Documenting my adventures in teaching, getting to know them as individuals - because my kids are people, not test scores.
Photograph by Miguel Reveriego.
DOING THE LINDY
—- Leon James and Willa Mae Ricker demonstrate the Lindy Hop, 1942.
"I’m the lead author of ‘Crisis in the Kindergarten,’ the study that Valerie cites at the beginning of this [June 2] column. That report came out in 2009, and things have gotten worse since then.
"I’ve spent a lot of time recently substituting in the local schools, and I’ve become convinced that a big part of the problem is a subtle but profound kind of sexism. Almost all kindergarten teachers are women and almost all the people who are making education policy are men. The teachers are routinely ignored by those in power. For example, the committees that wrote the Common Core standards for kindergarten did not include a single kindergarten teacher or even anyone with a background in child development or early childhood education.
"The more experienced kindergarten teachers who I meet are universally horrified by what is being done to children, but feel completely powerless to do anything about it. A great many of them have already quit teaching or are planning to do so soon. Many of the younger teachers don’t quite understand what the problem is because they themselves have grown up deprived of play and they have bought in to the idea that academic kindergarten is the way to go. But they are completely at a loss for what to do when the children in their classrooms collapse or melt down in frustration and despair because the demands being made of them are so far beyond their developmental capacity.
"What’s the solution? I don’t know. But I urge every father of a kindergartner to take a day off from work and spend it in his child’s classroom, then go back to work and start some conversations about what is happening in our schools."
One of the many insightful responses to
"Sweat shop" kindergarten: "It’s maddening"
This is definitely why my son’s Kindergarten teacher retired this year.