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Old 09-12-2009, 08:41 AM
Clip to ScrapBook #51

no child left behind...this is the anthem to which we teach. Although I agree with making sure all students achieve, I also know that in my 12 years of teaching I have never met a class, much less an individual student, that learned the exact same way as every other class or child. It's important to make sure that no child is left behind, but honestly, how do we take them with us when what we're doing isn't moving them along? I teach over and over in math that there is more than one process to an answer, and as long as you can get the correct answer on your own and explain how you got that answer, you're doing it correctly. I've taught addition and subtraction strategies to my second graders and there were over 5 different ways to get to an answer, all of which were right.
I also teach my students when talking about maps that we all live in different places however, we all go to the same school. If I were to give one set of directions from Sam's house to the school to every child and tell them that this is the way we all need to follow to get to school in the morning...we're not all going to get to the common destination point. (Side comment - it's sad that some leaders don't understand this very simple concept...)
My point being this...Not every child will learn effectively with LC, nor will they all learn effectively with Barry Lane, or Sharon Taberski or Debbie Miller or who ever else is out there. As teachers, it's our job to teach to the child's ABILITY - not just their level. IF your district requires you to teach a certain prescribed curriculum to your students, then by all means, teach it (or at least try and show you've put forth effort). BUT it should also be your responsibility to find another way to teach the ones who aren't getting it through that program. That's your job. That's why you're a teacher. Yes, I must agree with every ounce of my being that it sucks we're being asked to do prescriptive teaching. It's sad that many of the people that run the education system, whether national or local - even within our own districts - don't know the "realities" of teaching, nor do they understand the fundamentals of the learning process. But we do, and that's all that matters. I would encourage anyone who teaches writing to do what's being asked of you due to your contract. But also stand up for your philosophy! Not by becoming so vocal that no one wants to listen, but by teaching "that child" the best way for HIM (which I'd like to add may not always be the easiest way for you to teach)! I would even go so far as to say document those strategies which you have used that DID make him successful. So that you can show to your school leaders that this is how this student learned, so that you can prove there isn't just one way to make sure no child is left behind.

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