When Growth is not Enough

growth

Growth. It’s what it’s all about. Our job, as educators, is to ensure that students grow. Let me rephrase that a bit. Our job, as educators, is to ensure that ALL students grow. See what I did there? Yes, there is a difference.

Walk into most public schools and ask about special programs designed to ensure that students grow. I am willing to wager that most of the programs they talk about are geared toward those kids who are behind. Those ‘low’ kids. Look at the number of programs for ‘low’ compared to ‘high’ kids, and I imagine the ratio is a bit skewed.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that those kids who are behind need intervention to help them grow. What I am saying is that those kids who are performing at or above level deserve the same treatment. They deserve to grow as well.

We all know there are ‘reading labs’ and ‘reading intervention’ classes for those who struggle. What is out there, in most public schools, for the rest? Sometimes you have a gifted class. Often, however, that is a select group of kids, a very small group, and they are not really being pushed. We push the low kids to try to grow, we should push the rest to grow as well.

Theoretically, a child should grow one academic year in one academic year. Every kid. The money that is spent needs to be spread across programs to allow all of them to be pushed. Instead, what happens, is often we end up forming clubs after school, teachers volunteering to try to give those opportunities.

The tide has to shift, or rather, level out. The only way that happens is for teachers, us, to do what it takes to push the rest of the kids to grow. So, to get the ball rolling, find those kids who are bored to tears. The ones who are above level and just existing in school. Take them and figure out what interests them. Start that club. Give up an hour or two a week and let those kids code, build, do something to help keep them energized, interested in school, and growing.  Eventually, results will happen. When results happen, then money gets spent to try to improve those programs.

Leave a Reply