Teaching and learning from preschoolers.
Sims focused nearly as much on building a sense of community as he did on academics: he renovated the school, hired guidance counsellors, and replaced the "P" that had fallen off the sign at Park's entryway. He told students that they were representing their school even when they were off campus. If they got into a fight over the weekend, they would be suspended on Monday. The school provided computer classes to parents, who had been so removed from their children's academic lives that it was a struggle to get them to sign progress reports. "We had to trick the parents and give away this, that, and the third in order to get them in the building . . . Some of them looked like they were on drugs -- not the fun drugs but the ruin-your-life drugs."
Parks started to feel like a place where both teachers and students, nearly all of them black, could expose their vulnerabilities. "All our little problems that we grew up hiding from the rest of the world -- it became our line of communication," Lewis said. He told students to dump their laundry into the back of his pickup truck, so that he could wash it for them, and encouraged them to sleep at his house when their mothers were absent or high. (Few had fathers in their lives.) He became football coach, and if practice ran late he dropped students off at their homes. Several ended up calling him Dad. He told them, "I don't know how you feel about me, but I, at least, feel like I made it. If you want to know if you can make it, look at me." . . . Parks set up after-school programs and hired tutors. A 2004 documentary called "Expect the Best" explained that Parks, which had previously functioned like "day care," had become a "model of what a good school can and should be." The video shows Lewis on his porch, playing chess with a student who had moved in with him. The narrator of the video explains that the student, Antonio, was living with his math teacher "because his mother is in no shape to support or care for him."
Heart breaking article. Of course the teachers went too far, yet I agree that we shouldn't judge them harshly. Who wouldn't go 'too far' when faced with closing their doors, especially on those students. Once again the system fails the people who need it most.
Totally agree Jaclyn, so, so sad. It is I suspect very similar here in the UK. I work in Early Years like our dear TT and I am always so worried about the children that leave us, far too young of course for formalised education and the start of this ridiculous, inhumane failure of an education system that aims to fit children into its form rather than form itself to fit children. And all we can do is keep speaking out and working in ways that best support our children in their great task of self-consturction whether it suits the guys that make the rules or not. Thank you again TT
Post a Comment
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner