What Types Of Animals Are Your Students?

I came across this post on the Fishbowl and it led me to this video which made me think about what we sometimes inadvertently do to students in school – force them to conform.

Teachers are told to differentiate and at the same time students are held to the same standards thanks to standardized tests like the TAKS… it doesn’t really make sense.  The video made me reflect on many of my students who had difficulties passing sections of the TAKS – outstanding artists, students gifted in language but not math, musicians, technological geniuses, etc.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses and these differences are what make us unique. I don’t know about you, but I am certainly grateful that I never had to pass a standardized test in music or art because I am afraid I would have become a kangaroo.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Education, reflection, TAKS, Video

2 Comments on “What Types Of Animals Are Your Students?”

  1. S. Seifipour Says:

    I have often thought how strange it is that in the effort to meet every child where they are and make sure no one is “left behind,” we ultimately hold all of them to the same standards with no room for individuality. I remember being angry with the system before I’d even finished the first three weeks of my certification classes. (Does the fact that I still went through with it make me a glutton for punishment?)

    On the other hand, I am VERY glad you’re not a kangaroo! You’d find it difficult to answer all my emails with hooves (or whatever kangaroos have)!

  2. John Brown Says:

    Your comments are particularly apropos to high school. Those are the years when we should be helping students identify and build upon their strengths and interests. Instead, standardized testing drives many to focus on weaknesses that in many cases are not significant to their future success. This is particularly true of mathematics and science where aptitude and interest are critical both to success in and future use of those disciplines. There simply is no use for an intimate knowledge of the periodic table or the ability to solve a quadratic equation for the vast majority of people. Yet, we insist that ALL students must build these skills.

    It would be far better and is much more important to help students with talent (mathematics, science, music, art, literature, technology, creativity, salesmanship, etc.)explore that talent and interest toward the successful future to which it can lead. It all leads to a better educated and much happier student.

    Incidentally, a byproduct of this approach is an INCREASE in the math and science skills of those students who have those strengths and a solution to the current shortage of quality mathematics and science teachers at the high school level.

    I love mathematics and loved teaching mathematics, but it was only when I left education for fifteen years and worked in the business world that I figured out that many folks neither like nor need higher mathematics. Like you, if there had been an art or music test required for high school graduation, I would have been a dropout.

    You can’t get an orange from a rose bush, but there is much beauty and happiness to be found there!


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