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RETAIN GREAT TEACHERS COMMITTEE and DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE

Mr. Peter Berger, a veteran teacher from Weathersfield, Vt. writes a very interesting column in the New Haven Register 3/18/14) ."Education grand plans are often conceived by conclaves of experts who don't work in schools, amplified by bureaucrats on endless reams of paper, and then force fed in endless workshops to teachers who know that grand plans last only until the next grand plan comes along".  He talks about "disruptive students who continue to interfere routinely-often catastrophically, with other children's education".  He states "school isn't a video console" yet many experts advocate turning classrooms into  "social media" and "video game arenas" in misguided attempts at learning.  Retaining teachers with passions for their subject matter should go a long way to inspire students to want to learn. Veteran teachers know that excellent teaching is "mixing it up"-not doing the same thing the same way every day. Making it real is important. To teach the Jacksonian period of history, for example, bring in a few coins from the 1830's- or other objects from that period of time. Parents can cut off the T.V. on school nights and end phone calls at 9 o'clock at night as we did. School Boards could help all parents by creating a No T.V. on school night suggestion for all families so the one family that does do this will not feel that their children are "out of the loop".  Bedtimes should be fixed and reasonable. Reading before bedtime-rather than a noisy television or computer are calmer influences which have been proven to influence a deeper sleep which is necessary for any child during the next school day. If our scores in Milford are only average then the Board should formulate a "Retain Great Teachers Committee"  and/or "Is Discipline in the Classroom A Problem Committee" and phase out the "Permanent Schools Facilities Committee" where constant building is only costing taxpayers millions upon millions and doing little for academic achievement or love of learning.
gschark1 March 20, 2014 at 01:35 PM
This is an excellent column. I enjoy reading "poor Elijah" every week. Education would be improved if the so-called "experts" would get out of the way of classroom practitioners. There should be a rule (or district policy?) that only persons who have taught classes within the last 10 years should be allowed to give workshops. The point regarding discipline is well taken. The disruptive minority should not be permitted to destroy the rights of the majority to a good education.

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