How is your child's current education? Most will say it's just fine. I agree! I believe that most students attending schools in Ontario are getting a pretty good education. Some parents will rate their child's education as excellent. I agree! There are a great number of fabulous teachers out there, and many schools that are blessed with administrators who go above and beyond, to make their school a great place to learn. Other parents are disappointed, and advocate for change. Yes, you guessed it...I agree! There truly are things that need to change. But that's not what I want to talk about.
What I want to talk about are the 'square peg' children. The ones that are bored. The ones that are frustrated. The ones that act out. The ones that aren’t working to their full potential. The ones that could do so much more provided a different learning environment. The ones that just don't fit in the pre-drilled holes. I know them. I've seen them. Actually, I've been some of them. Do you know any of these children? I'll introduce them to you, and perhaps you will recognize them.
Sally: She's bored because she mastered multiplication when she was 6. She hands in a messy and rushed assignment, though still passable, and quickly proceeds to bury her nose in her favourite book. She could possibly solve world hunger, but she doesn’t really feel like it.
Sam: He simply can't sit still in his seat. He spends most of the lesson wondering what time the bell will be ringing so he can go out and play. Since he doesn't really pay attention, he doesn't fare too well on the assignment.
Stacey: She doesn't quite understand the lesson. Everyone else puts their thumb up when the teacher asks if they understand, so Stacey does too. Stacey needs help with the assignment but the teacher is working with other students. She's a good kid and doesn't want trouble from the teacher, so she puts some answers down and hands it in. She doesn't do well, but then again, she hasn't done well on many of her assignments, so her below average assignment is nothing to note. She still receives passing grades on her report card, although just barely.
Stewart: Oh, Stewart! He hates math. During the lesson he's busy poking Stacey and creaking his chair. He takes a bathroom break and a water break. Then he has to blow his nose. Twice! He trips over his shoelace on his way back to his seat. He loses 2 pencils and is upset because someone took his eraser. He notices that it's raining and makes sure everyone else knows it. Assignment...what assignment?
Sandro: He doesn't say much and keeps to himself. When the teacher asks him if he understands he just looks at his feet. He doesn't complete the assignment. He didn’t feel like it. He did, however, draw some super awesome doodles on it.
Steven: He really didn't need 5 examples because he got it after the first one. He just wants the assignment so he can get it done. He's talking to Sarah because he really doesn't need to listen...unfortunately she does. Sarah doesn't do too well on the assignment. Steven does well...but he lacks the drive and passion for learning that could take his learning to new levels.
Sonny: A bright little boy who struggles with reading. He understands the lesson as it’s being taught. The teacher hands out the assignment, and after about 10 minutes he realizes that he doesn’t really know what to so. He waits in line behind 5 other students who are waiting for help. When it’s his turn the teacher reads the question to him and he quickly goes back to his seat and completes the first part. Now, he’s not really sure what the second question is asking and after stressing about it for 10 minutes he decides to go get some help. The teacher is working with several other students. She tells him to ask a friend for help. By the time he finds someone to read the question to him the class is over. Assignment…Incomplete!
Sonya: She enjoyed the lesson. She could sing you a song about it. She could draw you a picture. Write the answers on the assignment…not her cup of tea. Results, of course, are below expectations.
There are other students too, but I hope by now you get my point.
These are the underachievers. The ones that could DO so much more! That could BE so much more! The ones that could KNOW so much more!!
They are the ’square pegs’ that just don’t fit into the round holes of the traditional classroom.
At Evergreen Academy our holes are not one size fits all. Our small class sizes and individualized programming allow us to fit those square pegs, and the round ones too. We fit flat pegs and bendy pegs, short pegs and long pegs, and even pegs that aren’t really pegs, and are just pretending to be pegs to make the other pegs happy. That’s what we do…we take your peg and find it’s fit!