Be a good one

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Whatever you are, be a good one. –Lincoln

The above phrase resonated with me.

As we diversify classes while simultaneously homogenizing curriculum, I believe it becomes harder and harder to be a good teacher. My current science topic is based in abstractions of physics. I don’t know that I can find a way to make the true content intelligible to all my students, especially those from special education backgrounds. I persevere because all teachers are supposed to simultaneously be teaching this content. But given that some of my lowest kids are a full six years below their grade-based reading level, I don’t see how this is going to work.

I also don’t see how these students are going to manage to be good students, no matter what their intentions.

An educational researcher named Piaget had a term for these students: Concrete operational thinkers. They don’t manage abstractions well. They struggle with concepts that can only be indirectly seen or demonstrated.

Eduhonesty: I will try to teach basic physics to my guys. The opportunity cost of teaching physics will be all the early math and English we can’t go over — and desperately need to go over — because we are required to teach physics concepts to a group of students who can’t convert a decimal to a fraction without a partner to guide them.

I wish Abe were President. He might have understood that education should be tailored to the individual student, not to a national agenda that fits only some students well. It’s as if we are issuing everybody the exact same pair of shoes. If you are lucky, the shoe fits. If not — well, keep trying to stuff your foot into that thing, because in this one-size-fits-all time, that shoe is all you are going to get.