Sunday, June 04, 2006

Perspicacity and the Sundance Kid

October 14th

Register: 34
In Attendance: 32

Dear Mr. Carter:

This morning I observed your 3rd period English 5 class. On the positive side, you have a warm and engaging manner with the students.

However, I noted several disturbing trends in this class. Upon entering, I could not help but notice that several of the windows were open approximately 18 inches. Optimally, they should not be open more than 12 inches. Studies have shown this to be the case.

Furthermore, I observed no fewer than two (2) students wearing hats in the class. It is very difficult for learning to take place in such an atmosphere.

I urge you to be more heuristic in your approach to education. As pedagogues, it behooves us to endeavor to display the sort of perspicuity one would expect from a role model. Anything less betrays the high seriousness of our calling. It’s always necessary to keenly display the perspicacity demanded of those who form children—the living clay that will quite literally permeate the world of tomorrow.

As you know, we strive to have the students discover knowledge. Therefore, it is your duty to stimulate their existing schema so that it may flower into a virtual garden of enlightenment. Your lesson consisted largely of teacher-prepared discussion. While it may be of interest to explore, for example, the possibility of viewing a novel from the point of view of a particular character, it must be the students who initiate such suggestions in order to validate the topics.

There was a great deal of student-teacher interaction. A better method would be to limit your teaching to ten minutes, and then simply turn the class over to the students. They could work in groups or simply question one another about the things they feel to be important. This will enhance the validity of your lesson, and will further allow you to reap the benefits indigenous to our profession.

It is vital that we allow the students to explore their own learning styles and that is now thought to be impossible in an environment in which the teacher has central control. You must rid yourself of territorial impulses, relinquish any and all such archaic notions, and enthusiastically, even reverentially allow the young people to explore on their own. They must be given the freedom and liberty to discover.

I am afraid, as this is so absolutely pivotal, there can be no flexibility whatsoever on this point, and we must insist you adopt this paradigm as your sole methodology.

As you have failed to do so, I must deem this lesson unsatisfactory.


Epatha Goodrich
Assistant Principal, English Department
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