This is the latest in a series of blog posts by a partnering cohort member.
By: Joseph Rosi
I'm always searching for topics to write about that are germane to our FLUENCY mission. This morning inspiration struck while I watched my two year old twins have a meltdown. Any parent of toddlers can tell you the deluge of tears and foot stomping is always minutes away, regardless of activity or location. Today's feud happened because my son returned from the doctor after a particularly severe bout of the flu. Grandma, being the compassionate caregiver she is, got him a balloon to cheer him up.
After two days of being in the hospital and very sick, he returned with the balloon in tow. My daughter, seeing that, completely lost her mind. She couldn't believe that he got a balloon and she didn't. We tried our best to console her, to explain that he was sick and needed cheering up - nothing could move the needle from agitation to calm.
Ironically, she wasn't wrong. From her perceptive, she did what she was told over the past few days, ate all her vegetables, colored in the lines of her book, and 'read' stories before falling asleep. She did what was expected of her as well as she could. Why shouldn't she be rewarded?
Equity, as it were, reminds us that perspective is key in creating environments that make all stakeholders feel valued. Applying that mantra to our school, I've moved to eliminate Honor Roll from our primary grades. Students who are in the throws of literacy development and becoming emergent independent learners shouldn't be discouraged by not meeting an arbitrary benchmark for recognition.
I want a learning environment where kids are rewarded for hard work, advocacy, and moving forward in their development. If you're a 'C' student working toward your capabilities, why shouldn't we reward you with your own 'balloon'? Being an equitable academic environment doesn't mean everyone gets the same reward for the same task. It means focusing on individual learner development on their own continuum and continual improvement. I'm glad to be able to work towards that goal.
And of course, we ended up getting her a balloon, too.