Sunday, November 22, 2009

Agreeing with Dan

Dan Meyer frequently gives me something to think about. A recent post of his stayed in my brain for several days. He is a compelling writer and what he has to say here is fascinating. He is writing about his 'blue students', kids who are struggling.
But graduation, college, and career are all abstractions wrapped in scare quotes to my blue students. So they pummel my flabby pedagogy daily to the point that I'm burger. Lean burger.
Dan is becoming a better teacher on a daily basis because these students need him to be. He can't skate by with these kids.

It took a few days, but I finally realized that his post reminded me of something I had written (and strongly believe).
If you want to see powerful, meaningful instruction taking place, look for schools teaching struggling learners. The students may not be scoring on standardized tests as well as their middle class peers, but I'd bet they're making more progress on a daily basis thanks to their hard work and their teachers' dedication.
One coworker, Mark, agreed with this assessment. He has worked elsewhere and also sees the difference.

Here the teachers keep their eye on the ball, because when they take it off, a kid literally falls through the cracks.


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Sandy said...

This is an interesting post, and I enjoyed reading the one below it, too. I want to find all of hte fellow teacher blogs that I can.
I am currently teachng elementary special ed. in a school with a hugh poverty level and I think I know what you are saying. Thak you for sharing.