What I Think Can Be Done
I am an optimist and I believe there are many things that can be done to improve the current educational (both for the teacher and for the student) situation. Perhaps the most important thing is to identify what the problem is - or at least a part of the problem. And as far as "what can be done" - my attempt to make a difference (other than my 32 years of teaching) is this website, and putting these ideas out there.
Prepare the child for the road, and not the road for the child
To the left is a poster I made - using a quote from The Coddling of the American Mind by Jonahan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff. It hung in my room for the past few years and really gets to the heart of what I believe teaching should do. There is a link to the poster - feel free to download and print it - I took the picture too (on the North Branch Trail).
Some Very Important Books
The Coddling of the American Mind by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff
The first book that I believe takes a hard look at what is happening in education and also has proposals for how to make things better - is the aforementioned The Coddling of the American Mind by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff. I used the book in my classes, my approach to teaching, and it really did give me hope that I was not alone out there in the educational landscape.
Reader, Come Home by Maryanne Wolf
If The Coddling of theAmerican Mind is about the broad-based reasons we are in an educational crisis - this book by Maryanne Wolf looks at the specifics of how digital reading (and scanning) is changing the fundamental way that we learn and process information and ideas - and change is not for the better. Like Coddling - she offers not only an assessment but real-life postive steps that we can take to make things better.