Progress?

February 5, 2014 § 1 Comment

I have been working hard all week on finalizing this quarters progress notes for my students. I take this very seriously and try to do a very good job. I have received and read my own daughter’s progress notes that are full of meaningless jargon and truly provide very little information. I never want a parent that I work with to see their child’s work randomly represented with arbitrary information. Yes I know we are supposed to discuss progress at team meetings but those meetings at most schools (proudly I can say not the one I work for) are all business, on a time limit, rushed and most often focus on the goals that people want to work on moving forward. We need to slow down, we need to look at the whole picture and we need to talk about measurable progress but also about the immeasurable progress. We need to consider the whole child. We need to work on skills that are useful. I often feel with my own daughter that I want the team to work backward. To look at what my end goal is for her after high school and then work backwards from that to achieve the necessary skills to make it happen. It’s ok with me if she never really learns about Mesopotamia, reads Charles Dickens or can do algebra. So many kids graduate and have no REAL usable skills. These students pass MCAS but they can’t blend into society in a functional way. They can’t manage their money, make decisions or stay organized and without these skills they won’t successfully maintain independence. This is what we call progress in education?

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