Opinion: The truth on teachers


Skyler Chill is a sophomore organizational communications major and a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

Skyler Chill

Since the beginning of elementary school, I can remember watching educational films in class. From Bill Nye the Science Guy to The Magic School Bus, I was exposed to a lot of them. However, do teachers today rely too much on having these types of films teach their students?

My brother is currently 10 years old and is in the 5th grade. Two years ago when he was in the 3rd grade, his teacher was new and unfamiliar with the school. She was young and struggling with some personal family issues. Due to the stress in her personal life, she was unable to teach to the best of her ability. To compensate the kids, she would simply put on a video for them to watch and expected that to be their lesson. In the meantime, other 3rd grade classes were moving right along, covering the material and, more importantly, comprehending the material. Because we live in one of the best school districts in the Columbus area, this behavior from my brother’s teacher was so rare and uncommon.

One day, my brother came home from school with a terrible math grade. In the following weeks, more and more bad grades came home. My parents were made aware of the teacher’s personal issues, and the principal stressed that high quality substitutes were coming in to fill her spot on the multiple days of the week she would miss. Though this was true, multiple substitutes had no idea of knowing where the other left off. The kids weren’t being taught properly, and something needed to change.

After that year, the teacher was moved to another district. My brother was so far behind in school that he needed to be tutored all summer for reading, reading comprehension, math and science. So what is my point through all of this?

Kids can’t learn simply from educational videos. They need structure, actual lessons and an educated teacher actually teaching the material. After my brother moved to the 4th grade, the teacher wrote letters to the parents apologizing to them for holding their children back from the rest of the kids. She admitted that educational videos were her main methods of teaching. She also admitted to barely making any progress throughout the year.

I really felt bad for my brother and the struggles he had to overcome due to a teacher’s bad execution with material. Now, being totally caught up, he isn’t struggling anymore. For all of you future teachers out there, always remember that kids are depending on you. You are their means for an academic foundation. They need that basic layer in order to grow and learn more. Please don’t just stick in a movie every day and expect them to flourish. They will fail, and that isn’t fair to them. Though a movie every day would be awesome, it’s not how children learn. Committing to a job as teacher isn’t always easy. However, it is definitely in my opinion, one of the most important and rewarding careers a person can have.