Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Learners Transitioning into Secondary School

As I get closer to attending the Google Innovators Academy I am engaging at a deeper level with the problem I have chosen.

I am often drawn to the students who are struggling, who need extra support. Those vulnerable learners who perhaps are the ones who exhibit as having a behaviour problem, who have all the strategies to get out of learning as they have failed so often. These are the one's I both feel for so deeply as I see them in class and also love to help succeed. Because, of course they can.

To be able to help them to persevere, to see them take the slow steps towards learning something, to see them falter and yet carry on. The delight when they can celebrate a 'win' in their learning, no matter how small, is a wonder I don't seem to get tired of. 

While the tension of holding back on 'doing it for them' is always there, the patient and careful scaffolding, the encouragement, the sitting with as needed, the prompt to get back on task, the designing of a task that will capture them and allow them to succeed are all so worthwhile.

Once they have a taste of achieving, these learners keep on achieving in bite-sized ways. That's why we teach - or why I do.

When I look at the bigger scale I see issues that need to be addressed to help these learners to achieve, to thrive. This is my motivation to help those learners I  see come from primary into secondary school. Learners who are vulnerable at primary school and have been supported and are learning - however slowly. These learners do not cope well with the transition of moving into secondary schooling. 

While many learners transition into secondary school with little or no problems, the vulnerable learners are struggling. These are the learners who are in danger of failing, of dropping out.

What is it that we need to do to help these learners to survive and thrive? That is what I am contributing to solving.

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