Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Survey Says...

 Survey Says                                                   Finding solutions for our children at school has proven in the past to be an arduous and difficult task. I have sat in school meetings with over twenty professionals, ranging from teachers, principals, district personnel, caseworkers, psychiatrists, nurses, parents, education advocates, and more, all working to find solutions for one challenging student. Discussions, both pleasant and heated, have lasted for hours on end, only to come to the conclusion that another meeting needs to be scheduled in order to discuss the issues further. Through all of this, I have come to one conclusion:                                                          

This is way too complicated! We need to ask our children what they need. And I did just that. In my most recent eNote and on my FaceBook page, I invited children to give their opinions about school. Here are the amazing results:
1. What do children need at school to make learning better? What would make you look forward to getting up and going to school every day?
  • Be more understanding of our ever changing abilities (due to stress even if you don't see it).
  • Less students and more one on one with the teacher.
  • The students need their peers to be supportive. So maybe have a game once a week that will involve the students with their other peers working together to figure something out. By doing this, other students will get to know their classmates better and build positive relationships.
  • Kids shouldn't have to line up and wait. They bother each other when in line.
  • Having teachers and other people at school greet us in the morning, like they are happy to see us.
  • I look forward to technology, because it makes me feel a part of the world. I get confused from a book. I can look up on the Internet to learn better.
  • Teachers who are more hands on with their students. Don't just hand out assignments and lecture; they get more involved with the students.
  • Knowing that I am waking up to a happy family.
  • Would be great if it started later because I'm always stressed out about getting up and having to run to get dressed and rush to school.
  • Teachers should make people feel good in the class and not bullied.
  • Keeping things the same on set days.
2. Did you like school this past year? Why or why not?
  • Yes, because I had the best teacher ever and she helped my class become a family.
  • Yes, because my grades have gone up than last year. At my old school, they didn't sit down with me and explain what to do. But at my new school my teacher would always keep me after school and ask what are you having problems with and how can I help? She works with her students.
  • No because the teachers were mean to me and punished me and put me in detention every day when I didn't even need it.
  • YES - I liked my teachers alot better this year because they understood me.
  • Yes, I liked playing at recess and I liked math. But I didn't like when the teacher yelled at kids, it made me scared.
  • No, I did not like school this past year because my teacher called me stupid in front of the entire class, she sat me in the back of the classroom away from all my peers, and also by a window where she knew I would not pay attention.
3. Do you think homework helps you learn more? Please explain.
  • No, because it just fries your brain and doesn't allow time for break and bond with your family.
  • Homework should be school work because at home you're supposed to spend time with your family.
  • Yes, cause sometimes you get homework that you don't know and then your parents help you with it and then you know it for the next time it comes around.
  • No. Homework causes stress and stress causes nightmares.
  • I don't think lots of homework is good because we want time to ourselves after school.
4. If you'd like to add anything I haven't asked in regards to school, please list it here:
  • The teacher helped me succeed, by calling on me when I knew the answer and it made me feel better about myself. She taught me to never give up.
  • I think they should use less books and more technology along with hands on training (everyone learns differently).
  • I wish that other kids understood my disability better, so I would have more friends.
Out of the mouths of babes, we have brilliant, yet very easy solutions that can be implemented into the classroom. Additionally, most of these solutions do not require any additional funding or resources. They all simply require being able put oneself into the perspective of the child and to feel what it is like to be the student once again.
Incredibly, the responses, randomly collected from students in various grade levels, all reflected five key ingredients:

  • Relationship
  • Regulation
  • Encouragement
  • Understanding
  • Emotional Safety
And these five ingredients add up to same word: LOVE.

Press on,

Heather T. Forbes, LCSW

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