Here we go again!
Day 2: The English Department
I know this is maybe a bit more of a specific subject than yesterday but this is a part of the school which cries out to be criticized.
Let me start out with my critique by saying that I do actually like the English teachers in my school, they’re all nice people but the problem is that many of them are not terribly good teachers.
Very few of the teachers seem to have an extensive interest in different types of literature and confine themselves to their particular favourite genre or style and don’t have a great knowledge of texts outside of that small comfort zone. Many teachers are also part of the school of teaching that so loves the phrase “We’re never going to finish the course at this rate” They are so preoccupied with finishing the course that they don’t even attempt to help students become interested in English. They seem to concentrate all of their efforts into making the subject seem like a chore as opposed to what I believe English should be, a joy.
The course content at nearly all levels is so limited to classical and dated literature that it is almost impossible for young students to even attempt to feign an interest in the subject matter. They ignore new and more interesting ways of expression in the form of English such as the emergence of Internet based Blogging sites like Tumblr, Musical lyrics and Performance Poetry and refuse to update the reading material for the course. Many students become disenfranchised with the material so will not retain the information they learn in class, no 12 year old child can be arsed to sit and read shakespeare or Donne and as amazing as both may be as literature it is time to bring English into the 21st century so that we don’t lose a generation to Txt Speek and Facebook style literacy.
Although they focus so much on the course, the teachers rarely get through it in time, taking too long to dwell on convincing teenagers that they should like dated texts which hold no interest to them instead of updating the material used and ensuring that not only will the students pass the exam, but they will go away with a greater knowledge of the language they speak on a daily basis.
In short, the way English is taught at myself is old and boring. The teachers are generally closed minded about the material that they like to teach and not the material that the students would enjoy learning. The teachers also procrastinate to the extent where it is impossible to accurately gauge where a student is at present because they are marking 3 month old work thus making it impossible to gather momentum when teaching to a student and progress them academically. English is my favourite subject of any, but it has only become so due to my own endeavors as my school has failed to help/interest me with it in a school setting at all. Bollocks to Perth Academy English department.