Last year was easy street as far as my students were concerned. It is unusual to get a class where all the students are on the same page so to speak. They all loved learning and were very capable, independent learners. Likely the only experience like that I will ever have.
This year is going to be more of a challenge. I never seem to be very accepting of things I can't fix. It might have been best if I had stayed in first grade, where I wasn't able to see as much of the damage inflicted by the current state of education for the kiddos that don't get everything the first time round.
Truly, I don't mind there being a set of standards. Now I hate when said standards are developmentally inappropriate, but that's another story. What I really can't grasp is that anyone is crazy enough to believe that each and every little sweet package delivered to our door can, in the same time and same way, be able to master those standards.
I'm required by state law to teach fifth grade standards, regardless. Do you know what happens when you don't have a chance to develop a number sense as quickly as the standards are laid down in kindergarten and first grade? You go to second grade in a fog. If this is not at some point aggressively addressed then there just is no way you are going to get algebra at the ripe old age of ten in fifth grade.
Can you put yourself there? Walking into a space every day where you are never able to keep up?
I feel I've become a very successful teacher, but I suffer from never seeing the forest for that one little yellow sapling that strains and reaches for the sun, but can't seem to get there, or worse, the one that curls in on himself, believing it is a pointless attempt, and me trying to see those limbs stretch, grow and reach consumes me, even in my sleep.
Lately, I've been reading about unschooling. I wonder, what if their days were spent doing something they were successful at, something they loved? How ridiculous would that be? So much better that they spend every day failing, right?
I have to say we've been so blessed. My children and their children have not found school particularly challenging.
We really won't know about this little one till the time comes for learning. We knew going in that he entered this world with difficulty and there could be residual affects of that birth.
I look at that sweet little perfect face and can't imagine a school situation like that for him.
He so loves the creek, this child of my heart.
Just like his sibling and cousins.
Would it be so awful if little Miss Toddles made creeks and water systems her life's work?
And this guy, who we have to pay extra for real art classes, because, heaven forbid, spending time doing real art might take away from his barely ten year old self doing algebra and reading books he could care less about, though good chapter books have been read to him since he was three and he's been reading them himself since he was five.