So, I’ve been thinking about all types of stuff over the past couple of days.
Most of all – about school in general.
I wanted to be a teacher, I went to school to be a teacher, I am a teacher.
This leads me to three distinct thoughts:
1. I have teacher vocabulary.
2. I like school.
3. I understand teacher motivations.
The very nature of what I teach also leads me to ‘think 360’ about any issue presented. What does that mean? My dad used to call it ‘thinking all the way around.’ Think about your ‘fault’ in a situation, think about someone else’s ‘fault’ in a situation, think of external (controllable and uncontrollable) circumstances that cause ‘fault’ in a situation – the truth lies therein that triangle. Honestly, it’s a curse and a blessing because I am constantly second guessing my words and actions – but in this instance…I’m finding some aha moments.
School peeps…listen up…this is important stuff. My experiences have changed how I deal with students and talk to parents…I am only trying to help you as well.
1. I am able to advocate for Tucker because I speak your language. I know all about ability grouping, academic standards, accommodations, anecdotal records, assessments, benchmarks, block scheduling, brainstorming, comprehension, cooperative learning, creative thinking, critical thinking, differentiated instruction, dimensions of learning, educational technology, evaluation, fluency, graphic organizers, high-stake testing, IDEA, IEP, inclusion, in-services, intrinsic (and extrinsic) motivations, learning disabilities, lesson plan,, magnet schools, manipulatives, memory, methods, motivation, multimedia, multiple intelligences, objective, paraprofessionals, performance, performance assessments and standards, phonemics, planning time, portfolios, praise, probing, problem-solving, project assessment, prompting, remediation, second language barriers, simulations, standards, stressors, summative evaulations, taxonomy, textbooks, and wait time.
I’m trying to imagine life not understanding school jargon. How do I advocate for my child if it seems you are simply speaking another language?
You don’t have to use the jargon to prove you are intelligent, you are my child’s teacher. Please, talk with me – not at me. Talk with me – you are their greatest academic influence and I can be your greatest advocate.
2. I like school. Everything about it. I get REALLY excited for back to school supplies – even though my children don’t really need any. The thought of brand new pencils and markers sends me into orbit. A new set of sharpies? I’m in heaven. I love the learning, the challenging – everything that goes on behind those doors? In fact, I had troubles graduating from college – not because of grades – because I kept adding majors. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE learning and school.
I’m trying to imagine a life where I didn’t like school. How do I advocate for my child if the very place I have to return to is one of anxiety, stress, and horrible memories?
Please be gentle. Not everyone had a great experience in school. Sometimes the very children who struggle come from families who did not have a good school experience. So, how do we as school people overcome this? First, we have to think about it, remember it, consider it. Thinking, remembering, and considering it as something that is very, very real for many, many folks.
3. I get what you are trying to do. I understand you are trying to push my child to do more, be more, learn more. I am a teacher. I understand and have read educational theory – Piaget, Erickson, Gardner, Locke, Freud, Dewey. Kohlberg, Maslow, Miller, Skinner, and Pavlov are my ‘pals.’
I’m trying to imagine a life that I don’t understand. A life where I I feel like you are picking on my child. Picking on them for not being good enough, for being too emotional, for not following rules, for not being even close to what you want. But…that child is like your child. They are mine. How much do you care for your child? That’s how much I care about mine.
Provide explanation. Why are you doing what you do? Can you provide answers instead of problems (See Day #62 Identify? Easy. Solve? Difficult)? Can you explain why? Most of all, can you explain why without being accusatory or making me feel awful? If school is already a scary place for me…please don’t make it worse, I’m trying to do right by my child.
So, that’s all really.