Problems or People? The Struggle to Learn in the Classroom
The picture above shows 6 actual spelling tests administered to a second-grade public school classroom at the end of December in America.
- county training for the teacher on ways to individualize instruction to meet each student's learning style;
- support by available instructional coaches; and
- plans to notifify parents and the diagnostic team that each of these students are struggling.
Do you see problems or people?
I see people.
I see the five children who need more intervention than any one teacher can offer in a classroom.I see those five children being passed to the next grade and becoming a statistic.I see the second grader who believes that if they "try a little harder", they will learn to read, write, and spell.I see these same children carrying years of shame and guilt and the feeling of being “stupid” because they never learned to read and spell like his friends.I see kids who continue to “try harder” only to eventually realize that no matter how hard they work, they can’t figure it out.I see kids who can no longer handle the emotional toll of not being able to keep up and who turn to drugs to numb the pain.I see what is happening in the system.
But I still see people not problems.
I see a student who needs to be challenged but isn’t.
I see the teacher leaving school wondering what else she can do for those that did not “get it” but will get up the next day and try again.
I see the pain on their face and the desperation in their voice.
I see people, not problems. And I offer hope.
Author Brené Brown says: “When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.”
So how do we own our story?
We need to allow ourselves and our kids to be human, accept their imperfections, learn from their failures, and strive to give them an environment that they can rise in, not just survive in.
The 9 facts below are listed to shine some light on academic realities we are facing and to empower those who ready to write their and their child's own ending.
- As of 2011, America was the only free-market country where the current generation was less educated than the previous one.
- Students learn to read from pre-k through second grade. From third grade on, students read to learn.
- Research tells us that students who have not mastered the skills necessary to read, write, and spell, efficiently by third grade, will continue to struggle academically.
- If a child has mastered a skill then a modification is not needed.
- Mastery of an academic skill does not equal a letter grade.
- A letter grade does not equal mastery of skills.
- Modifications change what a student is expected to learn. Students who receive modifications are not held to the same standard of their general education peers. This means the letter grade they receive is not equal to the same letter grade a student in the same grade earns without modifications.
- Response to Intervention (RTI) is not a way to diagnose a specific learning disability. You may learn important information about your child through the RTI process, but only an appropriate evaluation performed by a qualified professional can determine the presence of a qualifying disability.
- The earlier you identify a weakness the quicker it can be improved.
DISCOVER IF LEARNING DIFFICULTIES ARE AT THE ROOT OF LEARNING OR BEHAVIORAL STRUGGLES
If you suspect that learning difficulties may be underlying learning or behavioral struggles, we urge you to schedule a complimentary 10-minute phone call with Kyra Minichan, The Cognitive Emporium founder and developer of our unique P.A.T.H. assessment and treatment approach.