Born to learn is a fun, thought-provoking series of animations that illustrate ground-breaking new discoveries about how humans learn.
In this story, Everett Houck reflects on his own education and development and how he came to be a teacher and how his style of teaching did not fit in. Everett’s is just one of the many stories we are receiving in response to the animations. Please read more or share your stories here.
I was one of those book learners. I could read anything and recite it back word for word. As a result, I did good in school, but when I got out into the workplace, I found I did not understand anything.
I always had a fascination with TV, so I started to try to fix them. I went to the library, got some basic test equipment and found that I could fix most broken TVs. There of course were some that were not worth fixing, and some that I did not have the equipment to fix.
I expanded my learning to other things and found that instead of spending a lot of money on new, I could buy broken and fix it and save a lot of money. I bought a cheap house and fixed it up myself, by watching home improvement shows.
I got laid off in my 40s and went back to school and ended up becoming first a teacher assistant and then a teacher. I taught in an alternative school for kids that had been expelled from regular school and found most of them stopped learning in about the third grade. I tried to set up a program to teach the basics and it worked very well.
I suffered a stroke in 2002 and have not been able to return to teaching. I was put on the list to be cut, I think mostly because I would not use the boxes and boxes of worksheets that the district bought to teach Math. I was constantly being called into the principal’s office because I was not teaching the same way as the other teachers.
When I had my stroke and had to take time off to recover, I was put on the do not rehire list. Last year I applied to the foster grandparent program to supplement my social security and I was placed in a low income school where there is almost no teaching going on.
Every day the district delivers boxes and boxed of worksheets to get the kids ready to take the end of year test. It was my job to try to help those students who had no understanding of basic concepts, to finish worksheet after worksheet in the vain hope that it would help them do better on the test.
Sad to say, there was no learning going on in this school. They did really badly on the end of year test and the school is scheduled to be closed.
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