I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

10 July 2011

Counseling Out Five Year Olds.

Here's an example from the New York Times:

By then, Matthew was throwing up most mornings and asking his mother if he was going to be fired from school. Worn down, Ms. Sprowal requested help finding her son another school, and Success officials were delighted to refer him to Public School 75 on the Upper West Side.

Matthew, by the way, was five or six at the time.  And he's puking and worrying about being fired.  From school.  For not lining up so good.  And he's a kid with three successful years of preschool.

So the charter recommends that he find smaller class sizes...down at the local public school.  You can't make this stuff up, I swear!

But here, it's staying after school to practice walking in the halls.  I swear I am telling the truth when I type that the school claims this is "high expectations", not "punishment".  I tell you, even George Lakoff didn't consider reframing this serious.  This is doubletalk.

For the record:
Maybe it's just my ADHD, but I think nine hours a day with more than 23 children and line order and SLANT is a bad environment for all children.  That's not expecting a certain standard of behavior, it is demanding robotic adulthood from five year olds.

Link to Ms. Sprowal's article about her family's experience at Harlem Success Academy.
I'll note that "shadowing" is something we recommend if a child is really struggling to transition to Kindergarten.  The child usually loves it, the caregiver gets a better feel for how the class works and can make suggestions about how to help the child succeed.  In this case, it seems like the obvious fix for Matthew would be more active time - free active time and also kinesthetic learning games, etc.  I think that the (often very-early career) teachers at these boutique boot camp charters tend to avoid these types of activites because they don't look or follow as cleanly as a call-response direct instruction lesson.  That's a shame for all kids.

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