Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The state of affairs...Why we need more challenge in school!
I just came across a post form Mrs. Trayer at Teaching Gifted Kinders that struck a chord with me. She was expressing some frustration with the current state of teachers being evaluated upon test scores and not having time to reach their gifted students. I have to say that I agree and would add that we are doing a disservice to all of our children by "dumbing down" instead of setting high expectations. I teach in a private school with an advanced curriculum. We are approximatly 1 year ahead in curriculum standards of public schools. Which means I truly teach Kindergarten just to 4 year olds. I see many advantages to setting high standards even with young children. I believe in making my lessons appropriate for all through small group instruction and differentiated instruction which I know those of you in public school do as well. However I see one difference that I can make that many of you do not have the opportunity to. Planning challenging, high level whole group lessons. From what I understand, please correct me if I am wrong, public school teachers need to plan their lessons for the bottom half of their class, leaving the top half to either be bored or "teach" their lower classmates? ( I in no way intend to offend or take away form the hard work of public school teachers, I think you guys are awesome and dedicate yourselves to our children.) To give you an example of why I believe in higher prepared lessons is my son. He has 6 different learning disabilities and attends the private school I work for. He is ADD, Dyslexic, Dysgraphic, has Auditory Processing Disorder, Expressive Language Disorder and Receptive Language disorder. We have been using a combination of language therapy, Discovery(our version of helps classes), and a classroom that has high expectations. Even through all of his learning struggles the higher expectations keep him challenged and on his toes. He is not fed the same information over and over. He is expected to learn and if that means he has to study a little harder than his peers than so be it. He is an A-B student! Can we say that about the vast majority of kiddos with these learning issues? Here is my point, the systemm is broken and we are raising children who are "thoughtless", those who cannot think critically, cannot make decisions and cannot support themselves out side of their parents home. We as teachers need to help correct these issues in any way we can. So, thank you to all of you who spend countless hours trying to figure out new ways to challenge all of our students! Thank you for your dedication and "no giving up" attitudes. I hope you have a rejuvinating summer!