What do we REALLY want to be happening inside Garvey District’s schoolrooms? Do we want quiet, studious classrooms where every child in every classroom at the same grade level is on the same page, studying the same skill at the same time by doing the same skill sheets and workbook pages? Or do we want classrooms alive with activity where children are enthusiastically interacting with each other, with the teacher, with technology - investigating, collaborating, discovering, solving problems, working together?
If your view of the modern classroom is the first one mentioned – the one Ms. Johnson desires - then you’ve been watching ‘50’s-‘60’s television too much! If you desire the latter classroom, congratulations, you’ve been listening to the likes of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerburg and understand the needs of 21st Century students. Schools should never be factories, grinding out “finished products” ready to take orders and do what they are told to do. They should be bubbling cauldrons of innovative activities that tap into a child’s enthusiasm to find out why. They should be dynamic systems that promote creativity and problem solving. They should be beehives abuzz with group activities that lead to shared responsibilities and learnings. They should be supportive places where children are not afraid to express opinions and gain the self confidence to accept the opinions of others.
Every commentator on this blog should forget their personal peeves and join together to make this dream of a modern, forward-looking school district a reality. We all want what is best for our children. It’s not about the teachers OR the administration. It’s about how to best have them work together to begin moving forward again, together. The time for casting blame and finding fault must be over. We must again return to the teamwork that produced the tremendous growth of the school district over the past several years.