Happy Birthday, To Me!!
I'll admit it, I've hit 65. That means Medicare. I was already collecting Social Security, so no biggie there.
Medicare, though. I am supremely lucky to still have my Blue Cross/Horizon as secondary insurance to pick up any expenses Medicare will not pay.
But already the Medicare stuff is strange. I had to fill out some forms at the chiropractor. They were pain assessment things and they made no sense whatsoever. I am an English teacher and, frankly, I read the language very well. I could not make heads or tails of what they wanted on these forms. Vague directions, irrelevant examples, and no explanations.
Times like this, I think I could make a fortune hiring myself out to simply write directions for people to follow. If I was vague or too indirect with my students when I gave assignments, I could get all kinds of strange work from them. Writing clear, concise and good directions is an important teaching skill.
Think of riding instructors you have had in the past--or even now. Their ability to communicate complex concepts makes all the difference in the world to you as a student. What do you do with your body, your weight, your hands, your eyes, your legs, your seat, and every nuance of how to ride even a simple exercise somehow must come across by words alone. Sure, they can demonstrate, they can hold you by the hand or physically correct your seat, but in the end, you and your horse will have to do it on your own.
I always remember Lockie Richards explaining something and always adding, "Feel it? Feel it? Do you feel it?" He knew it wasn't just a matter of mechanics, but a matter of feeling the results of the mechanics so you could recreate the results on your own. By expecting that, I might often discover an alternate way of getting the horse to respond, since my goal was not a method, but a consequence.
Hope that makes some kind of sense.
But too many people are not teachers, yet they think they can give directions. I have been looking at some of the Common Core educational materials over the last few months, and I see the problem cropping up there. Common Core is proven a money maker for many for profit corporations. They create all kinds of educational materials they claim teach the Common Core skills to students in all kinds of fancy commercial packages. They sell these to schools who are desperate to try to keep up with government requirements for educational standards.
The result? Poorly conceived assignments and badly written instructions. I've seen them.
Most teachers I have known in my own educational career are more than capable of teaching students what they need to know and leading them along the path of good learning. What they need is the freedom and support to teach, not someone looking over their shoulders all the time with a checklist.
Picture your riding teacher again. Your horse misbehaves or misinterprets the cues you give him. Teacher has a set of rulebooks to follow...a preset curriculum that must be mastered in order, in a certain way with no creative methods. Will it work? Maybe, maybe not. But in the meantime wouldn't you rather have a teacher who could come up with a good solution on the spot before you're bucked off, run away with, or simply frustrated to tears?
Thanks for indulging me. After all, it is my birthday!!