Apr 11, 2010

The Ying and Yang of Teaching: 2

Recently, Renee (the blogger formerly known as Miss Kitty), posted about the pending graduations of two of her nephews. I offered my congratulations. However, I also shared that far too often young men of color don't make it to graduation.

There many reasons why so many young people disengage from their K-12 education. Here is my first attempt at shedding some light on what I think ails the public education system.:

- First and foremost it starts with the attitude the family has about education. If doing your best in school does not hold value within a student's parents, chances are that child will not engage and/or give up when content becomes challenging. I can't stress enough how important it is for a parent to check to see if homework was completed, and offer assistance the best way they know how. Sadly, this rarely happens with many of my students at home. The message sent by this lack of involvement from the parents is not a good one.

- As a special education teacher, I customize my lessons around the interests of my students. If you engage a child in reading content that matters to them it makes a big difference. If you structure a math lesson around real-world applications, you have a fighting chance. While I know there will be some courses and content that won't resonate with students, we should make attempts to offer something that will motivate students, because it matters to them.

So, consistent parental involvement and engaging content that is reflective of a student's interests is a step in the right direction. Mind you I know many educators that have been fighting the good fight to support these ideas for quite sometime. Along with them I stay committed to using this approach to improving my students formal education experience.


Wonder Man said...

this is good to know

Reneé said...

Years ago I was witness to some "all attitude" mother who said that she got her diploma and it was up to her kids to do the same because she had things to do; her kids were 7 and 11 at the time. She told me that she had a man to worry about and her kids just had to understand that...I shit you not.

Todd HellsKitchen said...

Yes, and this is WHY linking teacher salaries to test scores is WRONG! Teachers who work in communities where education gets family support wuill be paid more... Teachers brave enough to tackle the communities that don't will get punished with poorer salaries... Even Obama and his Sect of Ed (Arne Duncan) don't seem to grasp this...