RE: ECON: Lack of skilled people in the USA

From: Barbara Lamar (
Date: Fri Feb 02 2001 - 12:31:28 MST

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Samantha Atkins
> Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 3:30 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: ECON: Lack of skilled people in the USA

  It made me mad when I was in high
> school. I watched people's minds getting shut down. Needlessly.

It made me mad too, and it makes me mad seeing the same thing happening to
my daughter's friends now (I like to think it isn't happening as much to my
daughter, because her father and I both encourage her to understand things
rather than memorize formulas, and she seems to insist on this even if it
means more work for her--for example in a computer programming class
recently all the other kids were cheating, passing around a solution for a
test, but my daughter refused to look at it, saying that if she did so she'd
be cheating herself out of the opportunity to figure it out on her own)
> Maybe I will have to do some teaching.

I'd like to see more "non-teachers" in elementary and intermediate school
classrooms. It seems that ideally, subjects should be presented by people
who know them well and are enthusiastic about them. When I used to teach
botany to the kids in my daughter's classes, they'd listen as intently as if
they were watching their favorite TV show, because I was passionately
interested in the subject.

If you don't need the money, you can teach as a volunteer and thus bypass
requirements for taking "education" classes (I must confess I've never taken
an education class, but from talking to people who have, I gather they're
mostly boring and not of much practical use). I've found that one can do a
lot of good by putting in just a few hours per week. Not only can you help
out the kids in this way, you also find out first-hand what's going on in
the schools.


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