Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Times Have Changed So Why Haven't We?

SO, it’s has been a week and no one is knocking my door down about the Educational Revolution. That’s ok because I can see from word of mouth that people believe in the Revolution and have not came together or had a voice to articulate exactly what the problem is as they are lead to freedom. This is a little melodramatic but it is very true.

We know that education is suffering in many ways. Education is suffering nationwide. More special need students are being identified all the time. Viable students are dropping out of school according to the America’s Promise Alliance. In April 2008, ABC World News segment ("Failing Grades," April 1) featured a report from America's Promise Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that showed 1.2 million students drop out of high school each year. This is a good jumping off place to start. The information we have is communicating something to us. We have to figure out the whys, hows and an action plan.

Last blog, I discussed how students could get behind and not really be noticed. I also stated a plan of action:
learning how to examine students developmentally, emotionally and physically; learning how to customize interventions to fit the students; and making this fabric part of our educational system. It would be revolutionary to utilize these practices.

The lack of understanding students to their core leads to a lack of vision in education. I’ll say it again, education lacks vision. This does not mean there not great things happening in education, do not get me wrong. There are wonderful programs, teachers and administrators that serve students well. What I’m talking about is the student that is not served well. This kind of student is growing in numbers by leaps and bounds. The student could look like one that ignores the teacher, sleeps in class, or just does not turn in work. The student could also look like the student who tries hard to please yet struggles anyway. The student could look like a reading disability that does not qualify for special education services. The student could look like many things. The disservice in education is that all are not getting what they need. It’s no one fault. They need too much for the current system to handle. That’s why we need a revolution.

Look, times are different and we have to change with the times. Our children are over exposed to stimuli. Input is constantly coming into the senses of people today: videos, ipods, text messages, computer screens, cell phones, etc. This upbeat of sensory heightens the system and the system craves for more. Kids in elementary and middle school are on video games, text messages and even Facebook!

Constantly, I hear kids saying they are bored. One student said it today as an excuse of why he drew an obscene picture! Students are not bored they are unregulated or unable to sit for periods of time without input. Am I over exaggerating? No. With the changing times, lack of real community, family time and bounding our children are being raised by the television and the media. How many moms or dads need a break and they put little Johnny in front of a movie or his favorite show, in which they TiVo'd for him! When the kid starts emulating the characters, speaking in gibberish or lost in fantasy thoughts we think something is wrong with the kid.

This form of thinking something is wrong with the kid permeates throughout education for those that struggle. Unlike mom and dad that start the ball rolling with too much media, teachers get what they get in a student. That student can come with a fertilized foundation for educational growth or with nothing but a blank slate somewhat ready to learn. Regardless, at sometime in the educational journey an educator, administrator and or parent starts to “victimize the victim” when the child is not learning and the interventions are not working.

The lack of understanding students to their core leads to a lack of vision in education. That’s why we need a revolution.

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