to test? Then other questions like what would grade go toward on a larger scale? What about other grades? What are ramifications if they don’t pass test? The course? What would the test format be? What all would it take to make this a top to bottom process? Etc, etc.
One day, when Epimetheus lay sleeping, Pandora stole the key and opened the box.
Out flew every kind of disease and sickness, hate and envy, and all the bad things that people had never experienced before. Pandora slammed the lid closed, but it was too late. All the bad things were already out of the box. They flew away, out into the world. Epimetheus woke up at the sound of her sobbing. “I opened the box and all these ugly things flew out,” she cried. “I tried to catch them, but they all got out.” Pandora opened the box to show him how empty it was. But the box was not quite empty. One tiny bug flew quickly out before Pandora could slam the lid shut again.
“Hello, Pandora,” said the bug, hovering just out of reach. “My name is Hope.” With a nod of thanks for being set free, Hope flew out into the world, a world that now held Envy, Crime, Hate, and Disease – and Hope.