Monday, January 17, 2011

It's about the students

Wellesley College professor and author of Inside School Turnarounds, Laura Pappano, wrote recently in the Christian Science Monitor  that what really makes the difference for schools is when teachers connect with students. 

"When you talk with students about school turnaround, you realize how much this is about them – not just the school’s data points. What changes their paths isn’t a formula or a grueling push for a better profile. It’s a connection, a context, a caring."

Personal connection and caring are crucial for learning - along with high expectations for each individual.  How did these ideas get lost in the general culture of schools? Why are business-type goals and high-stakes testing to measure school success considered ways to make learning better for individuals?

In our small environment at Parker, all our connections: teacher - student, student - student, teacher - parent, parent - parent make the difference.  Knowing each other and being a community with shared goals is crucial to the end result.  Learning, success, satisfaction, and confidence soar!

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