Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Accountability

I've recently found myself in a position as a dad that I'm questioning just how I can hold the educators of my own kids accountable for my kids' learning. This is a strange dilemma to be in since I am an educator, and in my opinion... Well, I think I'm great at my job.

So, I'm sitting up late tonight trying to wrap my head around the academic year of one of my kiddos, and where the accountability of the teacher stands. As a teacher I do everything in my power to own the responsibility of my students' learning. If one of them fails, then it was on me. I didn't do my job. I didn't reach them. I didn't bridge the gap to help the student surpass the struggles of home life, learning disadvantages, or content interests. I, me, the teacher didn't get the job done. 

I'm sure you can see that I take this seriously. I expect the educators of my own kids to have the same passion. I want them to own the responsibility of teaching my kids. That these men and women will take the time to understand my children and teach to their strengths. I want them to contact me with more "I" based statements. I want to hear not what my kid isn't doing, but what the teacher is going to do to help. I'm tired of the word intervention. I'm tired of not "meeting standards." I want to hear "your kid is learning at his/her pace and that's great! Here's how I'm helping bridge a couple of gaps I've noticed." 

I want to hear responsibility not blame. Standards aren't teaching my kids or your kids. Educators teach the kids. Not apps on iPads, not Sylvan Learning Centers, not parents for hours after school each night, but teachers. 

The great teachers know this. The great ones or those of us striving to bring this to our classrooms. I'll tell you that it's exhausting, but as a father of 5, it's more exhausting to worry for my own kiddo's learning experience. So, I'm up wondering how this entire year, ending in less than a week, can be positively justified. What was my child's gain? 

And at this point, the positive is that the summer is around the corner, and my kids will be kids again. We can work on things that interest them. Read and write at our leisure. We can do learning the way we think it needs to be done. So that by the start of the next year, we can be ready for the next teacher and hope for the best.