You all know these types. They head straight for the back row as they file into class. Some are looking to go unnoticed, some are typically bored and attempt to pass the time “otherwise” engaged, some are “not good at school” and don’t know what to do about it.
What are we doing to these poor souls? What message are we sending? It’s this: “In this room we pay attention to what the authority figure is saying, we listen attentively and regurgitate when asked. Do that and all will be well.” Need more time to understand a concept? That’s not available in this room – we’ve got “material to cover” and “textbooks to cover” and “exams to prepare you for”. We move on according to the lesson plan, not when you’re ready to- that’s a luxury we don’t have.”
So the back o’ the class gang sits there wiling away the time – getting scolded here and there, feeling left out and disengaged. This goes on in the “house of learning” known as a school. Well, plenty is being learned (due to their experience) but not what was intended.
These back ‘ the room dwellers are being left behind, often, by a schooling model that makes no sense. Can we afford to leave so much of humanity behind? Can we afford to NOT help them to discover what talents they possess? What could they contribute if allowed to find out? We’ll never know. Many of this group will end up “under-educated”, in low-paying jobs, left to feel like they couldn’t make it. Squandered souls. Our loss, really.
Let’s change this. Let’s reach every child. Let’s change the school model to one that meets every child where she’s at and allows each one to find out who they are and what they can contribute. That’s the world I want to live in. We’ve got real problems needing real solutions- we need “all hands on deck” so we can get the best solutions.
Today – we start today. You in?