12 Summer Ac-Cool-Ades for Teachers, Administrators, and Parents
Click! Click! Click! From about the third week of May through the third week of June, this clatter resonates around the country as teachers, parents and administrators snap off their alarm clocks, roll over to catch a few more zzzzzs and sigh, “Finally!”
Teachers, parents and administrators are the triple-tined spear that prod children into successful students and lifelong lovers of learning.
Strawberry Lemonade Splash
Teachers not only hold the key, but they are the keystone of any successful educational program. Classroom instructors need to assess, sometimes instantly, why Johnny isn’t engaged and what type of hook they must bait to reel him into learning, and, consequently, his success. Each and every day they make the choices that will build Johnny’s confidence and help him understand that, “Yes, he can,” read any book, compute any equation, pass any test and write any essay because “Yes he is” smart enough to do so.
Pina Colada Slush (Mocktail or Cocktail- Sipper’s Choice)
Teachers understand that Jane and her 24 plus peers are not balls of clay composed of the same exact ingredients. Therefore, educators know that they need to create lessons that are fast-paced for Jane, hands-on for Joey, auditory-based for Betty and visually-grounded for Bob. The lessons need to be lively for Liz, hushed for Harry, repetitive for Rhonda, yet varied for Victor. Also, they all need to be focused on state and/or Common Core standards of learning, A.P. exams, and/or other testing criteria so Jane and her peers earn at least a proficient or, in the case of A.P. exams- a score of 4 or 5.
Caramel Cappuccino Quencher
Teachers, knowing that the majority of their energy must be student-centered, spend hundreds of hours planning engaging lessons, assessing students’ progress (or lack thereof) and constantly making adjustments for their charges’ needs.
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Milk Shake
Teachers appreciate the fact that they must form professional bonds with parents if their students are to experience success. They understand that parents are more than willing to discuss their children’s academic strengths and weaknesses as well as the attitudes and behaviors that could, and most often, affect their offspring’s’ success. Speaking of parents…
Southern Sweet Tea
Parents know that their children need their fierce protection, but recognize when to allow a teacher’s sincere worries about Johnny or Jane’s lack of success to penetrate this armor. During collegial conferences, they are open to listening to instructors’ concerns and to work with the teachers and their children to form academic action plans.
Cool Cucumber Lemonade
Parents put school first-and not their children’ jobs. Some kids work to pay for their cars, clothes and extra-curricular activities, but most moms and dads set a reasonable limit to this so that school remains a priority. Even parents whose kids must work to help to pay the rent and food bills push classroom success because they realize that their children’s future financial stability rests on a solid education.
Parents promote respectful attitudes toward education and teaching. They let their kids blow off steam about the dictatorial history teacher, the micromanaging algebra instructor and the never-ending reading and writing assignments from the English educator with a My Class Rules attitude. But…but, they never join with their children in denigrating these educationalists.
What a Peach Punch
Parents might disagree with the word picture about their son or daughter that the teacher paints, but they understand that the teachers see a side of their children that they don’t. They know that their children are multi-faceted, and reveal various sides of their personality to teachers, bosses, friends, frenemies, Aunt Marge and Grandpa George, and to them. They realize that those lessons on rounded, dynamic characters they survived in high school English classes are meant for actual living beings and their children, and not just for characters that spring from a writer’s imagination. They staunchly push this fact to administrators that their Jane or Johnny is not just a clay clone of any of the 24 plus children in each of her or his classes. Speaking of administrators…
Rockin’ Caffeine-Me Iced Coffee
Administrators hire teachers that they know will be the best fit at their school, and who bring with them goody bags overflowing with appealing activities, provocative lesson plans and inspiring attitudes. They hire professionals in their fields and never deny them their hard-earned classification.
Frozen Banana Foster Smoothie
Administrators understand the importance of data in the quest for AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress), but also know that each child carries to class a backpack crammed with feelings and fears, the reality of life situations, and the effects of prior academic circumstances. Respecting the fact that they hired professionals, they allow their teachers the space and time to help their students to jump any hurdles that could keep them from being successful test takers, but most importantly-lifelong lovers of learning.
Chocolate caramel Nut Frappuccino
Administrators will respectfully listen to any complaint against one of their teachers, but will not make any judgment at that time. Like parents with their children, they will close ranks around their staff member until they have collected all pertinent information from whatever necessary source (s). Only when armed with this information will they make a decision and privately, but in person, inform all involved parties.
Dock of the Bay Raspberry Bomb
Administrators will never forget the rigors of the classroom that they experienced and that their teachers face daily. Because of this, they will never turn a deaf ear to any staff member, parent, student or citizen of their district. They hold firm to the knowledge that a solid curriculum will stand up to any test, any scrutiny and any non-educator’s one size fits all dictate.
To teachers, parents and administrators, known and unknown, I send these Ac-Cool-Ades of appreciation, today and every day. Whether it’s during the school year or summer vacations, you struggle constantly against tides of criticism and waves of love-hate relationship with all things educational, yet you shine on and on and on.
Now, it’s time for you to slide into an Adirondack chair, a hammock or a beach chair, open a good book, click on Hulu, Prime or Netflix, or fade into an earful of tunes and sip one or two of these Ac-Cool-Ades while you relax, rejuvenate and refresh.
Happy Summer to you all!