We Don't Own Their Minds

Looking back through some old files, I found this from 2009 when I was still teaching in a middle school. I wrote this before the new Colorado standards were published:
I ran into three former students, two juniors in the high school I feed, and one ninth grader, yesterday. The juniors came to my classroom after school, and I saw the ninth grader at Barnes and Nobles. The two juniors had dropped French at the high school after their second year as freshmen, and the ninth grader, one of the most brilliant theatrical kids I have ever taught and a gold mine of cute answers all year last year, had an 51 average of 51 in her level 2 class.
This is real, folks. Kids lives are being affected. Giving kids projects, which undid this kid as she explained it to me (she said she didn’t like projects), and grammar lessons causes them to quit. It is real. We must look at it, because professionally we don’t have the right to teach in the way we want to IF IT IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE KIDS. We need to look at what we are doing.
Even if we don’t like it, it means looking at the ACTFL standards and designing our instruction around them. Otherwise, we become Enrons, who trade on property that isn’t theirs, the students’ minds.



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