How Education in America Is Like Finding the Right Pair of Running Shoes

Comparing my profession to finding the right pair of running shoes is fraught with all kinds of potential inaccuracies and legitimate criticisms, but the fact remains that education is in trouble because we aren’t listening to the experts, we aren’t helping teachers find the right fit, and we aren’t spending the money where we need to spend it and providing the resources necessary to do the most effective work. And the refusal to do so is pushing teachers out of the classroom at an unsustainable rate and leaving children without education experts with the knowledge and skills to teach them at every level.

positive crop asian mother with daughter reading book

Never Too Old to Be Read To

As parents we are frequently told about the importance of reading aloud to our children. It’s not just important to developing early literacy skills, it also can have a significant impact on behavior and empathy. But it doesn’t have to stop once they are able to break out the chapter books and read to themselves. While studies and experts agree that there are additional benefits to reading to older children, including increasing fluency, vocabulary, and overall reading success, reading aloud to our big kids goes beyond academics.

To Redshirt or Not To Redshirt

While we asked for a lot of feedback and extra evaluation, all of the teachers involved refused to tell us what we should do. Despite our son’s tears and insistence that he stay with his friends (and my husband’s many reservations), we gave him that extra year and it continues to make a huge difference. And while our son started the school year saying that he was going to just skip kindergarten and move right on to first grade, I believe that he will be incredibly successful (and happy) with his current classmates once they are all in kindergarten next year.