School for the Masses

I’ve struggled with my teaching this week.  I don’t like the idea that a certain skill needs to be taught at a certain point, in a specific time frame, and using only one strategy.  As a teacher, I long to build relationships with my students so I can inspire and motivate them. Sometimes, that gets lost among all the requirements and restrictions placed upon us as teachers.

The irony is that as I work in a school system that wants standardization, I want individuality.  I can appreciate that some standardization is necessary, but I’m the same mom who taught my own five children (and others) at home for fifteen years.  As a homeschooling parent, I noticed that there were many reasons my friends chose to teach their own children at home.  My primary reason was always the fact that my children were individuals, and I could tailor their educations to their needs, interests, and abilities.  I didn’t have to follow somebody else’s timeline. I knew the end goal, and I was able to continually make progress toward that finish line, even if my children each took different routes at different speeds.

I’m currently reading Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools (Horn, 2014).  Horn reminded me that no two children learn at the same pace or have the same needs, even if they are the same age (p. xxvi).  Understanding that concept is the key to becoming a great educator.  I’m glad for that reminder.

 

Horn, Michael B.. Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools. Wiley. Kindle Edition.

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