The Ideal Classroom for American Kids

Is it any wonder why kids can’t seem to learn in the classroom? I’m referring to middle class and disadvantaged areas. Not the elite. Since everyone knows the upper middle class and wealthy are learning (perhaps the only ones in a traditional classroom setting in our country).

I’m curious if the average adult would be able to learn in the “typical classroom setting” today. Very noisy, argumentative, lots of negative energy, lots of screaming and yelling in the building, and typically students feel as if they are over punished or under punished. And lot’s of disruption from 25-30% of the students in the room. This is the real problem…. Kids who are behind, making it hard for kids to learn.

 

Let’s talk about change- imagine if we could snap our fingers and change things without the long and grueling process of bureaucracy and committee (too often resulting in the lowest denominator). So what would work?

Here’s what I’m thinking the model should be

  • Education dollars go directly into the classroom.
  • Where are the learning activities? The classroom should be loaded with a variety of interesting non-fiction learning activities.  Why are we not utilizing the fantastic learning software that is available?
  •  Staff for Teachers-  to assist the students and teacher.
  • Diagnostic – Skill based assessments are administered at the beginning, middle and end of the school year. These skill based assessments determine what the student knows and does not know. 

If a student can’t recall it, they never learned it.

Students would ideally work a  4 hour circuit every morning that includes reading, writing and math activities that are in a group setting with the aid or the teacher.  Each student works on his own customized curriculum.  Work is independent based with the teacher and aids giving one on one instruction before practicing the skill.   Curriculum is customized, based on the student’s progress, skill base, and learning style.  Student scores determine mastery of skills and future curriculum. Teacher is designing curriculum, and working with students who are struggling, and all students on an occasional basis to check skill levels and progress. Teacher is managing this classroom and the instruction of all teacher aids/assistants.

Camera’s in the Classroom- If others  are making it impossible for the teacher to teach, we need accountability.

Oh yes, the teacher will be on camera as well. I’m assuming she might work harder as a result, and watch her tone and words closely when speaking to the kids.

If you can’t monitor it you can’t manage it! This simple truth makes management of the classroom so much easier and more effective.

Changing the traditional classroom setting is step one, in reforming education in this country.

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