Monday, May 23, 2016

This Post Is Dedicated To All The Teachers Who Said They Wouldn't Amount to Nothing | The Jose Vilson

This Post Is Dedicated To All The Teachers Who Said They Wouldn't Amount to Nothing | The Jose Vilson:

This Post Is Dedicated To All The Teachers Who Said They Wouldn’t Amount to Nothing

Satellite Academy HS Presentation South Africa 2016
Last week, I had the honor and privilege of attending a special presentation from the students of Satellite Academy Midtown High School, a transfer high school just south of Madison Square Garden. Two years ago, assistant principal Paul Melkonian told me he had a vision of getting his students overseas somewhere. (full disclosure: he’s my son’s godfather as per Catholic traditions) I wasn’t stunned, but I didn’t understand to what depths he’d take this project. With the unflinching approval of and collaboration with his principal, Melkonian started putting together his travel abroad project that would take his students to Costa Rica and, as of this year, South Africa.
Through different supports across the city, including the right people from in and out of the NYC Department of Education coming together, these students who the system seemingly discarded got a second chance to prove their doubters wrong. That’s why alternative high schools matter.
That’s also why, whenever I advocate for great schools, I believe we should start rebuilding from what the students who our system has failed. It’s the students we call “dropouts,” “failures,” and “rejects” that need to sit in panels, write white papers, and have photo opps with the cool kids in the glossy photos. We need to do right by all kids, but, when we only work through the average student, we don’t actually address the needs of all kids.
Sea change requires a shift in tectonic plates, right?
Our school system in recent times has tried to squeeze and prune college- and career-readiness out of our students so often that many of us lost sight of why we do this work. The students who wouldn’t function in a traditional, teacher-directed, modular classrooms get pushed out more readily because they intentionally or unintentionally refuse to conform. We keep pretending that, should we all simply sync all of our lessons, differentiate en masse, teach grit and resilience, assess by the minute, and follow the intention of the standards to the tee, we’ll have no problem bringing the achievement This Post Is Dedicated To All The Teachers Who Said They Wouldn't Amount to Nothing | The Jose Vilson:

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers

Latest News and Comment from Education