Tag Archives: Education system

Our Charter School Journey

Reading Mission Possible caused me to reflect how I became involved with first one charter school and then another, and the steps I’ve taken to ensure my children the best education I can give them. Before moving to Arizona, my kids went to the local school, I volunteered in the classroom because I liked seeing the teacher in action, so I could reinforce the lessons and language at home. My children all did well enough.

In Arizona, I quickly learned our school district wasn’t great. I let my kiddos try the local elementary school and I got involved the only way I knew, volunteering in the classroom and on the parent teacher committee. The administration’s philosophy was to aim low, and being involved wasn’t doing anything to help my children gain a good education. Their teachers spent days trying to gain control of their class and when they did teach, it was to those furthest behind. One daughter started the school year reading at fourth grade level and by the end of the year was down to a third grade level.

My friends gave me a crash coarse on charter schools and invited me to work with them to bring a good one to our area. After 1 1/2 years of the district school, I pulled my children out and placed them in a charter school that lacked some important amenities – like a library, a playground, and a lunch area. But at least the teachers cared about my children and their education, and they listened to my concerns and did their best to challenge my children. That over eight years ago; my younger children have solely attended charter schools. Are the charter schools perfect? Not by a long shot, but they are the best alternative.

While it makes me sad that the local district schools aren’t providing what they should, I’m grateful that I was forced to get more involved with my children’s education. I’m grateful to have a better understanding of the curriculum they are being taught and how important my role is to their education. Not only do my children benefit, but I’m a better person for this struggle. See, kids aren’t the only one’s who benefit from rigor! (It’s one of the secrets of the Success Academy talked about in Mission Possible.)

There’s only a couple of days left to enter my giveaway for your own copy of Mission Possible!

Linked to Tell Me Tuesday!

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Mission Possible Book Review

Thursday, I shared my thoughts about our country’s education system that stood out to me after reading Mission Possible by Eva Moskowitz and Arin Lavinia. Today I have my official book review.

I can’t say enough for Mission Possible; I wish I had this book years ago when I was first leaning about charter schools. Success Academy’s philosophy of challenging students and immersing them in reading and writing is exactly what I have come to believe after years of struggling to get my children a good education. The high level of rigor and quick pace keeps children (and teachers) engaged, the exact opposite of what we see in most district schools and in too many charter schools. At Success Academy, principals and teachers want their kids to love school, or they are doing something wrong!

Our country’s school’s statistics are staggering! But this book provides the methods to give our children the education they need to make our country competitive. The most important method is to focus on giving principals and teachers the training and support to provide for the needs our children. Teachers need to learn, practice and prepare to skillfully guide our children through the process. How can a teacher help students understand the deeper meaning of a book she herself doesn’t understand?

Teachers need to guide, without doing the heavy thinking for students. Allowing children to do the ‘thinking work’ is another important ingredient to the Success Academy strategy. Another life lesson that I’ve seen time and time again – anything worth having requires sacrifice, including our education. If we take away their chance to work at learning, we are doing children a huge disservice!

Every educator and parent should read this book. There are helpful takeaway summaries at the end of each chapter for principals, teachers, parents and school reformers. I see ways to incorporate these principles into my teaching to my children, and speak up at their schools to improve the instruction there. I give Mission Possible a resounding five slices!

Leave a comment on my giveaway post for a chance to win your own copy! Thanks to the author for providing copies of this book.

Linked to Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, What’s in the Gunny Sack & I Made It! Monday.

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