It would be a school that fits a child’s needs and not the other way around.
First thing: No Labels!!
Schools are too quick to label, categorize and characterize children before they can even spell their name. These days there are too many evaluations, observations and classifications. It isn’t that most kids can’t learn but rather that they may learn in a different way.
Putting a kid in a class that doesn’t teach the way he or she needs makes the teacher disabled not the student. And in fact it is the teacher should be made to feel like a failure not the child.
More important than grades or report cards are making the child feel confident and proud of themselves. One of my proudest moments in elementary school was when at age 8 I was sent to the principal’s office. (no I never got into trouble) I had done very well on my spelling tests and was called out of class. The principal gave me a little stamp/sticker with a cartoon of a smiling bird and it had one word at the bottom: swell. I still have that sticker. I don’t remember my grades on those tests I just remember carrying that little sticker in my coat pocket and flying home.
And here are some interesting facts:
Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was stupid and had learning issues.
Thomas Edison was told his by his teachers that he was “too stupid to learn anything.”
Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade.
Darwin said about himself, “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standard of intellect.”
And in the end it really doesn’t take much to make a child feel confident and proud of themselves. It could be a kind word, a little smile, a thumbs up or a tiny little sticker. Teachers need to look beyond the labels, the sometimes blank stares or confused looks and bring out the best in all their students. Any teacher who can do that can have my swell sticker…
Read more from her at her blog, Random Stupid Thoughts, a Mom's View of the World.