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Waiting for Superman

If you haven’t heard about Waiting for Superman, the new documentary about education… you might want to take a look at the trailer and do a little reading online. It seems educators are under attack. Oprah focused on this idea in her new season also. If you believe the hype… all schools are failing and all teachers are ineffective. I know this is not true. I know for instance that Nixa has highly effective teachers and high achieving students. What are we to do about the state of education and the criticism? Dr. Kleinsmith just posted his thoughts on the issue: Waiting for Superman? by Dr. K.

I had the wonderful privilege to meet with 2 groups of students this week to discuss learning and their future. Mr. Liss and myself visited with a second grade class and a high school class of juniors and seniors. We had a blast listening to their opinions and thoughts about school and life. The most resounding thing I heard was the importance of positive relationships between students and teachers. No matter if the student was 7 or 17, they said having a teacher that had a passion for what they taught and built good relationships with students were the most important factors to students learning and achieving. So, with all this talk of schools failing and scores needing to go up, I believe we need to take a moment and remind ourselves we teach students, not just our content. Students want us to know their names, recognize their thoughts and opinions, and challenge them with our passion and expectations.

I don’t know if we can change the media perception of public education, but I know we have a great team of educators here that truly care about students and their futures. So, my fellow Supermen and Superwomen… please share your love and passion for learning and your content. Please build relationships and a classroom community that treats students as individuals with names and personalities and strengths to share. Don’t lose heart. I believe in your super powers!

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  1. I watched the episode of Oprah Monday evening as well and sat there just getting more frustrated by the moment. She did mention that not all schools were ineffective, but it was clear that the main focus was how educators are not cutting it! I was so frustrated, I quickly created an account and left an message on Oprah's message board. I know we are extremely lucky here in Nixa. I was in heaven when I started teaching 6th grade at Inman 10 years ago. I came from a rough middle school in Springfield. No way like the schools mentioned in the show. BUT lets devote an episode to schools that are not charter schools that are doing a GREAT job!

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