I heard the comment the other day, "if it can't be fixed in five minutes, with what's on hand, then don't mention it." I started thinking about students in Reading Workshop and how this might apply to them, and their education.
Seventy-three missed homework assignments this year really doesn't matter as much as having the right attitude and learning today. There is no way to fix all of the hours that a student didn't read at home. There is no way to change an F from the first grading period.
But, just maybe with a little work, and a discussion of today's assignment, a student can figure out that character development is how a character changes from the beginning to the end of a story. There is no way to "fix" a parent that won't follow through with checking the assignment book each night, but a student can spend some free time making up missed work. It's impossible to immediately make a student read at grade level. However, with a little effort, we could fix mistakes written in response to a passage.Things I can fix:
- The climate of today's class.
- A student not understanding the task at hand.
- Mistakes on an assignment.
- Today's lesson and how it's being taught.
- A greeting and smile to make every student feel welcome.
- Last week, last semester, and last year.
- Parents' problems.
- Intercom interruptions (no really, I like having class interrupted 6 times a day paging the custodian).
- Teacher jokes that nobody laughs at even though they are really funny to me.
- The economy.
- Peas for lunch.
- Floods, blizzards, thunderstorms and hail.
- Dog bites, cat scratches, and bee stings
- Broken hearts and she doesn't love me anymore.
- Missed shots, interceptions, and strikeouts.
- Broken arms.
- Bad hair and bad breath.
- Blogs with never ending lists.
- And on, and on, and on...
So much of the debate today regarding education is rhetorical. Realistically though, little changes would go a long way towards improving education. I guess I better do my part in improving education and get busy for the next five minutes and focus on what I can control. What about you? What can you fix?