Scripted lesson plans hinder learning
I am a student studying to become an English teacher. To become a teacher, you must have passion for the subject and students, along with creativity.
The scripted lessons that are being used in New York state, otherwise known as the modules, have the potential to eliminate passion and creativity.
Once the Common Core was created, the modules were a follow-up to help teachers plan their daily lessons. These modules basically tell the teachers what to teach, how to teach it, what to say and even how the students should respond to the lessons.
Ken Sider, a third-grade teacher, from Hartwick College’s panel said on the web site The Plain Satisfactions modules to be “instruction manuals written by distant corporations, not local teachers, and they now dominate the school day.” He says that they are “day-by-day, step-by-step, direction manual that actually forces teachers to teach with a stopwatch.”
When teachers are forced to use modules, students suffer. Teachers are supposed to find ways to teach that their students will enjoy.
Modules take away freedom from teachers, especially in English class. A teacher’s job is to get to know his or her students and find what they like or dislike, then create ways to help them learn. Not every student has the same interests or would like the same book. When there are modules, students don’t get the choice to pick books. Teachers don’t even get the choice to pick for the students that they know best. All room for creativity goes out of the window as well.
What happens when a teacher isn’t allowed to make his or her own lesson plans? The lessons aren’t being made for that specific class which means that there is a good chance they will not enjoy the lesson. The lessons in the modules aren’t even made by teachers!
Sometimes students bring up points in class that teachers never even think to mention.
What happens when a student brings up an awesome point and the teacher cannot expand on it because he or she is on a tight module schedule? What happens when students don’t understand the lesson and the teacher has another way to teach it but can’t because of the modules?
Modules require kindergartners to sit every day for 50 minute math sessions and 120 minutes of English Language Arts. Can any parent see their kindergartner sitting focused for that long? The students are becoming frustrated. In the long run, this could increase the dropout rate.
To improve our society, we need to improve our schooling methods! Teachers should be told what their students should know and be able to do by the end of the year, but be free to come up with their own lesson plans and pick their own materials. When it’s all said and done, teachers know their students best.
Jenna Hockwater is a Fredonia State University student and Cheektowaga resident.