How can we help boys love school?
A guest post by Linda Marie Gilliam
In order for us to even come close to closing the nation’s educational gap, the future of America depends on creating successful students by the 3rd Grade. Now with so many students coming into America from different countries, languages, and cultures…our educational system is ripe for a drastic change. In reality it has been ripe many years before now!
Successful students (boys in particular) will lead to less bullying, fewer dropouts, less suicides and most importantly, happy, productive human beings.
I discovered a program as a Literacy Specialist, addressing a successful way to reach all children, by teaching basic skills through whatever passion they had at the time.
When using my program, I also realize that Passions can change, but the basic learning tools are well established in Reading, Writing, Spelling, Science, and Math by 3rd Grade.
I was proud to receive “Teacher of the Year” for my efforts in Vancouver. My “Seven Steps to Help Boys Love School” can be applied in homeschooling as well.
It is my belief, that over my 40 years of teaching (and lucky for me my passion), our antiquated schools systems have changed very little. Oh sure, we jump on and off of the “new and improved bandwagons of better education” yet still seem to turn kids off more and more, as well as frustrate the teachers and parents. Why don’t we teach to what brain science has told us all along?
- All children learn differently, and especially when it comes to girls and boys.
- Girls begin school at least a year and a half ahead of boys when it comes to literacy. No wonder so many boys get to dread school and begin feeling failure by 3rd Grade! As a teacher it broke my heart to see this happening!! Sometimes this feeling of “lost in space” happens by the end of Kindergarten.
Now with the new Common Core Standards, we all need to get help for struggling students, parents, and teachers. These standards are way too rigorous, and presented way too early, in my opinion. I am not alone in this theory.
As we have witnessed over many decades…
- Education can spend all the money in the world… but WILL get the same lackluster results if we do not change HOW we are teaching. We have to find a child’s interest or passion early on, when he or she is curious about learning more. But more important THAN THAT, we need to teach skills and concepts at their DEVELOPMENTAL AGE…NOT TO HOW OLD THEY ARE CHRONOLOGICALLY.
- This ridiculous repetition of poor educational practices I have been a part of for over 40 years SADLY leads me to this:
- The ongoing one size fits all concepts…..Reminds me of the definition of INSANITY: “Doing the same things over and over, and expecting a different result!”
In order to really reach all our students, especially our boys, we need to find a way to make education relevant and interesting at a young age. That’s what my “7 Steps” are all about.
How do you believe we can help young men succeed in school?