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BRAINSAREFUN FEARLESS FRIDAY BLOG – Brighter Futures With Reading and Math – Friday September 20, 2013


While watching a rerun this morning I ran across Season 3, "Andy Discovers America" on Netflix. I think this video is the 100% best teacher training video I have ever seen. The classroom teaching techniques exhibited by Opie's teacher are classic, and a disaster.

This single show exemplifies at least 10 examples of what's wrong with virtually all education (from K right through the corporate board room). I wonder how many egregious errors you can find?

Here's 10 that I found:

1) Teacher is standing in front of classroom quizzing students and choosing students with waving hands.

2) Teacher asks questions before providing the answers, setting kids up for failure.

3) Teacher lectures failing students in front of class.

4) Teacher pits boys against girls. 

5) Teacher uses homework to set kids up to fail.

6) Teacher thinks solution is to "confront" parents.

7) Students are struggling with homework, so she doubles it.

8) Teacher thinks the way to teach history is to go back to the beginning again.

9) Teacher writes giberish on blackboard with back to class.

10) Teacher fails to catch kids doing the right thing.

11) ?

By the way, I see Ms. Landers make the exact same "disasters" on Leave it to Beaver. For those of you with Netflix, I recommend watching the Andy Griffith segment. I think it's a brilliant depiction of what master teachers set out to avoid.

"Well," some parents and teachers have said to me, "That's not the way we do it today."

My challenge is this: Please visit ANY public or private school classroom (any age group,  right up through college) and watch what happens, count and take notes:

  1. How many questions are asked before the answer and solution has been mastered?
  2. How many times are the students set-up-for-success?
  3. How many waving hands let the top 20% dominate the class?
  4. How much time is wasted writing on the board?
  5. How many questions take everyone off task?

Let's call these "The Magic 5" because they almost always exist way beyond accountable behavior in a classroom.

It's important for me to emphasize that I'm not singling out teachers here. I'm simply saying that far too many kids are struggling with reading and math because it's very difficult for teachers to learn how to become master teachers. Where can they go for accountable instruction?

Let me tell you the best place to begin, The National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). I can't encourage everyone enough to become a Direct Instruction Teacher. It's one of the legs on Brainsarefun's 3-legged stool: Direct Instruction, Positive Discipline and Accelerated Learning.

Start by taking a look at NIFDI.

Thanks for all you do to help kids succeed with reading and math. It means a lot.

Brainsarefun Chief Brain
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P.S. We have 3 new solutions for sale over at – success with reading, math and study skills. I think you'll find the examples and instructions in our new releases even easier to use than they used to be. Your support not only allows paying kids to succeed, it also  provides free copies to parents, teachers and grandparents committed to saving academic lives. That's you. *

* We know that some people don't have $24.95 right now to purchase Brainsarefun solutions, but still need success with reading, math and study skills. If you need any of our solutions email me and I'll send them to you for free: I love to send stuff out for free. I love it when people buy our solutions. Either way kids win with reading and math. Make sure you sign up for more free reading and math tips and our monthly eBlast. Thanks.

Rory Donaldson, reading, math and study-skills teacher. Brainsarefun founder. Fearless Friday Blog published fearlessly every Friday, © 2013 by Rory Donaldson,, 860-304-3178.

Rory Donaldson

I flood kids with reading, math and study-skill success.