The How and Why of It


Here’s a rundown on my class this year.

  • Kindergarten through second grade reading levels despite being in third grade.
  • For many, minimal, if any, parental support at home.
  • Witnesses to domestic violence.
  • Transient living situations.
  • Crowded living conditions.
  • Habitual lateness or absence.
  • Lack of accountability outside the classroom.
  • Medical conditions, disabilities, medications, and lack of proficiency in the English language.
  • Poverty and poor nutrition.

Take into account everything else that holds influence over school and what we do in my class. I ask:

  • How can my students be expected to pass the upcoming tests?
  • How can they prioritize them?
  • How can they be held to a standard that belittles their truths and realities?
  • How can they be made to feel they’re less than? Worse than? Not as good as? Not as worthy as?

The unfortunate, simple answer to the question, “How can they?” is, “Well, they just can.”

And so, the next question becomes, “Why?”

To that question, I’m still waiting for an acceptable response.

About these ads

2 responses to “The How and Why of It

  1. I suggest reading “Never Work Harder than Your Students” by Robyn Jackson. I think it relates to exactly what you wrote. I also ask the same questions.

  2. If you have a chance, read Amanda Ripley’s new book _The Smartest Kids in the World_. I’m about halfway through…

    Amanda is making a case that we’re looking at the wrong variables for improvements in student learning and thinking. One study is done on school systems in Poland – changes made since 1998. She notices remarkable results in an area with the home/family/living situations you described.

    An interesting read: http://www.amazon.com/Smartest-Kids-World-They-That-ebook/dp/B0061NT61Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388635937&sr=1-1&keywords=the+smartest+kids+in+the+world

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s