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Answers for the Whys of teaching

I’ve been rereading Harold Levine’s Comprehensive English, Review Text from Amsco Publishing, Regents preparation book. It’s a book I used to prepare for my high school Regents exam and today frequently refer to it as a teaching material with my students. It gives strikingly good answers to those questions that we love or loved to ask.
Why do I need to improve my listening skills?
“Many are the benefits of becoming a good listener; let us mention just a few. You will be less likely to miss the point of a joke, or a lesson, or to misinterpret an explanation and come to a wrong conclusion, or to be taken in by clever sales pitch.”
Why do I need to learn new vocabulary words? Why can’t I just use what I already know?
“Improving your vocabulary should be one of your top priorities. Words represent ideas. Words are the tools for thinking. If your knowledge of words is limited, your ability to think will be limited, keeping you from effectively receiving and communicating ideas on an advanced level. When your vocabulary grows substantially, you will improve as a listener, speaker, reader, and writer, and you will have better chance of getting ahead in your career or profession.”
Why is it important to write and spell well?
“Just as you check your personal appearance before going out in public, so you should proofread what you have written before submitting it, especially if it is a composition, or term paper, or letter of application for employment or admission to a college.
The sad truth is that the world regards errors in spelling as signs of ignorance, although some of the most intelligent people have been poor spellers. Of course, you do your writing on a word processor, you can use a spelling-checker program to help you do your proofreading; yet even such program requires you to know how to spell.
Word processors are not yet available to students taking standardized exams, ELA, Regents or SATs.”
Why do I need to go to school and get an education?
Education is a gift. At one point education was only available to the elite of the society. Today in our country it is a right. Remember it’s a privilege for us to have this right. Your ancestors fought for equality, justice and opportunity for all. Don’t take it for granted.
Education is a way out of ignorance, and a way out of poverty. Would you rather live in a poor and ignorant world or in a richer and educated world? Education is power! Go study today.

Your comments and questions are always welcome, so please feel free to ask and share.
Vera Borukhov founder of Veracity Learning Inc., devoted to providing English and Entrepreneurial education to uncover your child’s genius. Contact Veracity to better your child’s school experience and give you peace of mind at 718-790-8911 or go to www.veracitylearning.com.

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