Monday, June 29, 2020
Saturday, June 13, 2020
At 65, after some 40 years of teaching of all levels, this pirate knows what is indispensable about schools, learning, and education.
First off, those high-stakes test scores politicians and policymakers are always worried about are meaningless. They are the gates on young minds holding them back. So parents, when they start talking gates, walk away.
Second, teachers, when they say they need to evaluate you based on the high-stakes test scores of your students. Know that they have not one single clue about what is a balanced and fair assessment system is. When they observe you and ask why is your one size fits all Strategic Learning Objective, not on the board? Explain these children I teach are more significant than those tiny bubbles on your test sheets. These young minds are the future, and I refuse to reduce the future to your tiny bubbles.
Teachers do so much more than just teaching children, facts, reading, facts, and figures. Teachers build communities of learners, creating places of safety and security away from home where they lift young minds, make children feel safe, included, and loved. They teach the whole child, lift the whole child, and move the whole child along a continuum of learning that opens new horizons, new vistas worthy of our children.
Children, in our public schools, carry with them generations of inquiring minds, endless hypotheses, the ability to construct new wonders, the power to reflect, infinite hope, love, and the gifts of their ancestors.
They do not need to be ready for school; schools need to create schools that are temples of learning worthy of our children. John Dewy, in 1899 said children come to school with four native impulses 1, to Communicate, 2 to construct, to 3question, and 4 to refine. Over 120 years ago, Dewey already told educators children are born ready to learn. I claim what Dewey knew as my own. Dewey understood Horace Mann adopted the wrong education model. Many pay homage to Horace Mann as the father of our public schools. What most miss is Horace brought the wrong model back to America from Prussia. That model of public education deeply rooted in the Prussian military model of sorting, weighing, and conforming young minds into new servants of the state. I claim not alliance to Horace's model of public education.
Instead, I sail the seas of the public education possibilities that Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote about long ago in 1833.
"Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world
It may be that gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts.
Make weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not yield."
At 65, I know better than to be squeeze into their tiny bubble brain images. I don't live for policymakers, politicians, testing conglomerates, or for-profit entities.
At 65, I play for an audience of children, an audience of the future, an audience of the hopeful, and I do it with a teaching heart full of love.
At 65, I sail Tennyson's newer world seas.
At 65, I play for the only audience that matters, our children.
Let others write to impress the one size fits all conformers, the academics, the policymakers, the legislators, and the data junkies. At 65, I write for those who seek new seas.
Tonight, for the Ana Grace Project, the Good Pirate Captain Reads A Lot is Reading "Superdog The Heart of a Hero" by Caralyn Buehner and illustrated by Mark Buehner.
Why, because this pirate knows the world everyone is waiting will be sitting in our classrooms come the Fall.
See The Child Not The Score,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
CCSU Literacy Center
AKA Pirate Captain Reads A Lot
If you are wondering what tune this Walking Man Pirate is listening to on his walk over the Avon Mountain its the cover of Jimmy Buffet " A Pirate at 40" by Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, and Tim Reynolds > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4sUsm4dK6s <