GET THE LABELS OFF OUR KIDS!

I am so sick of the labels being put on children. Why must we be so quick to make them fit into boxes they were never destined for??

Why can’t children be allowed to birth their uniqueness and gifts to the world?
Why must every child learn in the same way?

This is all errant nonsense! Children are wonderfully unique and need to be nutured and helped to develop-not rammed into pre-existing templates!

It amazes me that here we are in 2012, turning back and back into the “empty vessels” model of Charles Dickens’ Hard Times novel! We know better now so why don’t we apply it?

The answer is simple-intellectual laziness, lack of funds and lack of respect and concern for these wonderful young people who will inherit the arid and barren educational landscapes we are forming.

Education is about engagement, curiosity, wonder, intellectual rigour, exciting ideas and extension of thinking. We MUST allow for different ways of learning, personalities, strengths and weaknesses in our classrooms if every child is to reach their potential.

This means teachers must have access to training that will show them how to teach in flexible groups, multi-age settings, cater for individual learning styles, extend and remediate where necessary.

It is not fair to expect teachers to carry the blame for low literacy and numeracy results-and we certaily do have those at the moment! Teachers need access to the best literacy and numeracy programs and professionsl development.
Many teachers are paying for their own extra training because their schools cannot fund it-this is ridiculous. Our teachers deserve the best pre-service and post-service training. The programs, knowledge, expertise for raising our literacy and numeracy skills are out there-we already have them in place-let’s make sure teachers can all learn these edvidence based methods to ensure future Aussies are fully literate and numerate and can use their skills to transform the dismal futures we seem bent on providing!

It is time that as educators and parents we take an honest look at what we are doing-let’s stop trying to create designer children and accepts every child for the unique gift to the word they actually are! Let’s peel the labels off and instead get to know these children, observe them, listen to them and provide nurturing and caring environments where all can learn!

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