The Changing Role of the Secondary Educator Essay

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The Changing Role of the Secondary Educator Teaching high school in the late twentieth century is a complex matter. As a secondary English teacher, my classroom is much more than discussions of novels, plays, poems, and the memorization of numerous grammar rules. The high school has become a site of contention: it's where students make decisions that create their futures. The educational system/community expects secondary teachers to find a happy medium between the order and disorder found in both the elementary/middle schools and the worlds of college and beyond. This essay discusses how knowledge and power are created, communicated, and eventually assessed in secondary classrooms. High school teachers often rely on a highly…show more content…
During my teaching I have witnessed how students are either encouraged to think creatively and critically in classrooms or merely fed information without any real chance to question and create a critical voice. I have taught at schools with both high college acceptance rates and one with a college application rate of under thirty percent (Carrick). Many students lack any sense of connection with the curriculum they encounter. This is a result of both the limitations of the curriculum and how it is taught. I always recall my own experience in high school. I remember taking numerous notes, but never really discussing what I had written. Even though I was in gifted or higher level classes, we had no time to get beyond the texts. I could tell you the plots, characters, and symbolism in certain novels, but I could not tell you how I came to that information. My writing did not possess a critical voice. The information meant nothing to me. Though I enjoyed some of the texts, I never knew why I liked or disliked them. Knowledge was something passed down from teacher to student. There were no questions asked. Though much has changed since I graduated from high school, I feel that many teachers are afraid to create an environment of change and possibility within their classrooms. They have the tools for this kind of thing; they just cannot leave themselves open to certain undeniable risks that come with that kind of instructions.
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