A few weeks ago, I went into my son Chase’s class for tutoring. I’d e-mailed Chase’s teacher one evening and said, 'Chase keeps telling me that this stuff you’re sending home is math—but I’m not sure I believe him. Help, please.' She e-mailed right back and said, 'No problem! I can tutor Chase after school anytime.' And I said, 'No, not him. Me. He gets it. Help me.'
And that’s how I ended up standing at a chalkboard in an empty fifth-grade classroom while Chase’s teacher sat behind me, using a soothing voice to try to help me understand the 'new way we teach long division.' Luckily for me, I didn’t have to unlearn much because I’d never really understood the 'old way we taught long division.' It took me a solid hour to complete one problem, but I could tell that Chase’s teacher liked me anyway. She used to work with NASA, so obviously we have a whole lot in common.
Afterward, we sat for a few minutes and talked about teaching children and what a sacred trust and responsibility it is. We agreed that subjects like math and reading are not the most important things that are learned in a classroom. We talked about shaping little hearts to become contributors to a larger community—and we discussed our mutual dream that those communities might be made up of individuals who are kind and brave above all.
And then she told me this.
[To read the rest of this article by Glennon Doyle Melton, click here.]
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