What are my views on education? What do I believe about the way we teach our kids, and why? I’ve honestly never given much thought to this question, which is scary seeing as I’ve been a preservice teacher for almost two years.
I suppose, as a survivor of the No Child Left Behind Act, I believe kids are so much more than test scores and cookie-cutter learners. I honestly believe that every single child in every single classroom needs a personalized way to learn and grow; this means lawmakers need to allow for much more “wiggle room” on standards, curriculum, etc., because every school, every classroom, every single kid is different, and setting every child in the U.S. to get the same tests in the same way over and over again is just never going to work.
We need an emphasis on learning, not “achieving” (i.e. “getting an A”). We need to intrinsically motivate kids, give them more time to explore what they’re interested in and guide them toward content and standards accordingly. I’ve only been observing teachers in classrooms for about a year, and I know that some kids get a disappointed look when they pick the “blue” task, and some kids get an “awesome effort!” when they pick up a pencil.
We need to stop treating kids like they’re all the same. We need equitable education, personalized education, and room for teachers to do what they know and believe is best for all of their students.
I don’t know that much about current education policy; I plan to change that very soon. But for now, I know that I believe one of the major touchstones of education is that one size doesn’t fit all, and if you don’t acknowledge and appreciate the individual learner that every kid in every class is, you’re going to be taking them 10 steps down from their highest potential, and that’s just not acceptable to me.