I am angry-WAY angry and will not be silenced. All thinking educators in Australia, if not the whole world need to raise their voices!
I have just finished assessing a perfectly normal 7 year old. She is reading a little ahead of her age level, knows most sounds, has reasonable phonological awareness, can spell at the appropriate level and has a lovely bubbly friendly manner- yet she hates school! She is convinced she is “no good” at her school-work.
Because she is forced to write “too fast” (her speed of writing is normal ) and she has to attend extra classes most day to help her catch up.
Catch up to what?
Catch up to some raving lunatic’s idea of what a 7 year old should be able to do.
So- all these extra classes, homework, meetings to let her Mum know her “problems” have eventually caused some nervous behaviours that have now attracted the school psychologist’s attention.
For pity’s sake STOP this nonsense and let children be children.
They do 5 hours at school and need to run and play, socialise and enjoy their learning and find out who they are.
We have actually had a couple of complaints from parents because the children enjoy their learning at ICE!!!!!
Why are we punishing children like this? It IS cruelty and Principals and teachers need to stop before more children have nervous breakdowns, rates of suicides go up and all children HATE school.
It is quite possible to teach in an explicit, “hands-on”, planned manner that ensures all children learn, have appropriate learning activities and actually enjoy the process. Sure- there will be hard bits. There always are. This does not mean we have to destroy their childhoods and make the whole thing hard.
We are making the fear of NAPLAN like some sort of dreadful threat that hovers over all schools and so the test has become the default curriculum.
So what if the scores are a bit low? The teachers can adjust, improve their teaching and ensure all children’s needs are catered for- they do not need to wield this huge hammer over children and Principals need to develop their spines and refuse to bend to the shameful practice of teaching to the test and putting children under this much pressure.
We have had an education system that teaches children to think, wonder and dream and achieve their goals. Sure- we have needed to address some literacy and numeracy deficits caused in large part by lack of curriculum documents, teaching materials and lack of teacher support. So fix the problems- not actually that hard! Stop taking the lazy way out by fixating on a national test as being the only way we can be sure children are learning.
The children are suffering.
Who from our senseless system will fix this young child’s broken spirit?
SHAME SHAME SHAME!