Last year I wrote an article on failing; Failing to let them Fail. In it I discussed the importance of failure as a necessary part of learning and growth. I am now writing to implore parents, specifically, to LET THEM FAIL … and to trust that not only will your child survive this uncomfortable experience, they will actually grow and thrive from it; if you manage the experience appropriately.
The reason I feel compelled to write about this is due to an alarming number of disconcerting posts I’ve read, this week, on various social media platforms. It’s the end of the school year in South Africa and students and parents are receiving their year-end marks and reports. Some examples from the posts that concern me are:
- “The school phoned to tell me that they have failed my daughter!”
- “I can’t believe that the Maths teacher failed my son!”
- “The school called me in to drop a bombshell – they’re failing my child!”
- “Such a shock to hear that the school has decided to fail my son this year!”
NO, THE SCHOOL DIDN’T FAIL YOUR CHILD – YOUR CHILD FAILED … and that’s ok.
Let’s bust a few myths which seem to be prevailing at this moment in time: Continue reading BUSTING 4 MYTHS ABOUT FAILING
Hamlet and The Picture of Dorian Gray are the prescribed texts for South African government schools’ Grade 12 English First Language exam this year. As my Matric students might say, “Whaaaaaaaaaaaat??!!?”
Please do not mistake my alarm for a personal aversion to these texts. I am a classicist at heart and will defend the inclusion of Shakespeare in the English curriculum till my dying day. “Hamlet” is one of my favourite dramatic texts; dense with existential anguish, wit, dramatic irony and a great big knock-down-drag-out in the final act. I adore Oscar Wilde and am loving revisiting “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” in preparation for helping my private Matric students. I’m chuckling away as I reread it, giving frequent mental nods and bows to the genius of Wilde and his acerbic wit. I, however, am not an 18-year old student.
Continue reading Wildely Out of Touch with Our Teens
It’s 2016 and in many countries we’re still subjecting our children and teenagers to a school system that was designed over a century ago, to meet the needs of the Industrial Revolution.
I love teaching. I don’t enjoy working in a school; so I no longer do. I’m not a fan of our outdated, “Victorian” school system in South Africa. I don’t believe that subject-specific norms-based assessments provide anywhere near an accurate reflection of an individual’s intelligence, talent or potential. However, the Matric exams remain as the final hoop to jump through before being granted access to a world of further study, or work.
Continue reading 21st Century Kids Need 21st Century Schools