Friday, June 19, 2009

Reflections on the Final Morning

by Neobaily

The photo I took on the first day of my sabbatical, last January, was of a beautiful and inspiring sunrise right out my back door. This photo of a glorious and colorful sunset clearly captures how I feel this morning, the last morning on sabbatical, as I reflect back on my long and wonderful 5-months.

With less stress and more time than I usually have, this past winter and spring I have been afforded the opportunity to spend a lot of time thinking about education vs. just doing it. I have come to believe several things to be true. I believe in excellence. I believe learning can and should be challenging but fun! I also believe every student deserves a proper, individualized education whether he is a challenged learner, a typical learner or clearly gifted. I believe that if we don't strive for excellence and teach all students, we embrace mediocrity. Without research-based, well-designed curriculum for our most capable, yes, gifted students, we leave them behind. Leaving bright, eager, talented youngsters (who are our next generation of lawyers, doctors, politicians) behind to learn on their own is, to my way of thinking, a shame. They are so much more deserving while still in elementary school, undeveloped, untrained, enthusiastic and thirsty for knowledge. I hope some of what I have developed during this long and happy sabbatical will continue, if only in my home school.

Good bye sabbatical! Woohoo!

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