On February 1 millions of people will celebrate the beginning of the TIGER year.
Children will be excited to receive presents, houses will be cleaned and special foods prepared. Often new clothes will be worn.
I believe that a knowledge of all major cultural festivals and events is important for children if we are to help prepare them to understand each other’s cultures and lead to greater empathy and harmony.
Each year I have always helped children understand all the major festivals and the LOVE the themed art/craft/maths and literacy we use at these times. It helps children get in touch with the wheel of the year and appreciate each other’s traditions.
Last year I decided to fulfil a dream and learn the piano. One of my mastery trainers bought me a fantastic keyboard for Christmas so I was all set. I chose the SIMPLY PIANO app and started.
How excited I was as I finally learned musical notes and started to play simple tunes. I started using both hands and I was on cloud 9 and could play some popular songs. I drove friends and my kids crazy making them listen to my recordings and thought I was well on the way. Pride really does precede a fall!
I passed through the first 2 stages and started to feel a little uneasy as there were some tricky parts and I was too proud to ask for help. Pity!
I started to avoid daily practice and barely went near the keyboard. I had so many excuses. I was too busy, too much work and would get back soon. Time passed and I realised sad truth. I had gone too fast and did not understand deeply and felt like I was drowning each time I tackled some difficult notes. I still avoided asking for help and just felt miserable each time I looked at the keyboard or saw ads for SIMPLY PIANO with people who were so good after only a few months.
Truth was- I had slipped into the “learning difficulties,” “remedial”, “lazy” categories.
I had gone too fast-buoyed along by my own pride and delight that I could do this.
Actually, I couldn’t do “this” at all. In fact I was stuck with a capital S!
What to do?
I knew the answer but avoided it.
Finally, I faced it. My playing was crapola and if I REALLY wanted to learn I had to start over and work my way up again-slowly, painfully, deeply and allowing enough time to learn thoroughly.
I am now in the “remedial” group and slowly moving up the ladder again. I no longer care what anyone thinks. This is MY journey, and I will do it my own way. I WILL master this and become proficient!
However, the whole painful episode has made me think deeply about the kids who learn differently. We race through the content, trying to meet school deadlines and curriculum expectations. If kids start to fail, we put them into the remedial group with the one program we have selected.
So- what if it does not work? The kids must be lazy, avoiding or perhaps it’s the parents’ fault- no discipline or ability to MAKE their kids learn!
The truth: These kids are hurting. We need to repeat lesson material in different ways, slow down, meet their needs exactly where they are and let the kids set the pace.
There is no such thing as fast learning for most kids. If they are 3 years behind- start right there!
Let’s do it properly and make 2022 the year we stop trying to hurry, hurry!
We will help kids get results if we slow down and do the job calmly and thoroughly. This is NOT rocket science and yet we miss the importance of slow, deep teaching and learning so often.
If we truly care about our students, let’s stop the collective denial and start giving kids what they actually need.