There IS a light at the end of the tunnel! Each kid that strolls into a classroom at every school does so under an invisible cloud of hopefulness. They walk in for various reasons, but similarly all needing a catalyst and conductor for change. It’s not just the teachers that meet those needs. Sometimes, it’s an aide, a secretary, a principal, a cook, a custodian, a counselors, the resource center, or even a visitor to the school. School in years past have gotten a bad reputation because of perceived rigidness and expected perfection. In addition, there were various uncertain skills to master.
However, today’s schools have evolved. Today,when a student walks into the classroom, we want to know that they feel safe, that they aren’t hungry or frightened, that they are properly clothed for the weather, and that they are basically well adjusted and highly motivated to learn.
More than ever before, parents are expected to be a part of the learning process. Teachers want to keep the lines of communication open with the parents, in order to know as situations constantly change, how to best help their child. Parents are asked to spend at least 20 minutes listening to their children each day. In addition, they are asked to support their child by making sure he has the tools and assistance he needs to finish other homework.
Fortunately, we now have a set of National Standards to work toward. This allows students all over the United States to be taught, tested, and compared over the same set of criteria. In fact, parents can print a set of the standards for their child’s particular grade level. By checking off the standards as the child covers them, the parent can get interventions for their child’s weak areas.
Finally, students are tested on a regular, more frequent basis. This is done to continuously find out where the student is academically compared to where they should be. This allows the teachers to intervene before the student is considerably behind.
Ultimately, school is the tunnel that helps students see the light after graduation! In that light, they find that they have gathered a host of lifelong friends. They find that their mentors have pushed them well beyond the point of their own expectations. They have experiences that have taught them where not to tread the waters and ones that have taught them to take wings and fly fearlessly.
In short, school is not the enemy, but a battalion ready to encourage, motivate, protect and proudly fight for their own.