Friday, April 5, 2013

My Opinion of Healthy

As we enter the final quarter of the 2012-2013 school year this is a typical time to reflect on learning and growth.  I tend to reflect by viewing pictures from the fall, checking out student work samples, having discussions with students and observing overall maturity.  These pieces of information tell me quite a bit.  I realize we as a school tend to put numbers or letters on things, but I don't always put a ton of stock in shear numbers or letters.

Take my oldest son for example.  This has been a year of substantial growth.  My oldest has come a long way in a year's time.  His maturity level has increased significantly.  He now chooses to read as a hobby, he is more thoughtful in conversation and he listens much better than he did a year ago.  Now if I want to get picky I would tell you he still procrastinates, he still needs to remember to do his chores and he could definitely use more exercise.  This being said he has come a long way in one year.

As a parent I used to look at growth by the numbers or letters on a report card.  I still look at these items, but my biggest stock comes from my own interactions.  I'm a believer in educating the "whole child", I firmly believe teaching respect and responsibility are as important as reading and math.  I also believe that respect and responsibility should not influence a student's grade, those aspects should be communicated to students and parents and included in the "comments" section of the report card.

Which brings me to my point.  What is healthy?  In my opinion I believe "healthy" to be the student that is motivated to learn and grow for the sake of bettering themselves.  I always have a bit of fear creep in when I hear students focusing too much on their grade.  Grades have been used as a motivating tool for years, but is this healthy?  I tend to believe it isn't.  I believe healthy is the student that is motivated to learn.  I also believe there are three levels of understanding:

1 - You Understand it and you can explain it

2 - You are progressing towards understanding

3 - You need more assistance to help you understand

In most day to day things that I do I do not receive a grade.  I do have to constantly motivate myself to continue to learn and grow.  At some point for most people grades cease to exist and then the motivating factor changes.  I believe there is no time better than now to shift a child's thinking away from grades and to a higher force...knowledge!

How do you motivate?  Do you believe the motivating tools you use are healthy?


Tuesday, April 9th:  4pm Western String Team in the Warner Cafeteria
Tuesday, April 9th:  PTO Meeting 7pm in the Warner Library
Wednesday, April 10th:  Boy Scouts at Warner 6pm
Thursday, April 11th:  Spring Pictures at Warner
Thursday, April 11th:  Kindergarten Orientation 7pm at the CAC
Saturday, April 13th:  Warner Vendor Fair contact Jody Rooney for information and details

Articles Worth Reading:

Homework Strategies (worth a look) shared by @behaviordoctor

Parent like a Pirate by @blocht574

The Danger of Grading Our Schools by @rggillespie

Videos Worth Watching:

60 Second Positive Parenting tip

Great example of brotherly love! (5 min) Worth every second of your time!

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