As an elementary teacher of 12 years I often analyzed the traditional classroom setting as something of a puzzle. Aside from learning in the classroom rarely being social (which is how kids learn best) the traditional classroom is set up with kids of the same exact age levels.
For what purpose?
Most of the kids in any given classroom do not possess the same exact skills set anyway. So teachers end up “differentiating” learning.
Sure, I had been part of classrooms where two grade levels had been mixed. This was known as a multi-age classroom setting and though some parents of children in these settings were skiddish (is my older child going to be dumbed down? Will my younger child be too challenged?), I always found the notion ideal and realistic to what occurs in the adult world. After all, do adults share office space with people only their own age? Do parents with six children worry that their children are different ages while sharing a home? What does the older employee in the work setting learn from the younger employee? What can the older child give to the younger child? What can the younger child offer to the older child?
As parents, we tend to focus much attention on our children’s schooling to ensure their “success”. We attend parent-teacher conferences, monitor report cards, help with homework, email teachers with concerns, employ consequences to children not making the grade, attend school functions, spend hundreds of dollars on supplies, etc. We believe that in doing all of these things that our children will grow to be responsible, “successful” adults. Whatever that means to a given family.
Child care, however, we tend to gloss over as a part of the day that offers nothing more than an escape to what truly matters…school. We invest little into knowing about after school programs and summer camp child care staff. We don’t view them as important enough to buy a teacher appreciation gift for. We don’t know their names. We don’t know what they truly do day-to-day. We don’t know a particular child care program’s philosophies or care how those philosophies could impact their child’s lives. We do not know how meaningful strong social programming can impact a child’s school day, or his/her life, in general. We generally accept whatever program is in front of our eyes without ever really knowing it. Or finding out if there is something out there that may be better and offer the level of attention, interaction and creativity our children require. Yet, families invest thousands of dollars per year on child care tuition, if nothing more than to have a place for their child to go. The school districts that house corporate programs do not know the answers to these questions either, nor do they care. Which always serves as a perplexing reality.
Life is busy. I think we will all agree.
We have many responsibilities to tackle on a daily basis: bills, kids, careers, planning extracurricular activities, date nights etc... The thing is, they are all important, no doubt about that. But, we all know, in our heart of hearts, that we want to leave a legacy, and that starts with our children.
Our children might drive us crazy at times but we love them more than life itself. They make us smile, they make us laugh, they get us angry, likely daily. But, we love them. We want the best for them. We want to surround them with great experiences and great association. We desire to tap into their inner creativity and show them that there is nothing they cannot accomplish.
Just a little bit about the Capital Region of Upstate New York.
Besides the fact today could be a historic snowfall day! With the potential to see 18"-24" of snow! The funny thing is that the last few years in Albany area the winters have been milder. Now, it seems, that ole' man Winter is back for just a little bit longer.
Well, for those looking to acquaint themselves just a little bit more about the area, here is our take on it.
Location is truly everything for people who like to travel and experience all the good things an area has to offer. Albany is the Capital of New York State; the area is known as the Capital Region, comprised of Albany, Troy and Schenectady. The collective region has a population of around 850,000 people; this includes Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Saratoga Counties.
TSL Team Contributions
This blog is for parents and educators to learn more about our organization. It's also the space where we share information of interest to parents.