Monday, May 5, 2008

This I believe...

This I believe, that every child, every person, should be respected. Human beings have a need to be valued, and this should never be overlooked. Teachers involved in the struggle to instruct a class of children can not forget that they are working with people.

The state standards of learning are the focus of every classroom in Virginia as schools finalize preparations for the annual end of year test. Before we begin, can we please all agree that the facts and test taking strategies are not nearly as important as the student's sense of worth?

Teachers use every trick in the book to get students to memorize important facts from previously released tests. Bribery is a favorite technique. Friday as I walked the halls at the end of the day, I saw a small number of students lining up. This group consisted of LD students coming from their 5th grade inclusion class. One little guy, an ESL member of the group, was very upset. While his face scrunched up in muted rage, his classmate joyfully recalled the fact that he got 3 pieces of candy and angry boy did not. Seems he didn't get any candy since he didn't get any SOL questions right.

I don't know all of the details of the SOL quiz game, but I felt this boy had been treated poorly. Classroom rewards have been a teaching weapon since long before I was a student. For this one miserable little boy, it failed. He did not leave school feeling successful. Is this wrong? Perhaps he didn't know answers that he should have known. Forgetting the fact that there is a language barrier for him, and that he is learning disabled, is this ok to do to a child, any child? I don't think so.

Every child should feel respected. This I believe.

I must thank Cathy Nelson for tagging me for this meme. I hope that I have participated correctly, but I am afraid that since I have not developed many relationships with other bloggers, or the relationships are in the beginning stages, I am not sure who to tag in return. So, I would like to send out an enormous group tag to education bloggers in Virginia, especially Virginia Beach, and ask that they continue this meme.


Cathy Nelson said...

l this is perfectly alright. You get to make the Meme what you want it to be--no hard fast rules. I lazily recycled an old post. LOL. Thanks for participating.

Anonymous said...

Well said! I see this sort of thing happen all the time. The test scores seem more important than the whole child anymore. :-(