Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Week 11, Day 2

Whenever I sub in the school system, I am more encouraged in my decision to homeschool. Are students damaged beyond repair after graduation? Probably not, but do they thrive? Probably not. Here's what I witnessed today:

* a 5th grade math student who couldn't add simple whole numbers in a class that was going over converting fractions into decimals.

* class instruction interrupted by constant "sit down, raise your hand, no more outbursts or you will leave the room, etc. etc. etc."

* failed attempts to keep children on track and paying attention.

* repeating directions over and over again.

* very little silence even during a test.

* with every interruption children who look to see what's going on, consequently, not finishing their assignments.

Only the strong can survive in this environment. If you are a student who can stay on track regardless of what's going on around you, you'll be fine. If you don't need one on one attention because you always understand the instructions given, you'll be fine. I was speaking with a teacher who was given me instructions on how to do a project for her, and I had trouble understanding her directions. Her ability to thoroughly explain was somewhat lacking. How much more her 2nd grade students? I see how students fall between the cracks. Add to that parents who don't check assignments, who aren't in communication with the teacher regarding their child, or who has a teacher who isn't very interested in staying in contact with you regarding your child, and its just a volatile mix all the way around with the students in the middle. It tugs on my heart everytime I work one on one with a child who doesn't get it and then walk away knowing I won't be there on a consistent basis to help that child out. I was helping that child who couldn't do simple addition and she asked "are you going to be here all day?" I know teachers do the best they can, they have 20+ kids in a room but what is the solution? I guess that's what principals try to figure out day after day, year after year. But they can't save everybody either. It's not a perfect system. Okay I'm rambling but it just really concerns me. I actually asked God "Lord what can I do on a larger scale? You have given me mine and I try to do all I can by them." Perhaps the days I am there I'm able to encourage to the point that maybe a one time encounter with a child makes a huge difference in their life or just a huge difference for that moment.

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