“‘We want children to ask difficult questions, to engage so it is not boring, to be able to do algebra at an early age, sure, but also to see it for what it is: a tool for critical thinking. If their teachers can’t help them do this, well—’ Rifkin searched for the word that expressed her level of dismay. ‘It is a betrayal.'”
Education reform is always tricky. There is always going to be someone who isn’t happy with the new rules and regulations. As a future teacher, and as an advocate for my profession and school in general, i think that the ESSA is going to make my career very interesting. Theoretically, i will be entering the educational profession a year or so after ESSA goes into effect. I will experience the first stumbles and pitfalls of the act and will certainly be a part of the reform process for the act that will inevitably come down the road.
One subject hat has been of particular interest to me recently has been the subject of “New Math” and the integration of subjects in the classroom in general. All signs have been, and continue to point to individualized, connected, critical thought, and creative learning being one of the most effective way to not only engage students in a subject, but also ensure understanding and learning in the classroom. The conversation has shifted from how to get the kids to connect with the subject, to getting the subject and teacher to connect with the kids. For many years teachers have been teaching according to the rules and regulations of their curriculum, school, and district rules. This means that when students deviate from the lesson or curriculum, they are often shut down, ignored, or relegated to special needs classrooms. The quote above really spoke to me because it emphasized learning from the student side of the equation. When we as teachers are not prepared to meet the individualized needs of our students, we are denying them access to education in a way that is effective for them. i am happy to see that ESSA will take into account that pure academic success is not the only measure for student success and ability. I hope that this will allow me to focus on my students’ needs and teach in a way that speaks to them.