There is a season for all things discussed in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. I remember it well as it was spoken at my Uncle Bobby’s funeral. Fall brings the harvest season for the farmers where I live in central Illinois. The crops of corn and beans are being gathered as I type these words.
Harvest time is different for others who plant seeds. Teachers plant the seeds of knowledge beginning in the fall and do not harvest until the beginning of summer to see the growth of learning from the seeds planted. Still, the harvest is not complete, as it begins again with more seeds to plant in the coming years. The children grow and grow all at their own pace. Some need more care, water, and warmth and may need transplants to receive additional support. It all takes a unique rhythm to bring all of the seeds planted to harvest.
Like our farmers, the right conditions must be in place for growth. Several times I can see where weeds can begin to take root, and farmers quickly notice. Weeding the fields is done in many different ways, and it depends on the “root” of the weeds, I am told.
To “weed” the gardens in our educational settings for children is not a one glove fits all approach. Alonzo is in classroom A, Jasmine is in classroom B, and Savion is in classroom C. Each student has difficulties meeting their reading goals; however, they each have different problems. Addressing the issue as a grade level problem would not be the best approach by only looking at these three students. If these three students and more students had the same deficiency, then looking at a curriculum or instructional practice would be the first step.
To solve individual needs, target the specific skill level with support utilizing resources available.
Resources can be:
Individual help, small group support, Teaching Assistance support, Direct feedback, Repeating lesson instructions back to you, Clarify objectives, Providing visuals and examples, Sending Tips home to parents, Observing students, Monitoring, Asking questions to the students, Having students reflect and provide feedback to you. Individual needs, need individual interventions to target the deficiency to progress monitor improvements.
Getting into a rhythm to your approach to teaching, supporting, and learning helps everyone trust the environment. It is about the quality of education. Mistakes are the most significant part of learning and helping our students understand how to gain from them. Once they know the process, they will not be afraid to make mistakes when they know they can gain rhythm in learning from them. The rhythm is going to get you!
Getting into our rhythm takes a little work, but we can get there. It is in keeping our beat which can be tricky at times. There will always be areas in which others will point to blame. In reality, we must always start with ourselves first. If we can take care of our rhythm by focusing on the crucial parts of our lives, being authentic, and living by our core values, then we can begin to understand how to make changes together.