How We & The System Must Change

In my sixteen year career I’ve come to learn how much I don’t know.  I’ve also come to see, first hand, how poorly structured our current ‘system’ of education is for meeting the needs of today’s students.

“Expert” after expert espouses the value of critical thinking in today’s world.  They talk about capturing student interest and not allowing talents to slip by unnoticed.  They’re right – today’s students need this from us (and the system).  However, it is, in a word, impossible to achieve in a classroom of 20 (or even 30!) students with the diversity of needs, talents, and backgrounds in today’s classrooms.  Frankly, in classes of six to eight at Headwaters Academy, we even find ourselves challenged to ensure that we connect with each of our students each day.

I want to write today about ‘C’.  We have no students whose names start with ‘C’, so hopefully this might obfuscate his identity.  ‘C’ is, at a surface glance, your “average” student.  He does not particularly struggle with any subject, and, if left alone, he does not particularly shine in any subject.  He is happy to go through his day somewhat hidden among his peers.  He loves recess; he’s not a fan of new lessons where he’s not the quickest in the room.  Weather has allowed us, on occasion, to have even fewer than six students in a class.  It was during these times we noticed something.  ‘C’ lit up.  ‘C’ volunteered answers.  ‘C’ produced his best work.  ‘C’ became seen.  He learned, as did we, that his talent is immense and that his ‘spark’, when captured with 1:1 attention, roars into a raging fire.

If we are to have any chance of capturing talent we need to change both the system and our approach as teachers.  Losing children in the crowd is not an acceptable way forward.

Is your child lost in the crowd? Move them immediately to where they are seen.  Give us a call today.