As a K12 Insight Relationship Manager, I help educators better engage with their students, staff, parents and other stakeholders. Often, I hear public school staff express concern about being required to teach using standards established to meet the needs of the “average” student, who learns at the “average” rate, level and pace. These educators have a hard time reconciling those standards with the reality of a classroom populated with your children and mine.
In the real world, a single classroom may house upwards of 30 students with a variety of socio-economic challenges, cultural backgrounds and learning needs. But as more teachers are evaluated by how well their students perform on state-mandated tests, and “improvement” is the buzzword du jour, they are feeling pressure to perform well at an increasingly outsized job with dwindling resources and support.
Many educators are willing to spend their own time and money to help their students, but they can’t do it alone.
“It takes a village to raise a child,” is a famous proverb that summarizes the belief that it takes an entire community to provide the resources and support necessary for a child to become a happy and productive adult. And today’s child still needs a “village” of concerned adults to help him or her find success in the 21st century.
The village, which includes parents, educators, community groups (civic, business and faith-based) and the public, must work together to educate and nurture the “whole child.” Students not only need to be proficient in program content, but they also need the ability to think critically, problem solve, communicate effectively and apply learned skills, among others.
Your local public schools need your help with this gargantuan task, and there are many ways you can contribute. Schools need translators, volunteers, mentors and more. So please contact your district Central Office today to find out how your knowledge and skills can help foster the leaders of tomorrow.