Administrators, teachers and parents can’t agree when it comes to data. How much should we focus on data, testing and measured achievement? I understand that data is useful when it holds teachers and schools accountable. It can also help us understand trends in teaching and learning. However, I wonder how much you can really quantify learning. I’ve experienced that collecting and analyzing data on specific areas of achievement like math and reading, detriments other essential parts of the school day like social and emotional learning, writing, physical education and art.
At a public charter school where I taught third grade humanities we focused on children’s reading levels and reading comprehension scores at staff meetings. They were our KPIs, they measured our success as educators. This led to teachers like me being hyper focused on reading level and reading comprehension scores and putting the majority of our prep time into those lessons. Often, these KPIs disincentivized teachers from applying evidence based education concepts like differentiation and inquiry based learning to our classrooms. Instead, we found ourselves “teaching to the test.” I realized how much it harms children when we focus on the destination instead of the journey.
When I first designed my program “Raising Motivated Readers and Skilled Writers” early this year, I focused creating the most efficient and effective program. While receiving feedback from my first cohort, I was surprised to find out that the most impactful part of the program for parents was browsing for books and partner reading with their child. While parents joined the program to improve their children’s reading and writing skills, in the end it was the bonding experience that they appreciated the most.
I realized that I needed more than an efficient and effective program. I needed an effective, memorable and joyful program because that’s what parents and kids deserve! “I'm excited to announce that I've restructured and renamed my program to, “Reading and Writing Partners.” In addition to partner reading, the curriculum now includes partner writing. Children write a weekly letter to their parents and their parents respond. Children are also invited to participate in the introductory call, and all four coaching calls. I hope that the program will be a memorable bonding experience for every family that joins.
How Are You, Really? By Jenna Kutcher
“In her first book, Jenna Kutcher—Entrepreneur, Photographer, Instagram Influencer, Teacher, Mom, and host of the wildly popular Goal Digger podcast shares her philosophy on how to live a life that exists outside the tired cliché of “having it all.” How Are You, Really? is about taking a moment to soak up the richness of the experience and creating a life that allows for that.”
Bringing Up Bébé
“One American mother discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting.”
Learn more about my four-week program Reading and Writing Partners here!
Talk to you soon.