Rewriting the 3 R’s

The future of America is not a test — it is the real thing. Listen and learn from the children; they know what they need to learn and are not afraid to tell you. Rewriting the 3 R’s

by Mary M. Ernsberger — 

Our focus with regard to the education of American children has shifted dramatically in the last 10 to 15 years. Gone are the days when we highlighted and expanded our children’s skills, dreams and creative ways of learning. Now children are taught from the earliest grades how to score well on standardized tests. In Arizona, AIMS testing begins in 3rd grade, with children who are, on average, 8 years old.

Schools used to stress the 3 R’s — Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. Teachers were able to take the time to discover each child’s learning style and actually formulate lessons addressed to every child in their class. There really was a time when no child was left behind.

School days in the 21st century revolve around rote learning and memorization of facts. Test-taking strategies are emphasized. Creative classes such as art, music and physical education are being slashed from school budgets, only to be replaced by even more ways to test better — and all for what? So our children will be better prepared to meet the world ahead? So our children can find their own passions and discover the arenas in which they will excel in the next stage of their lives?

No. The most important thing is that the children score either higher or lower on the standardized tests. The better the scores, the more money the state gets for education. The worse the scores, the more money the state gets to implement new programs for all the learning-disabled children in the public school system.

The time has come to return the classroom to the people who know it best — the teachers. Allow them to teach what they know. Allow the children to learn the way they learn best. Get back to basics, the 3 R’s: Remove labels, Rebuild self-esteem and Recognize each child’s greatness.

The future of America is not a test — it is the real thing. Listen and learn from the children; they know what they need to learn and are not afraid to tell you. Treat them with honor and respect, and they will happily honor and respect you in return. If you need help, just ask. The only stupid question is the one that never gets asked.

 

Mary M. Ernsberger is a master hypnotherapist and life path coach who creates individual drug-free treatment options for children and adults labeled as ADD/ADHD, gifted or exceptional. hypno4kids@yahoo.com or www.hypno4kids.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 2, April/May 2006.

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