Martha is getting out of prison Sunday. In the NY Times a friend said of Martha, “she’s making to do lists and ordering her Spring bulbs. That’s Martha: never idle, never down, never distracted.” Oh to be like Martha.
Bill Gates spoke to the governors about high school education. He said that the new three R’s of education should be:
rigor – making sure all studens are given a challenging curriculum that prepares them for college or work
relevance – making sure kids have courses and projects that clearly relate to the ir lives and their goals
relationships – making sure kids have a number of adults who know them, look out for them, and push them to achieve.
Right now, Sit, Stay, Read takes about 10 volunteers into two public schools every day. As one of those volunteers, I can’t help but think, as I see the kids begin to shine in the light of consistent adult encouragement and attention, that this really is part of what it takes – get volunteer members of the community into the underperforming schools. It matters. There’s so much we can do.
Jarrell is one of the second graders at my table every week. Her mind tends to wander when she’s writing her weekly sentences. She’ll start telling me stories about her sister or her neighbor. I’m always saying to her with a smile, “fo-cusssss” and she gets back to the task at hand. This week the kids were really wound up – they were all asking me questions at once. I was working with Jarrell and she asked me to spell a word. I was trying to answer their questions and spell Jarrell’s word at the same time. She grew impatient and said with a sly smile, “Miss MK, fo-cussss!”