Behind the Blog

Behind the Blog
My name is Cindy Kruse and I've been learning from elementary students for the past 16 years. I enjoy discovering new technology and implementing it in the classroom, absolutely love literacy, and am passionate about Responsive Classroom. I am constantly striving to learn new and innovative ways to teach students in order to provide authentic, interesting, and joyful classrooms.


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Friday, October 1, 2010

No time to "wait for Superman"

The recent release of the documentary film, "Waiting for Superman" has fanned the flames of the controversial debate about educational reform. (I haven't had the opportunity to see the movie yet, but plan on doing so as soon as it comes to a theatre near me.) The reviews range from "moving" and "on target" to "biased" and "oversimplified". Regardless of which camp you're pitching your tent in, everyone must agree that this conversation needs to happen. We can't hide from the data that indicates the American educational system is in need of a great overhaul.

The first question I have is: Do we have the time to
wait? I don't think so. Something needs to be done now. We can't wait - the future lives of our children are at stake, and every minute matters. I'm not advocating that we jump in too quickly and begin to dismantle everything, but we can begin to make small changes.

The second question is really a rhetorical one: Is there a Superman? Of course we know there is not, however, if you look closely enough you may begin to identify a superman or superwoman (or quite possibly more than one) at every school. These teachers and administrators consistently put the interests of kids first. They are implementing best practices (based on research) that are best for kids. They have an unwavering belief that every child can learn. They go way beyond the minimum.

I think we already have a good idea of what really works in educating children. The challenge is honestly answering this question: "Are we willing to do what it takes to put children first?" (NY Times columnist Ton Friedman asks this same question) I'm excited that the movement has begun, I'm just hoping it can be sustained without becoming mired in political agendas.

Borrowing the words of Mahatma Gandhi, we can "Be the change we want to see". We need great teachers, willing to not only speak the truth, but live it as well by instituting the small changes that we know we can accomplish. We need great teachers in order to build great schools.