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Katie and Common Core

Katie and Common Core

Although it is true that a four year old can learn two languages as easily as one psychologists say, is it really a goal worth pursuing? Is there too much white noise coming at these kids at an earlier and earlier age? Can kids “decode” all this stimuli and assimilate it into their brains and beings? What exactly are we trying to teach these kids? Why does it have to be younger and younger to be better and better? Has more is better been replaced by younger and younger.

Kindergarten which used to the entrance to the school experience wrapped in love, smiles, and a safe first environment for which to get the kids “feet wet” has been replaced by school readiness. Yet, most studies show that this not the most productive way to entice a child to want to learn. In fact, it is just about the opposite way to do it.

Remember when I talked earlier about motor skills and sensory perception? These kids are not cognitively, physically, and emotionally ready to do the work thrust upon them.

In Psychology there is a term called bottle necking. It is this process by which people can only receive so much information just like water coming into a bottleneck. If you attempt to pour in more than the opening can handle the rest of the water just spills over the sides. The information overload been poured upon these unsuspecting children. It simply is not working. Luckily, there is a solution.

My wonderful wife Kathleen teaches Kindergarten at the elementary level. She has taught Special Education from Kindergarten to 3rd grade. She is a wonderful teacher. The kids love her. She greets them all at the door to the classroom every day. What a wonderful way to start your day. When she reads to the kids she has this soft angelic like voice. Her words become part of the story. The kids become enraptured into the book along with her creating this enriching environment that the child’s brains and being simply can’t get enough of.

When you watch her take kids over to their “centers” it is amazing to see how she can involve them in the subject matter by relating it to the children. While that is going on she can simultaneously watch and guide other children around the room. The environment created allows the kids a safe free experience to learn.

The room itself is a sight to behold. She has different areas of different stimuli. The room is not cluttered and there is space for the children to move freely. The children get to move around to and from these different areas with safety and ease. She makes sure all are brought into the fold, not just the smart ones.

She has taken the “Common Core”  “seat work” and stood it up. The tightly scripted Common Core Curriculum with distinct instructions is followed BUT she has such a calm personal wonderful trusting relationship with the children that education and learning to the real common core, the kids own world, is enriched. The kids flourish. Learning flows in her classrooms.

Watching the kids flock to her desk when they have a chance during the day shows just how important love and safety is to the true and only common core of all children. She builds and nourishes relationships and is truly interested in what they have to say.

These conversations are priceless. The children are inquisitive as she makes them all feel as if they were her own children. I ask, in what environment are children more apt to assimilate and grow through the process of education? The strict standards of “Common Core” or the loving nurturing arms of a teacher like this? If ever a teacher should be put in charge of a school it is this lady!



Written by : Jennifer