Pandemic Amnesia

The recent NAPLAN results seem to have pandemic amnesia!

Many of these kids have had interrupted schooling with lockdowns, learning from home and living with fears of serious illness and death. Countless students have viewed horrific images of covered bodies being loaded into refrigerated trucks and hastily dug graves on hillsides in Brazil.

These are disturbing images for adults and far more for children. How could they possibly be at the same standard as if we had not just been through a serious pandemic?

We know that explicit teaching leads to higher results, and most schools are now taking up this option. I teach teachers how to adopt and utilise a synthetic phonics program as well as grammar and spelling. Most schools I work with need no convincing about the explicit nature of teaching. They need resources and a budget to cover ongoing training and enough trained staff to ensure ALL children are progressing. Sadly, this is often not the case.

Schools will be coping with pandemic disturbances for some time yet, so let’s support them and stop this ridiculous panic reporting about so-called standards! We need to get some balance into our educational thinking. Yes – explicit is needed for beginning readers and maths concepts, but let’s not forget to allow time for creativity and divergent thinking in our race to appear politically correct.

Teachers don’t need NAPLAN to pinpoint problems that children have. They already know this. They need support and resources and less unhelpful criticism from the media and public at large!

Just because we’ve all been to school does not mean we all know how to teach. We were all born – that does not make us all capable midwives!

Let teachers get on with what they are well trained to do, and give them your support!


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