Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Blog - New School Year

I'm going to jump right in and get this blog going. Today's quote:

If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn. Ignacio Estrada

As the new school year approaches I'm thinking about education, teachers, students and of course my own child who will soon be entering 5th grade.

We are in the process of moving from Utah to Michigan (hence the new blog as my previous one was based on my observations of life in "The Beehive State"). When we arrive in Michigan, our daughter will have the opportunity to visit a few schools and as a family, we will decide which school seems like the best fit for her - emphasis on those last two words.

I do not expect a teacher to teach a lesson 30 different ways, but I do expect a teacher to be willing to adjust their expectations based on their students' abilities. I expect teachers to have the freedom to teach in a way that demonstrates their gifts and personal style, while realizing that not all students will respond positively to their methods.

I hope teachers and parents will weigh in. What do you value in your current school (teachers) or your child's current school? What is your biggest frustration in education?


  1. Let me be the first to comment! Since it's my first year teaching, I really with there were some sort of induction program at the school I'm teaching at. Most occupations have an apprenticeship, but teaching is like, "OK, here are the keys to your room! Ready, set, go!" Haha, I think I'll be fine, but it's gonna be a whole new experience for me!

  2. haha, I WISH I could edit my comment after it was posted! :)

  3. Lindsay, I'm with you! I'll be starting my first teaching job this year, too, and I feel the same! Heather, as a special education teacher, I really appreciate the quote about teaching the way they learn! I will have a little more flexibility due to smaller class sizes in special ed, but I think that all teachers need to pay attention to how their lessons are being received and adjust them accordingly. I understand that this can be very difficult given the budget cuts and class sizes of today, but it CAN be done if a teacher is willing to put the time and effort into it. Even presenting the same material in a couple of ways can help to reach so many more students and really shouldn't take that much extra time. I think that education is changing (and needs to change) and that, hopefully, new teachers will bring some new ideas and methods into their schools. If the new teachers can share what they've just learned and the older teachers can share what they know from experience then everyone would benefit - students and teachers alike!

  4. Lindsay and Melanie - as first year teachers, do you feel like your education and practicum/internships prepared you for facing your own classroom? Will you have a mentor teacher at your school?

    I often think teaching should be an apprenticeship, with 1-2 years spent with a teacher in the classroom and then, as you have your own classroom, that teacher is still available to you. Less time in the university setting, more time in a school classroom.

  5. Getting my kids ready for school I have to again do a 504 for JayDen. Talking with the counselor she wants to arrange his schedule so the classes he takes the teacher and he will mesh well. JayDen is VERY smart. Iq is crazy(135)
    . But he is verbal and hands on not a book and paper kid. His best year was with Mr. Carlisle. He understood out of the box. But a comment was also made that he will have to grow up and conform so he will succeed in high school and college. Conforming is what is not needed! Be himself, help build his confidence in the way HE learns and he will succeed and in turn so will the teacher...as they helped form a bright mind for our future.

  6. Chiree, what grade is JayDen going into? When he gets to high school (or is he in high school?) check out South Campus.

    We need creative people, we need to realize not all people learn the same and we need to know that those people will succeed at colleges such as liberal arts schools like Sarah Lawrence, a very highly esteemed school! Fortunately there are schools for students who think outside the box, although I still think all teachers need to be open to working with any student (unless of course the student is a danger to anyone).

    Mr. Carlisle was and is amazing - so sad he retired.