Saturday, March 26, 2016

Curating a School for Everyone

Children come to school each day as different as snowflakes. I think our responsbility is not to make them all the same when they leave. Our job is to create a learning space where they all can thrive. It's not about restricting their experiences. It's all about expanding their experiences by providing them with what they need to be successful learners and happy children.

I have always felt that school belongs to the children. I dream of school as a place where there are no big people and little people but a place where everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner and where we accomplish more together than we could separately.

We try hard to create classroom environments that support a successful learning community. I want us to celebrate the differences among our students and to make sure we can change the environment when something isn't working for them. As curators of our schools, we need to monitor the environment and change it to meet the needs of each child.

We can't expect a child who has trouble sitting still to overcome what he cannot control. So we mold an environment that matches his needs.

We can't expect a child to read at grade level if she is still struggling to learn basic reading skills. So we alter our instructions as well as the books we make available for her to read.

When a child needs a bit more time to complete work, we give it to them.

When a child struggles with where to sit at lunch and who to sit with, we surround him with buddies who can help him navigate lunchtime.

Instead of trying to change a child to fit the environment, we should be willing and able to flex the environment to fit the child.  Only then, will we have schools where growth is encouraged and learning is fun.


I am participating in the 
March Slice of Life Challenge.
Each day we post our thoughts.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

Day 26 - Curating School for Everyone


5 comments:

Margaret Simon said...

I like the conviction of this post. When will we understand how to create a school for the children? I try to do this in my classroom. It's always a goal. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Teachers for Teachers said...

Love this Karen. Have you read the book Snowflakes Fall by Patricia Maclachlan - your post reminds me of this book. I agree that we need to embrace all children and the fact that they are children. Some days I think we have higher expectations for kids than we do ourselves. Thank you for giving us a post to reflect upon.
Clare

Cathy said...

I appreciated the way your post embraces the differences and reminds us of the importance of flexing the environment for the child. Day after day I witness teachers doing this very thing: reaching out to flex the environment to support the child. A powerful post, as always, Karen.

Cathy

Carrie Gelson said...

Oh you are speaking my language! This is so beautifully written - your wishes are bright and true.

Karen Szymusiak said...

I have not read it. I will check it out. Thanks.