Why Many Teachers Don’t Bother Making Their Lessons Interesting



The cost of being imaginative and creative when developing lessons can come with a price. Take the story of a teacher that brought in non-alcoholic beer for her students in order to give them the feel of life in the 1700’s. Was she right to give her students the ale? Quite clearly the answer is no.

But at least she tried to make her teaching meaningful. Too many teachers steer away from the risks of trying something new and avoid the time and energy expended providing their students with engaging and vibrant lessons.

So while this teacher gets publicly humiliated for a mistake in the name of a meaningful and exciting lesson, other teachers are hiding behind turgid worksheets that bore their students to death but allow them to keep their reputation blissfully intact:

A Michigan teacher made a poor choice by giving non-alcoholic beer to a class of fifth graders in a history lesson, a school official said.

Superintendent Ed Koledo said the teacher allowed Hyatt Elementary students in Linden to sample O’Doul’s that had been brought to school by a student March 6 to represent ale common in the 1700s. The students were told that many people drank ale at the time because water was sometimes dirty or unhealthy.

“We talked to the teacher and said this was an inappropriate choice,” Koledo said. “There were a lot better choices to represent a colonial-era drink than what was chosen here.”

The students were allowed a small taste but none were forced to try the non-alcoholic beer, school officials said.

Koledo, who didn’t identify the teacher, said allowing non-alcoholic beer into the classroom and allowing students to drink it was a mistake.

Hyatt Principal Vicki Malkaravage sent a letter to parents on Friday informing them of what happened, The Flint Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1kZSamt ). The teacher thought O’Doul’s would be OK because the label said it was a non-alcoholic beverage, according to the letter. Three students in the class also took a bottle home, she said.

O’Doul’s is advertised as non-alcoholic beer, but it contains a small amount of alcohol. Liquor Control Commission spokeswoman Andrea Miller says giving O’Doul’s or similar drinks to minors can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor in Michigan.

No one has been charged.


Click on the link to read Why is it Always the Kids’ Fault?

Click on the link to read Student Shot by Teacher Protests His Sacking

Click on the link to read Science Not For the Faint Hearted (Video)

Click on the link to read 7 Tips for Building a Better School Day

Click on the link to read Student Rant Goes Viral


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3 Responses to “Why Many Teachers Don’t Bother Making Their Lessons Interesting”

  1. John Tapscott Says:

    Storm in a beer glass.

  2. John Tapscott Says:

    There’s a lot more reasons why teachers don’t make their lessons interesting. Most of them are tied up with the overwhelming mandatory content of the National Curriculum which is being skimmed over superficially in order to get through it in the time allowed. Having observed many lessons, if you can call them that, I can see teachers are under an immense amount of pressure to perform an impossible task. Not only is there an expectation on them to teach more in less time but to teach a curriculum that is at many points far in advance of the level of cognitive development of the students for whom it was written. This is a direct result of a curriculum written hastily (like the home insulation scheme) in response to political imperatives rather than educational needs. Teachers are afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs and the unions, having been effectively neutered and muzzled, are powerless to take effective action.

    Teachers are also more accountable today than they have ever been but have much less control over the things they are accountable for. I can see, in not too many years, more children being left behind, more students dropping out and more students disengaging. It is refreshing to hear the Qld State minister saying that he agreed that the curriculum was too crowded. It will be interesting to see whether he takes any action in that direction.

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