Ready, set, school
Socorro is once again seeing children, posing as students, walk down the sidewalks, along the ditch banks and across the streets.
Whether they are joyous second graders chasing each other through the grass or drooping teens sauntering along with their friends, they have all joined that tribe of adventurers who are officially being educated.
To them, it is not so important if an individual school has an A or F grade. It is not so important that testing is coming up to make their minds buzz, or that “rigour” and “critical thinking” are the educational goals this year.
What is important to those young minds is friends, food, finding the right desk, who they are sitting next to and when do they get to go on their first field trip.
If they are younger, personal grades are important because in their hearts, they want to please and impress parents, teachers and peers. They want to be special and smart.
As they grow older, they can connect doing well in school with their futures and doing well in life. They can see those connections and gradually mature to act on them. For this they may need some guidance.
And so while those at the top state and federal levels talk about research that has shown child-centered, age appropriate critical thinking is essential to emergent literacy and expanding horizons, it is the teacher in the classroom who has to translate that into something meaningful to the student — something that continues to engage children as they grow and the world changes.
Teachers are there to remember our children are human beings, individual and creative.
Teachers have to find a way to make “common core standards” align with active, youthful, exploring brains and keep those brains interested in learning.
In all the layers that are called “education” — from federal to state to school to teacher to parent — the core of the child is the most important core standard there can be. We need to put aside the verbiage and look at who they are, in order to teach them the best we can.
And, if you see them walking at the side of the road, slow down. They deserve to grow up.