Lisa Nielson, the blogger behind The Innovative Educator, recently published her blog’s top posts of all time (well since Google Analytics, came around in 2010). I had to check the list out, and found this gem from 2011.
The post covers a student panel hosted by Ann Curry and Education Nation where students were asked to share what they felt was important for everyone to receive a world-class education. You can see that full list here.
Several of the statements made by the students made my heart ache:
3. I can’t learn from you if you are not willing to connect with me.
12. Tell me something good that I’m doing so that I can keep growing in that.
15. Our teachers have too many students to enable them to connect with us in they way we need them to.
19. You need to love a student before you can teach a student.
I wish that, since then, policy makers listened to what students had to say. What has happened since 2011? Common Core, big time. It was under development since 2009, and by 2014, 45 states had adopted Common Core standards. Unfortunately for these students, in the three years since they shared their thoughts on education they have been subjected to more testing and achievement goals rather than nuture, love, and connection with the adults around them.
Our young people need to feel loved, heard, and cared about. This will help them more developmentally than testing them, punishing them, and constantly evaluating them for what we wish they were doing. You can’t teach anyone something if they don’t feel respected by you.
Our schools aren’t set up to allow teachers the ability to meaningfully connect with students, this I know from trying to do so when I was a public school teacher. So how do we expect meaningful learning to take place there?