September 22, 2015, Chino Valley- I am gratified that my sleep and energy levels are proving more than adequate to do the job I have been given- and will get more in tune with the students and their needs, in short order. A lot of time and energy will need to be devoted to shoring up their skill levels, to say the least.
Much has been said about the “dumbing down” of the curriculum, with an idea that the common denominator, in a polyglot world, is pop culture. There are uses to which phenomena, like Hip Hop can be put, but seriously, I see no good use for lowered expectations,double negatives, coarse speech and mangled grammar.
A longtime friend complained today, that teachers are getting all the blame, for students’ lack of success, and that people should stop crying Victim, every time they are criticized. She is right on both counts, and I attribute these phenomena to false pride, if not narcissism- and both are rooted in insecurity.
Teachers are just part of the team that raises and nurtures a child. Parents, extended family, community members, and the child herself, are equal partners in this effort. No one should get off the hook, when a child fails.
I will need to do a lot of one-on-one and small group tutoring, both during, and outside of, the school day, in order to bring my students up to speed. There will also need to be consistent parental encouragement and efforts to provide a stable home life. The child needs to be taught responsibility, as one of the finest supervisors I have ever had kept saying, day in and day out, in the Fall of 2001. That supervisor was 18 years of age. She was a prodigy, and is now a Master Teacher, at age 33.
School is more than just a building. It is a community, a center, a medium of exchange (in the ideal sense, not in the financial sense). It needs to be a refuge of hope and of strength. We have a long road ahead.