By Shawn Jensen. 4th Grade Math. Published at Thursday, November 19th, 2020 - 01:16:59 AM.
For years and years, I looked for her, Elizabeth from 4th grade and even with the advent of social media I could never find her. Every time Id hear a story about bullying I saw her face and then mine. When I saw the movie Flatliners, I couldnt get her out of my head for a month. I wanted so badly to apologize to this little 4th-grade girl, and I never thought Id get the chance. That is until the other day; there she was by complete accident on a friends Facebook feed. I was scared to befriend her, I wondered if she remembered me, I wondered if she hated me, I wondered if she even cared, I wondered if she had the same childhood memory I lugged around for almost half a century. I tucked fear into the back seat, and then I requested her as a friend on Facebook. In what seemed like an instant she accepted my request. My hands were trembling, and I was afraid. My hope was she didnt remember the incident or me.
Letting Go Letting go means standing aside and allowing life to happen without my trying to control it. This has been (and some days still is) a completely foreign concept to me, because I was raised by a single-parent who was an abuse survivor. She taught us to stand up for ourselves and never be walked on. She taught us to speak up for ourselves. She also taught us to have a really good "BS meter." All important things if you want to feel in control and not be taken advantage of. What I didnt learn is how to flow with life: how to stand back, detach and be the observer, allowing others to do whatever they are going to do, and not attempt to control, manipulate or change the outcome. In short, I was programmed since childhood to defend myself really, really well. So while I have been described as a strong person, an intelligent person, and a capable person, nobody has ever described me as a particularly agreeable person, a gentle person, or a "go with the flow" kind of gal. Quite the contrary, Ive been described as a "take charge" kind of gal. This was brought to my attention again recently in a radio interview I did. I wanted so much to say what Id planned to say that the poor host literally couldnt get a word in edgewise. I battle with letting go and letting life spontaneously happen more than most folks, because I was abused as a child by one parent, and then taught to fight back by the other. There was no balance between the two extremes. When you think about it, letting go is all about trust. Its trusting that we live in an abundant and benevolent Universe. Its trusting another person to be there for us and catch us when we fall. Its trusting that I am in fact "good enough," regardless of what seems like evidence to the contrary. Its trusting that its okay to make mistakes because Im human. Its trusting that most of the time Im safe and not in danger, contrary to what my alarmist brain would have me believe. Letting go is the polar opposite of control, and its whats required if were going to reclaim our life. I am certain of this, because it wasnt until I let go of my idea of who I was (a mental health counselor) that I could finally see myself for who Id become (a suicide survivor). Seeing myself for who I really am has not been easy or comfortable, but ultimately its made my life healthier and happier. We are who weve become, not who we think we are.
In elementary school, classroom teachers are responsible for teaching the many ELA standards. In middle and senior high school, the English teachers share responsibility with content areas of science, history, social studies and technology. To put it differently, all teachers will have to be knowledgable about these standards and just how they refer to their unique subject of study. The reading standards are classified into four areas: handling key ideas and details, craft and structure, integration expertise and concepts, plus the choice of reading and level of text complexity. Basically, students must understand content, distinguish among important and less important ideas and analyze the information. While doing this, students should comprehend the vocabulary, the language and evaluate how perspective and purpose affects craft issues. While reading widely from print and digital media, students should be able to evaluate, analyze and synthesize information. Particularly crucial, in line with the standards is the fact that students are comfortable using a range of text complexities.
Intervention Intervention is usually something touted as what will help schools in crisis. The current wave of instructional approaches are called "Response to Intervention" or RTI. This approach uses programs that have been "researched" and "proven effective", a major component of the No Child Left Behind approach to education reform. Regardless of what level the instructional needs of the child are, the teachers read directly from scripts developed for the research that proved the approaches to be effective and use materials, activities and text passages designed to go along with those scripts. The point of it all is to focus attention on an instructional process that has been already been effective. The problem is that the assignments may be correctly executed, but they may still not be understood or mastered by students. The primary reason that students do not achieve under this approach is that what is being taught is developmentally too difficult for them to master. They may memorize every word, every fact, but the rote memorization cannot be applied to similar words or facts in different situations. The problem remains the same: children are not always developmentally ready for what schools narrowly presume the "average child" should master. The 4th grade student reading at 2nd grade level experiences the 4th grade materials. Is that child likely to read above 2nd grade after this type of instruction? It is highly unlikely, because the original problems concerning readiness remain. Prevention
Can you answer that question? Keep reading and see if your answer changes. Ive had the pleasure and privilege to volunteer as a facilitator for a small group of 4th grade girls. Sponsored by the Girl Scouts, this program was created to help 4th grade girls craft a vision of their current and future potential. The curriculum covers 10 weeks of subjects ranging from healthy self-esteem and self-confidence, to anti-bullying and building positive friendships and family relationships. Its been a fascinating experience to watch these 9-year-olds interact with each other during these mature subject conversations and activities. Since I have no children, my frame of reference was clearly limited, and it is not hard to compare them to the leadership groups and individuals I coach.
Consider the recent Occupy Protest movements that sprung up in New York and major cities across America and the globe. Basically these protests came down to jobs and the ability for folks to provide for their families, it came down to hope for the future. The fact is the majority of people around the world want jobs. This is a change from the past century, where the number one thing citizens expected from their leadership was food, shelter and security. Today that number one desire is simply good jobs. These protest movements, which were for the most part peaceful, are just a sliver of what is to come for countries and cities whose leadership fails to understand this new economic reality and this new global war for jobs. Folks around the world want and expect their leadership to make the right decisions, which allow for economic growth, job creation and stability in their countries, cities and communities. Take that away to a high degree and the recent "Occupy" protest movements will seem like a walk in the park and instead government leaders may experience widespread havoc, violent protests and even attempts at overthrowing their entire government leadership. Similar to what we have witnessed recently in many of the Arab countries, like Egypt, Syria, Libya, where entire government leadership was forcibly thrown out. Or Spain, where youth unemployment is also rampant.
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