April 15, 2024

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Students in today’s classrooms come to school with a number of needs. From the child who never has a vision screening outside of the school house to the student needs that are a little more difficult to pinpoint, today’s educators are faced with many hurdles as they prepare for the new school year. Knowing that within just a month of the school year starting students will be subjected to an assessment week is just one more of the challenges that are facing today’s educators.

Differential Educational Staffing Possibilities Seek to Reach All Learners

Standards cannot be learned in a single day. Meeting the goals that districts require involves extended attention to the goals and concepts that teachers are trying to teach. Every educator has to take into consideration what underlying prior knowledge students must possess and come up with a strategy for how the concepts and skills might be taught in a logical way. All of this needs to happen, of course, in a caring and nurturing environment, because research continues to show, and the best teachers understand, that students learn best when they are in a classroom with a teacher they have connected with. Building relationships during those first days and weeks of school can set the tone for the rest of the year.

As school districts continue to find ways to reach students and meet district and state standards at the same time, there are many groups that are readjusting their focus. From switching to writing assessments that are professionally scored to papers that are scored by classroom teachers, districts continue to find a happy medium where by students can make the most progress while the districts can evaluate progress. Testing and teaching are synonymous in most districts these days, but there remains a number of educators who argue that the constant focus on testing is ruining today’s classrooms. Online resources may enable a school district to meet national standards, but does meeting those standards set by a One midwestern school district, in a state where the education is really very good, has recently made the decision that teachers must score student writing using the district writing rubric at least twice a year. Those scores are submitted to the district by a determined date and the district will randomly select one or two papers from each class to rescore for monitoring and comparison purposes.

The online resources that are available for student writing assessments can help with this process, but teachers still need to factor in this assessment time to their busy schedules. Even if district scoring is a one day event, this still means class time that will be spent with students being tested rather than taught.writing is scored by teachers, timely results, no cut score, percentage of the total number of papers will be scored.

School Staffing Requirements Seek to Reach Every Student with Online Resources

Testing aside, the real job of any classroom teacher, and an entire school, is to make sure every student makes progress. As a positive step in this direction, 50% of the public school workforce is made up of teachers. The remaining 50% are guidance counselors, nurses, speech therapists, and other support personnel. Special education guidelines direct districts in the kind and number of support staff that the most in need students should have, but many parents realize that if their child is neither gifted nor in need of remedial services that child may be literally left behind.
Classroom teachers, or at least the best of them, attempt to fill in the void for every single student in a classroom. Part magician, part entertainer, and very much an instructor, today’s classroom teachers have very big jobs. Jobs that are so exhausting that there are many places in the country where it is virtually impossible to find qualified and trained professionals for every room. As a result, many places in the nation have adults in classrooms who are not trained in either content or instruction.

More than 40% of U.S. parents report that their children spend three or more hours a day using digital devices. This can ultimately contribute to vision and hearing loss, as well as over dependence on online resources.