So there I was this morning on the train heading down to the weekend retreat at the sea-side with the coffee and the newspaper, and after I had a wee chuckle at the film reviews of a certain shade I read another editorial on education and the poverty gap.
Cue being a bit annoyed. No, scrub that, cue being totally outraged.
I am absolutely sick of reading about how weans in schools in areas of high social deprivation are unable to attain and flourish in schools. I’ve guested on an educational podcast a few times and no matter the topic of conversation, this is the one that inevitably has me jumping up and down in a huff or having my own hissy fit.
Post code lottery of education?
Aye, well if that was the case, I wouldn’t be reading never mind teaching weans how to read in several languages.
Having discussed this with friends who were at school with me we all came to the same conclusion,we attained our best and went on to positive destinations because we had people believe in us, parents, family and teachers.
I know first hand the difference a teacher can make . I know first hand with the children I’ve been privileged to work with just what a difference and impact you can have as a teacher.
I’ve also seen the consequences of when we have low expectations for our learners – sometimes as teachers we are the only ones who tell the learners we believe in them, we care and we can be the only ones who WILL move mountains to create the best learning opportunities we can.
How may times have we heard people going for the easy option, dumbing it down when with a little stretch of ourselves we would see a massive change in self-confidence followed by a change in attainment. Why? Because someone cares.
And a little belief is sometimes all it takes.
I didn’t learn how to care about weans At teacher training college, I learned how to teach them. By teaching them, I learned how to care for them properly and I quickly realised that when they believed in me, the possibilities were endless.
Children in areas of deprivation don’t attain because they are poor. They don’t attain because they don’t think they can and no one ever told them they could.