This was going to be my “Slice” for this week but I missed Tuesday.
I work as a peer tutor of writing in the learning center at the college I attend. A few weeks into this semester, the writing assistants had training with a professor who is a big fan of free writing and he had us write down some feelings about our tutoring experience. I’m not a good free-writer. I like to think things over before I put my thoughts down on paper but this is what I wrote as a response to my tutoring experience
I love interacting with these kids more than I ever thought possible. It’s exciting to see their thoughts and ideas, and every session is a new adventure. But mostly it makes me mad. Mad at schools that graduated kids without the skills to succeed. Mad at all the teachers who made kids feel stupid or less than… Mad because kids were passed along to be someone else problem when they needed help. Mad because some kids were used up before they were twenty simply because they can tackle or dunk a basketball. Mad because kids were moved thousands of miles from home or family without the proper tools for success.
I’m mad because we can do better than this and we don’t. This is not a Nebraska problem. I work with kids from Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, California, Wyoming, Colorado and Virginia. We need to do better than this; as a country, and as a community of educators and learners. We know how to grow readers and writers, how to encourage lifelong learners, but we aren’t doing it. We need to start.