November 2-3, 2015, Chino Valley
Although this deals with two days, I will be succinct. I feel several changes welling up within me, all of them good. Some are in reaction to a couple of friends distancing themselves further. Others have to do with my current working environment: An odd mix of laid-back, mixed with urgency; innovation, blended with the religious conservative’s passion for order. I am in a good place here, among some very effervescent people, both children and adults.
The tendency of my eight-and-nine-year olds is to chat, almost incessantly if I were to let them. Creative work comes second to chatting: The drawings and the storytelling would be captivating, even to me, were I not after a bigger kettle of fish. Third grade is a year that has been singled out by the powers that be, as a year that should see measurable intellectual growth.
I believe such growth is happening. It is obscured by three forces: Immaturity, which will pass; self-unconfidence, which will dissipate, with a measure of specific praise; and the rudiments of questioning authority, which should only, in my view, be strengthened, and channeled. “Why, why, why?” states the sign on the upper wall.
We may be able to measure a child’s growth with standardized tests, but the measures will be limited. Howard Gardner admonished us, long ago now, about recognizing, and honouring, each person’s specific intelligence type. Gardner was working with populations of Gen-X’ers. Since his initial research on Multiple Intelligences, more work has been done, with Millennials, and now members of “Generation Z”. Where he identified five main types of intelligence, many now recognize twelve types. As we become better-versed in Brain Research, more Intel-types might be parsed.
I am glad to be back in the game, and will remain, whether my role is a “temporary guest teacher” or as more permanent staff.