11-18 Discussion

greenspun.com : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

I felt the need to add my comments to 11-18's discussion, which included the issue of standards and grading. As a parent and an educator, I realize that every child has different strengths, weaknesses, backrounds, etc. I feel that expectations and standards are a good thing...if kept to a healthy balance. I can't expect every child to get G's (A's) but I do expect every child to do their best. If they struggle, it is my job to help them or find someone who can.. If they are unable to meet the expectations, I am not doing that child a service by passing him or her on to grade 2. Of course I worry about how they will feel and the social implications, but I always look ahead to how difficult it will be for them as they struggle through their school career, and what their feelings and social implications will be then.

Not every child develops at the same rate. I think that is a big issue at the primary level. I'd like to see a JR., SR. Kindergarten, which would really help to give the students time to mature and be ready for school. Those who didn't need it would go right to SR. Kindergarten. We have a Junior Primary that is the same thing, except it only can take up to 20 kids. I would like to see this on a larger scale. That way, we have a better chance of teaching students when they are ready and perhaps many of them will have more success. I would also like to see more retentions at the primary level, but unfortunately, parents have the final say. A child can be completely unready to move on, and parents can ignore that and send them on anyway. Talking to my sister-law who teaches in Mpls., she was shocked that we retained at all...it's taboo in her school district because teachers are afraid of the parents.

Scarey! Well, enough of my ramblings. I could go on and on! Ladd, I think you said the same thing, only so much better!

-- Anonymous, November 19, 1998


Lisa, I thought your ramblings were well stated, too. One reason we are seeing some children unprepared and developmentally not ready for Kindergarten is because some children have not had exposure to Early Childhood programs prior to Kindergarten. Social skills are focused on these programs as well as learning through play. This quality environment helps prepare preschoolers for Kindergarten. I, too, see a need to have Junior and Senior Kindergarten programs. As educators we want all children to be successful learners. In Friday's paper, note the article by Dr. Daniel Gartrell titled, "Ventura should reconsider views on subsidized child care." He sums up what I have just stated, "Children are ready to learn in Kindergarten only if they have been helped to learn during the previous 5 or 6 years." He also talked about how brain development is not complete at birth, but throughout childhood. As part of our thesis on brain development, I would like to research the attachment disorder, and how positive attachments with parents and other caregivers enhance brain development. Let me know what you think.

-- Anonymous, November 21, 1998

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