This school year has been a tough one all over the teaching map. With our school system facing budget cuts when two teachers left our department, the decision was made not to replace them. Despite the increase in student load, the pressure to achieve AYP has not abated. Each year the achievement bar is raised another notch and the inexorable pressure to do more with less has made the stress palpable every time I step outside my room.
After nearly a decade of high stakes accountability, the meetings, data collection, pre-tests, post-tests, required lesson plans, reports, and more reports have diluted my view of what kids really need to be “well educated.” Newkirk has written a good reminder.
His book, subtitled Six Literacy Principles Worth Fighting For,
is something of a manifesto on behalf of quality instruction—recalling
for us the basics that good teachers know but may have lost sight of: Keep the curriculum simple, use what kids already know, let kids write a lot. Read More... Buy Book