I think kids should want to be at school. All kids, in all grades, should want to be there. Kids spend so much time between Kindergarten and 12th grade in our care. It should not be a torturous experience.
I feel like people have accepted that the older kids get, the less they like school, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
We can make our schools and classrooms places where people want to be.
I heard two of my students talking recently about how much they hate school. This breaks my heart every time. Whatever standards I’m working on, whatever the goals of my lesson or unit, if the students don’t care – it’s all for nothing. Little kids are curious. They want to learn, and at some point “we” squash that out of them.
At the end of the day, we control what happens in our schools. I take responsibility for what happens in my classroom. We can all change what we do to make it better. We can make our classroom communities more welcoming. We can design lessons that promote engagement. We can utilize student voice and choice so they become invested in the process. There is so much we can and are doing, but if any student says “I hate school” – there is more to be done.
So I challenge all of you – what are you doing every day to make your classroom and school a place where your students truly want to be? Share using the hashtag #WantToBe. It’s going to be a process, but it’s one we have to begin.