Sunday, December 27, 2015

Reflections on 2015

I told myself I would post on this blog for a year. The year is almost over and so is this blog.

My experiences tutoring this year have reinforced some of my old ideas and opened my eyes to some current problems in education. 

  • Parents often feel they have no place to turn for guidance when their child has a learning difference. Tutoring may help a student if the parent finds one who is experienced teaching students with LDs. The goal should be remediation, not just helping with homework. Remediation requires time and commitment from the child and the family. Once a week after school is not enough to remediate a reading or math learning difference. Remediation in school also takes time and consistency.
  • Schools often expect all children to follow the same timetable of development. Unfortunately, not all children have been given the same memo. Some children need more time, more practice, or more challenges. Too often adults, despite the profuse amount of current brain research, see children as short, young people with grown-up brains. These adults, unfortunately, may be found in curriculum development, education administration, or politics.
  • School's reactions to LDs vary. Some schools do a great job with remediation. Some schools do a great job with appearing to remediate. Some schools don't even seem to be trying. 
  • Just as children differ in the rate of their development, each LD is  unique in each child. Leaning differences reside in children who have their own specific mix of intelligence, personality, strengths, culture, and family.
  • In 2001 David Elkind wrote the book The Hurried Child. It bemoaned a culture that rushes children to adulthood. Fifteen years later it appears that many schools have joined this mad scramble to some unknown finish line. Some children, bored with the pace of school, need the push. Others need time and smaller steps to be successful. Unfortunately, the pace required of many children allows them little time to savor childhood or the joy of learning.
So I plan to tutor less, create more, try some new journeys, and slow down my own
Taken on one of my journeys

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