Originally posted by smyleegrl
Kids learn through playing. They learn about rules, how to solve conflicts, and more. That's why so many programs for young children seem like
As a teacher, I can tell you....standardized tests do more harm than good.
I enjoyed a unique opportunity as a Soldier when my child was in kindergarten and 1st grade. I Broke my neck on a HALO jump and after spending some
time bedridden it was just a lot of PT appointments and down time. Having to cram my 4 hours or so of work into a 12 hour day was taxing so I
volunteered at my kid’s school for 10 hours a week - usually 2 hours a day for "reading groups".
The kids were broken down into those who could read above grade level - anywhere from say 3rd grade (My kid) to one reading 5th grade material. We as
volunteers got the groups who could read obviously not being professional educators we facilitated their reading more than anything.
Anyway, sorry I was rambling. What I noticed the problems to be in the classroom was exactly a lack of what you mentioned. The kids had little to no
time to just interact with one another - play time (short as it was) was governed by strict rules whereby the kids had to mark their desired activity
and only a certain number of kids could be at each "station". Within that station the kids had to play cooperatively not competitively.
There certainly was no time for sharing that I saw or just kids being kids and solving their own problems. If there was any inkling of a conflict the
teacher was there licitly split to moderate or intervene and the usual result was to punish both children regardless of who was obviously at fault.
Every moment was very structured. Kids didn't have the time or motivation to solve their own issues.
Then there was the "mainstreaming" issue - kids who were violent, disruptive and had no ability to focus more than 3 minutes on a task took 80% of
the teachers’ time mitigating or correcting their behavior or at best shielding the students from the "mainstreamed kids" actions.
These kids even got "special rewards" for their positive behavior – i.e. not acting like a total insane and disruptive element in class. While
the other kids were punished for minor infractions of the rules with taken recess time etc. The kids could see this was unfair. What it was teaching
them was that certain individuals could break the rules and in some cases even be rewarded for it. They had special status under the law.
Exactly what our government is teaching and doing through equal opportunity and hate speech type laws. Minorities and special categories of citizens
get special status…while the rest of us are subject to the law. Social indoctrination…
A few even very disruptive actions by these "mainstreamed" were ok in some instances. In the case of one "special kid" as long as the kid didn't
need the special response unit to restrain him he actually got stickers at the end of the day when he didn't react violently or hit anyone that day.
That was considered his “success” not having to be forcibly restrained.
The remaining kids in the 70 percent of people (most of us) in the curve got about 15% of the teachers attention.
The top tier kids got no little or no attention from the teachers - getting help from the parent volunteers was the best they could hope for. They
stagnated in some cases as I saw it as their potential was not being cultivated at home. This was in the State of Maryland BTW.
The best part was the "everyone is a winner" standard of grading and rewarding kids based on their individual improvement over the year.
So if your kid was in kindergarten and could identify some sight words at the beginning of the year and in the end of the year he could identify more
sight words than before but not read at grade level he got a "gold award".
While my child who read at 3 grade levels above required got the same award for improving from 3rd to fourth grade in comprehension in kindergarten.
I think when your 6 year old asks the following question it is a telling and distressing indicator of our low standards for education.
“Daddy, I know Timmy can barely read a few words in class when we read out loud most of them 1 syllable or and 1/2 or 3 letter words yet he got the
same gold award I did. That doesn’t seem fair to me?"
I had no real answer for her...than to always try your best don't worry about the other kids.
Standardized testing has it problems but we need some kind of metric. Individual improvement could be from moron to idiot that is not objective.
The tests while not ideal should be pass fail on either below, at or above grade level - if above maybe early advancement should take place. If on
level then advancement at the regular rate. If below level - they repeat the grade until they get it...
The solution seems really simple to me – then again I am not a professional educator. Would you?