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Essay for Uncle Monte: Morning Minutes, April 18, 2016

This is an interesting concept that I think would work well when this idea is placed with a teacher that kids like and enjoy talking to. There are plenty of reasons why this would work and why it wouldn’t. I know that there are kids that won’t do a thing and still earn that A. Probably 20% of each school are these kids. But here is the thing if you have a teacher that is engaging with these students and making learning “Fun” there won’t be those students in that class. It’s taking away from the stress of grading and kids will actually learn something.

In my experience kids are more likely to not learn in a class where the teacher is not encouraging them to learn. For example I have a teacher that doesn’t care at all about what we do at all. That teacher tells us to open the book do the certain pages up on the board and sits back at their desk. And when I look around the classroom in that class no one seems to be engaged at all. Now I have another teacher that really engages in the class making learning “fun“ and I mean ALL the kids in class are actively listening and contributing to the conversation and getting all of their work done anyway. When the grade is the only motivation to do well, kids that fall behind will tend to stay that way. With an A grade from the start like you propose, kids won’t have to worry about that. Students will be engaged in classroom discussions and not having to worry about anything but understanding the concepts and ideas that are being input.

I think this will tremendously impact how kids learn. Kids lose interest when there is not a teacher that is also engaged in the subject matter and actually “wants” to teach them. Students can and will learn this way and not just because they’re chasing a letter grade. There will be those teachers that won’t do this and will disagree with the concept, but I think this idea would work well when taught by a good teacher like yourself. A teacher not engaged in the process of education itself could probably care less.

(Ok, so I know this isn’t really a full blown essay and I may have repeated a few things, but I just wanted to get some of my thoughts across to you and give you a sense of my feelings on what I think is a pretty cool idea.) I just wish I had a teacher like my Uncle Monte.

-Con Man

Okay. Connor Kirkpatrick, Con Man, is not my real nephew.  He is the son of our dearest friends, Monty and Jenn Kirkpatrick, who live in Kingston, Washington. This “essay” was a complete surprise to me, something I never expected to find in my inbox. First, I didn’t know that Connor was following my blog. Second, Connor, a bright, big-hearted, energetic freshman , is not really into school, and as he says, “English isn’t really my thing.” Apparently, my post on giving an “A,” struck a chord because, according to his mom, he wrote this within an hour of reading the post. I found it in my inbox the next morning. Thank you Con Man for joining the conversation. I, too, wish you could be in my class next year.

Tomorrow, I will share the data from my essay of the week prompt. The preliminary data, not surprisingly, reveal that kids think giving an A is either good, bad, or both good and bad. After I collect more essays today, I will crunch the numbers and share them with you. I also plan to share two essays from opposite ends of the spectrum, but I am going to secure permission from the writers first.

Today, we begin state testing. Unfortunately, despite my assurances, the kids will have a stressful week. Have to say, starting to feel differently about standardized testing. I’ve always been a supporter, but now I am reevaluating my stance. Even so, this week, for the kids, I will keep a positive attitude and cheer them through it.

This week, I will continue to share my plan for next year. Thank you for the support last week. I find strength in knowing that you are all following me. We passed the 13,000 views mark this weekend (13, 177). Way to go team! As always, please join the conversation. Shout out to Chris Valeo, Jacob Troyer, Adam Lester, Sherry Syrie, Jan Clark, Anne Ames, Melissa Earl, Marie Tamura, Amarise Lindauer, and of course, Con Man, for jumping in on the journey last week. Thank you.

Happy Monday, all. Sun-coming, silhouetted trees are sure a sight out the window this morn. Life’s pretty dang good, even on Monday.


One Reply to “Essay for Uncle Monte: Morning Minutes, April 18, 2016”

  • The Con Man did a good job of getting his thoughts across to the reader. The word engaged and engaging and engage were key words. One of the thoughts that Conner put out there was this. ” A teacher not engaged in the process of education itself could probably care less.” But then he goes on to tell of the teacher that makes learning fun. Why? Because the kids feel that this teacher cares and makes learning fun. This teacher engages the student and makes them want to learn. Thanks Con Man for your thoughts.

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