Thursday, June 4, 2015

Kids don't need schools to learn...

Most if not all school districts have mission and vision statements.

Some schools and districts spend countless hours and involve all stakeholders in making these statements.

Some schools and districts get behind these statements and make them an integral part of the culture, while others simply have them and do nothing with them.

What's common in many vision and mission statements is a statement pertaining to learning.

Something like ... all students can learn ... or all students will learn to their potential ... or ensuring that all students learn to their best ability ... or all students will be provided opportunities to learn.

Before you read any further, please know I'm all for students learning.

Here's my problem though... when we include statements like these above in our mission and vision statements, we make it sound as if students are incapable or unwilling to learn outside of our school walls.

This couldn't be further from the truth...

Regardless of what is happening in a kid's life, they are learning. In fact, we are all learning no matter what is happening. The simplest activity or event in our lives presents an opportunity to learn. Kids are not exempt from this reality...

The issue that arrises is that kids may not be learning what we educators feel they need to be learning about at any given particular time.

So, please keep in mind... our kids don't need our schools to learn. They don't need our teachers to gain a deeper understanding of complex scenarios. They don't need our curricula to make sense of the world. And they surely don't need our textbooks to expand their knowledge of the world around them.

Let's recognize kids as the brilliant minds they are and acknowledge that they too have the ability to learn with or without schools...

I'd like to thank Tom Hairston for birthing this idea and breaking bread with me while discussing topics in education.