Many have forgotten the most important aspect of this; the children. The learners should be at the forefront of as many decisions as possible. And if those in charge find that difficult, then it's down to you to do the moulding. If what you're doing is showing promise, why would you change it? This is the wonderful opinion of my current setting. Conversely, if the approach advised isn't working as well as you hoped, then amend it. Make edits based on the learners and use them as your guide; not the heading on those PowerPoint slides you were handed at last week's meeting.
Too many decisions are already made by those who haven't set foot in your school to see the learners in action. So do them a favour and make good choices on the children's behalf. Speak to your class, involve the families and come to a common understanding in a profession that is already diluted.
Predictably, the conclusion of every single assignment/research/debate/discussion will be along the lines of, "one size doesn't fit all", and, ironically, I don't see that changing. So if that teacher chooses to do that thing you heard about, and you feel it's not right for your class, don't do it.
At times, you will feel like you're breaking the rules, and you will most certainly be taking some risks, but have the learners as your end goal, and you can't go wrong.
We need strong-willed people like you to lead our young people to a successful future! Positivity and the love of a challenge create success. It's Kommon Cents.
I know you said Maths 'isn't your thing', but the effort you have been taking to ask your child what they've been learning about really shows. They come in telling us about how impressed you were when you saw them tackle the homework, or how you laughed when their method was so different to how you 'used to do it!' (I totally agree; I've had to brush up too!)
Thank you for explaining your own troubles with writing, yet still encouraging your child to work hard in English; the look on your child's face when you noticed their own improvement was a wonderful picture! The fact that you've made a life to support your own family, regardless of your own difficulties at school, is setting the best example for your young ones. Your child and I are so grateful for you reading what they've done; they worked really hard on it!
The other day, they told us how you juggled dinner, with bath-time, followed by sharing a book with them, keeping a sneaky eye on your favourite soap (no one's got time for the weekend omnibus!) They really enjoy reading with you, and I'm envious of your multitasking. All of this practise you're doing with them is helping with so many areas; I wish there was time in the meeting to explain how! A love of books, subtly learning new language, experiencing new punctuation, beginning to learn about word-play, asking questions to aid understanding,...the list goes on!
The family teaches us about the importance of knowledge, education, hard work and effort. It teaches us about enjoying ourselves, having fun, keeping fit and healthy.
Your words were extremely kind, and although you thanked me for my hard work, I didn't get a chance to properly thank you for yours. Educating your child, in a holistic sense, is a team effort.
Their reaction to facing difficulties, how they interact with other people, their respect for authority, their manners...all come from you. How they share attention, show an interest in different cultures, settle an argument, work hard to chase their ambitions...are a direct result of how they are raised.
Thanks to the mixture of your example and our academic tools, they are quickly learning how they are in charge of their future. As a society, they are our legacy, our lasting impression. Following your work ethic, with an aim to emulate your success (alongside your relentless effort to help them at home), will set them on a great path, a preview of life's biggest lessons. Everything they know about family life, and where education plays its part, comes from you, and they're going to do so well thanks to the support you give them.
Thanks again for meeting with us. Your child is a real credit to you.
Underneath the smiling, I was secretly horrified at what my teachers used to get away with in regards to marking. Through the pointing, I was extremely embarrassed at some of the mistakes I had made. But behind the giggling, my brain was coming to an odd conclusion; "this all looks very familiar!"
All of these photographs are taken of my secondary school Maths books, ranging from Year 8 to GCSE level. I finished compulsory education in about 2006 (I think) and I'll caption these photos with direct quotes from the Standards of the 2014 National Curriculum. You'll see my point quite quickly.
I was sitting on the floor at the time when the penny dropped; I was intending on teaching my own class some of these things in the coming weeks. Thanks to my forward planning, mapping out how much time was available to teach, I'd read the expectations for my year countless times; yet I was seeing evidence of it in the pages of my own books as a teenager!
My conclusion is simple; at some point, what used to be expected of a 14 year old, has become the intended outcome of a child (on average) 5 years younger! Incredible. Have brains got bigger? Is there some new implant at birth that has allowed these modern day children to acquire more knowledge? Are there suddenly fewer steps to learning such things in order to get to the same place earlier?
Give your learners some credit and protect them from the pressures they can't control; teach them to manage their distractions and the emotional fall-back of failure in order to work towards these shifted targets.
Someone decided that 'this is no longer for the teenagers. Let's give it to the little people.' More is expected of them now than ever before and, in my opinion, for them to even begin to understand and apply it (5 years before they USED to be expected to) is an astonishing achievement; no wonder we all find it tricky at times!
It shows our young people to be more resourceful than ever before and more resilient in the face of challenge.
Learners, keep doing what you're doing, because apparently it's going really well! You might not feel like it sometimes and you'll rarely get a public mention (exams are always getting easier after all), but you are going further at your age than any child older than you. It's the only excuse for so many aspects of your education shifting 5 years backwards, alongside the unreasonable expectation for you to catch up with at least 1 year of these new standards, while also attempting to master the skills in your own programme of study; a minimum of 2 years worth of learning in a single 12 months!
Teachers, keep doing what you're doing, because apparently you're doing splendidly! It's the only logical explanation for many aspects of the curriculum shifting half a decade! You might not feel like it sometimes and you'll rarely get a public mention (likely due to all that holiday we get), but you are working harder than any teacher before you, signified by the rate at which your children are progressing! Helping these children make up the difference between both curriculums is a huge task; the difficulty is proving the improvement in the middle ground between 2 sets of expectations.
Looking through my old secondary books, and noticing the new primary curriculum, is both a blessing and a curse. It's a scary realisation about how high the target has been set, based on no real objective other than greedy bosses wanting to beat other nations. However, it's also a pleasing challenge and fresh reorganisation. When interpreted in the correct way, by those who engage with it the most (US!), it will pay dividends as long as we are given the time to implement it properly.
It was never like this in my day!