'Tis the season for coaching changes in the NFL. Like most sports, coaches and managers usually get too much credit when their team wins and too much blame when they don't. I sometimes wonder if teachers face a similar fate...(minus "the axe"...usually)
These thoughts started while attending our local church which serves the town where I work. We had just seen The Blindside the night before. In the The Blindside, Michael Oher takes full advantages of breaks that come his way to rise from a usually hopeless home life of drugs and violence. The next evening our family was at a youth service where the junior high and high school kids really drive what happens. They do the reading and singing, collection and Communion, with some help, of course. As I listened to a student perfectly read his part, with fluency, a great rate and proper emphasis, I started wondering about his background.
I think all too often if a student doesn't perform well on our "measuring sticks" we cop out and say, well, look at the kids home life. It's horrible. Well, yes, that's a piece, a huge piece really, but are you doing everything you can as a teacher and school staff? Sometimes it's the exact opposite: You can't compete with what's going on at home. And I think too often when students' scores are sky rocketing, well, that's cause he comes from a good home life. Are you sure? Give teacher's some credit where it's deserved. But alas, are we pushing them also? Do we just say, "Hey, great home life? Check, they're good." That shouldn't be good enough. You never know when you are going to make a difference.