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View Diary: The Myth of Failing Schools (216 comments)

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  •  Arts. Science Fairs. Plays. Band. (18+ / 0-)

    Parents that come to a school on a week night to cheer their kids on as they play the recorder in the 3rd grade tell kids they are important.

    Going to a Science Fair through Jr. High tells kids that the world wants to see what they think, and all parents would walk by every kids display and shake a kids hand.  It told them that the community wanted them to succeed.

    Parents standing and cheering at a school play, whether it's 5th grade, 7th grade, or Jr. High School tells kids that they are appreciated and their work pays off.

    High School band teaches kids a life long skill and lets them feel proud of their accomplishment every time people watch them.

    I think part of why it's hard to get parents to get really involved is because we aren't providing them the kind of things they can do and feel both relaxed and rewarded about it.    I went to a recent HS play, a local school put on "Dr. Horrible" I think a year ago or two.. I knew -nobody- in the HS, my kids aren't old enough.   But it was a packed room and everyone cheered... most of all, it was fun to attend.  

    I think you have to give the community things they can cheer, because then they will show up.  They are desperate to show up.   The problem is, schools have slowly resorted to giving them only one thing like that.. sports.  And we've sent the message to kids that sports and sports alone matter and really get you respect.

    Which is too bad.   I like HS sports too; it's fun to watch and I will root my youngest son on.  But I would be just as proud if he came to me and said "I want to try out for 'Our Town'" as I would if he told me he was trying out for the basketball team.

    Because a parent, I just want to root my kid on ;)

    Having Hope and using action to give people hope are different things. Make a difference for someone.

    by Chris Reeves on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 06:54:08 AM PDT

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    •  This would make a great diary... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      would you be willing to write one?

      •  Maybe later in the week :) (5+ / 0-)

        I'm too busy working on a different one, which is about evidence based sex ed...  Hmm.   I will have to do that though.

        But I have a draft of one I've worked on off and on for a while, about a local high school speech/drama teacher & a Special Education Speech Therapist and the work they do.  

        I don't know, I do need to get to some of those things ;)

        Having Hope and using action to give people hope are different things. Make a difference for someone.

        by Chris Reeves on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:31:23 AM PDT

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        •  Sounds like you just need to publish with (0+ / 0-)

          us :)  Those are all great education topics!

        •  send me a message (1+ / 0-)
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          when you get your diary done so I don't miss it.  I am a speech-language pathologist (work with children but not in schools).

          •  Our son (6+ / 0-)

            Is a seriously autistic student.   We've had ups and downs, good and bads.. I blogged about some of the worst moments (you can go back through some of my blogs) and some of the best.. but I've had some great OT/PT people, some I really came to care about.  

            My wife is a Speech degree, I'm a speech minor.. though in different areas.   And seeing kids who really struggled with speech work with a ST/PT manage to get in front of an audience...

            If that can't put a tear in your eye watching parents cheer for their kids.. that's what great education is all about.   There is no test or metric evaluation of what it means to see a kid who has struggled for years out of fear to talk to people get up and belt out a laugh or a line in front of a group of people.  

            There are four moments in my life I will always remember as "great".

            Watching a physically disabled family member become valedictorian at his HS when the school fought so hard to keep him out.

            Seeing a friend's child with Down Syndrome race to the finish of a Special Olympics race and wait at the finish line, without finishing, so he could hug his friend and cross together.

            My wedding to my wife and best friend of fifteen years.

            Seeing my autistic son speak sentences in front of a (small group) of people, and accept the school district's math accomplishment award - he had the highest score on the tests in the district.

            Him winning the math award wasn't what got me.  It's that he stood still in front of a group of people and said "Thank You" and to shake someone's hand.

            I'll give credit to the math teacher too, but that moment, for him to get up in front of people and tell them thanks and to then be a ringbearer for his teacher's wedding that summer.. THAT is what got me.  There isn't a test in the world that can show how big of an accomplishment that was for him as a student.   But the fact that in three years we got there.. or that his OT/PT had managed his issues with handwashing and use of a restroom..

            There is not book on what that means.  

            Everyone wants to cheer for their kids.   I'm proud of mine.  But the biggest accomplishments by some of the best teachers I know will never appear on a test.   But there isn't a math score in the world that will make me feel like I need to sit out in a car and weep because I'm so damn proud of my son.   No test will give me that.   Seeing a ST get him to start really talking to people years ago?   I'm on the edge of crying now thinking about it.   The math ribbon is still in a drawer.  Him coming and asking me for his kind of food now or talking to me about a game he likes?  PRICELESS.

            Having Hope and using action to give people hope are different things. Make a difference for someone.

            by Chris Reeves on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:44:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If you follow Education Alternatives (1+ / 0-)
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            Leslie in KY

            tmservo433's diaries will show up in your stream as they publish. So will other education diaries. Just click on the heart next to the name Education Alternatives :)

            Or, if you want just tmservo433's diaries, click on the heart next to that name and those diaries alone will show up in your stream.

    •  great comment n/t (1+ / 0-)
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      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:33:37 AM PDT

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