All the talk and writings and legislative proposals about the “Whole Child” and “No Child Left Behind” and the reauthorization consideration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Common Core State Standards and other federal and state mandates to improve teaching and learning are just so much rhetoric unless we actually have in our hearts the well-being of each and every student in equal measure to that of our own children and grandchildren. This requires that we know who is teaching each child at a personal level, which in turn requires our involvement as parents and grandparents and principals and superintendents on a direct, person-to-person level. No evaluation instrument, no matter how statistically reliable, can replace the “formative assessment” of a direct conversation with a teacher about an individual child.
In Time to Teach, Time to Learn: Changing the Pace of School, I put it this way, “Every student’s voice is as important as any other’s voice. My standard is that every voice is known and heard equally over the course of the year” (p. 291).
This is my last blog post at www.yardsticks4-14.com. After nearly 300 entries, I have left behind a storehouse of opinion, resources, and references about children’s growth and development and the classroom climate and culture that best suits them at different ages. I hope that this information has been and will continue to be useful to parents and teachers alike.
I would like to especially thank Elizabeth Nash for her editorial assistance throughout the several years of this venture. I’m also grateful for the support of Mary Beth Forton, Jen Audley, and numerous others in the publications department of Northeast Foundation for Children.
I may be reached in the future at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the spirit of children, best wishes.
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