Advocate Like A Mother
Let's advocate for our students like they're our own children. That's my motto. Students need champions. People who courageously speak on their behalf. I wholeheartedly believe the education system today is flawed, don't we all?A The system that was developed a hundred+ years ago was designed for the industrial age. We were preparing our youth for future factory jobs, which require repetitive and predictible tasks. But jobs have and will continue to change in the United States. And we need to change how we prepare our students for the future.
Prior to this year, I did not know much about advocating. It's disheartening that not every classroom/school has deep project based learning or a student-centered focus. I'm passionate about these teaching approaches and want to enable and encourage all teachers to shift. This is what my own kids deserve, and every kid out there deserves.
Advocate means to publicly recommend or support. Thus, I am publicly supporting and will continue to voice the things listed below in our community. If you're a parent with children in school or entering school soon, please pay attention. Our students need your voice in advocating for them. The world continues to change, school must also change! Do you want your child to be prepared for the future? Or recieve an education that has not changed much in a hundred+ years?
In order to best prepare our students for the future, here is what they need...
Standards being taught through meaningful projects
Projects chosen/led by the students interests (see image below)
Parent communication that shows pictures, the process of learning, and how standards tie into project work (check out my newsletter here as an example- this is an area I am growing in, but see a need to strengthen parent communication in project work)
No homework (besides reading to and with my child every night- but that's not homework. If my child needs extra practice, then that is my job to help him)
Authentic use of technology
Meaningful relationships with the teacher and classmates
Outdoor time/recess- in the rain, snow, sunshine, wind, and clouds
Time to practice social skills and mindfulness
No spelling tests
Students helping and teaching other students
Meaningful and authentic assessments
Be treated like a person, not another data point
Strengths affirmed and used
Opportunities to fail forward
Community service opportunities
Behavior challenges would be discussed through a conversation- not clip charts or taking away recess
Lunchtime would be a time to socialize in a polite and manageable way
(as I'm typing these, I see a need to dive deeper into some of these areas--> more on these soon!)
This seems like a long list, but these are the important things I want for my children when they enter school. As a teacher, I am better at some of these than others, but I try to incorporate all of these.
Teachers should do everything in their power to give our students the best learning experience. We have to adapt as the world changes. We have to adjust our teaching to challenge their world and set them up to succeed. We can't teach like we did when we first entered the teaching world. If you are still doing practices that you've done for five or even ten+ years, evaluate those practices. Are they still relevant for your current students? Is there a way to adapt this practice and make it authentic to your students this year?
"If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow."
Let's do better for our students and our own children. Advocate for them. Be that parent or teacher that demands the best for your child and student!
Parents - are you willing to stand up for your child and demand the best education that will prepare your child for their changing and unpredicable world?
Teachers - are you willing to do anything to inspire every student?